There are many who believe that when we die, we have to have an accounting, a reckoning, either with God, with ourselves, or both. Were we good or bad?
Did we help more than hurt? Did we learn or not? What did we really do with our lives, and if we could, what more would we have done if we had known better?
Those who have gone through the process of dying, or indeed right now are going through that process, often think of those kinds of questions, and end up questioning themselves, questioning life, and questioning how the scales will balance for them.
The lesson this month is about taking a look at the way we live our lives, and to ask ourselves if we ever even consider that there is a set of scales, or indeed, if, when or how we use them.
I have a friend who continually puts himself out to help me. If I need a ride, if I need a plug fixed, if I need help with a lecture, or if I simply need a friend to talk to, he is always there. If I ever say to him, "How can I repay you," he waves me away. "Do you know how much you've given me," he says. Never once, to my knowledge has he ever thought about all he has done for me, only what I have done for him. If I asked him to weigh the scales, I know they would be tipped in my favor. If I were to do the same thing, those same scales would be tipped in his favor.
My team in England, both individually and collectively, have definitely tipped the scales to the point where, if I were to try to balance those scales, I would definitely fail. The kindnesses, the thoughtfulness, the friendship they have given me, is something I can feel I can never repay, no matter how I try. And even though I have good intentions, I don't call them enough, I don't e-mail, I don't pay them the attention I think they deserve. Strangely though, they would say exactly the same about themselves. They don't call enough, they don't e-mail, they don't give me the attention they think I deserve.
The truth is, we don't have a set of scales, we are not saying to ourselves, "Well, I did this, so she or he should do that." We are balanced and secure in our friendships none of us cares about who controls who.
There are many who have that set agenda, the idea that relationships are based on give and take. That's true. But we don't always give to each other in the same way.
I take you out to dinner and a movie. It's easy for me, I can afford it. At some time down the road, you make me an apple pie, or better yet, you go to the nearest hospital and volunteer for a couple of hours.
You help me with a business project. I invite you for Christmas, or better yet, I use the time you helped me save in my business, by helping a family who lost a child.
On and on and round and round we could go about what you did for me, or what I did for you. This is if I were to have a set of scales, and if I were to measure my life by what I did for others, and if I were to measure others lives by what they did for me.
I think we are all guilty of using, or should I say misusing, our scales. Becoming angry or disheartened, mean or bitter about how much or how little someone else "owes" us.
So here are the questions you should be asking yourself this month.
Be honest. Remember you are human. This is not a test to see how good or bad you are. This is merely a lesson which requires you to look at yourself, your motives for doing the things you do, and the opportunity to grow from the things you see about yourself, and to change the way you might think about relationships and friendships.
1. Do you own a set of scales?
2. Do you expect a return for your good deeds?
3. Do you judge another's character by how they respond to your generosity?
4. Do you demand that others respect you, or is it enough that you respect yourself?
When you think about those scales, ask yourself how important it is that they should be balanced. That you should have your "fair share."
I am lucky. I have many people around me who have never had the need for scales. Nor do I. Hopefully, nor will you.
If you smile at a stranger, and become upset because he doesn't smile back. You have a set of scales. And you will always feel that you have the short end of the stick.
If you work tirelessly on someone else's behalf, and you become angry or resentful that their pay back to you is inadequate. You have a set of scales. And you will become a resentful and harshly judgmental person.
Give because it is the right thing to do, and do not feel slighted if the return is so little. Maybe the return to you is less than you would like, but perhaps you have helped by your small measure of generosity to allow someone to give elsewhere.
Generosity is the gift that keeps on giving.
If you own a set of scales, why not get rid of them now.
For more lessons and insights check back next month and also see our "Weekly actions," posted, every week here in Own Your Power. Try, too, Rosemary's book, "You Own the Power." for more lessons about owning your power. Get this book and other Books and tapes by Rosemary in our online store.
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