I have a friend, let’s call him, “Joshua.” Joshua is a superhero. Everywhere Joshua goes, light and love go with him. Everyone loves Joshua. People jostle to be close to him, to receive a word from him and to basque in his Joshua-ness.
Joshua is used to this. He puts all his energy into helping others. He cultivates kindness, and endeavors to uplift everyone he meets. He tries, everyday, to give as much of himself as he can. Often, he feels he hasn’t given enough.
Joshua feels responsible.
After spending time with Joshua, some people begin to expect him to give them what they need. Without a firm foundation for themselves, they look to Joshua in hopes he will provide what they are missing. Gratitude for his attention sometimes turns into expectation. Expectation often results in disappointment or in perceived rejection.
Joshua has learned to protect himself, a little, from those who would look to him to fill holes in their hearts and the gaps in their lives. He has become aware that even the closest of friends, or lovers, can often slip into that space of needing him to complete their lives. This is the one thing Joshua fears most.
He knows that as soon as someone around him is no longer satisfied to simply receive what he naturally offers and begins to need him to fill a hole in their heart (when holes in our hearts can only truly be filled from within our own selves) they sometimes start acting in passively hostile ways.
This may come out out as disapproval and judgement of him, or it can manifest as jealousy or resentment. It doesn’t matter, the message he hears is that it is never enough to simply be Joshua, but that he must provide something, perform certain functions and perhaps deny his own needs in a relationship in order to stay in it.
Joshua can comfortably distance himself from most who seek to drain his light and take some for themselves, but when it’s someone he cares about, there is a part of Joshua that believes he is a failure. That he has has let them down. That he is not doing enough.
And he knows he is doing as much as he possibly can. Therefore, he is often left feeling that he is simply “not enough.”
The truth is, is he is more that enough! If he weren’t inherently so spectacular, people wouldn’t flock to him like they do.
The world needs Joshua, and people like him to fight our big battles, defend the defenseless and stand up for what’s right! But in return, he should be loved in the same way that he loves others –unconditionally, with no strings attached.
My wish for Joshua is this: Find the members of your tribe who require NOTHING of you. Spend time in places where there is no judgement, no expectations, no if/then statements for you. Find a place, and the people, who simply love your Joshua-ness. Make a conscious effort to allow the people around you to lift you up, without giving anything in return. I suspect the last part will be the trickiest.
Know this: you ARE enough! Look at all you are doing! Look at the lives you change every day. Keep doing what you’re doing. But keep your eyes open for those who can help take care of you, and here’s the key… You have to let them.