Debt? No. Imbalance? You Betcha!
When I say that there cannot be debt in human relationships I do not mean to say that there can’t be imbalance in human relationships. A lot of times people will express to me that they are giving, giving, giving in a relationship and not receiving in equal measure. When we experience imbalance we can do one of three things. We can either decide the person is not living up to the obligations they have to us (implying there’s a contract) and we can say they’re in debt to us. Then we can either hold them in debt or we can forgive them of the debt. Another option we have is to decide the imbalance between giving and receiving has to be rectified by us no longer giving. Now we’re not giving or receiving. While it’s technically true that we’ve balanced the equation, what we really did was take a broken energy cycle (giving and not receiving) and replaced it with a dead energy cycle. Not an ideal solution!
The third thing we can do is realize that the reason we are not receiving has almost nothing to do with another person’s willingness or ability to give to us, and is almost exclusively about the fact that we are bad at receiving! This is often the case in human beings. Giving and receiving require different muscles, and early in our lives we become good at doing one or the other. So, for example, if you’re in an unbalanced relationship because you’re too good at giving, you likely developed that strength early in life. Now there’s a lag in your ability to receive. When we realize this it can really be an awesome opportunity for us. We realize it’s not the world that’s out of whack – it’s us! We are capable of growing these muscles to fix the imbalance ourselves.
Repairing the Imbalance
One way to start balancing the equation between giving and receiving is to take some of that energy that we’re over-investing in others (in the hopes that they’ll take care of us) and start investing it in ourselves. We become our own closed energy cycle. We give to ourselves (which is our strength), but we’re also receiving from ourselves (which is our growing edge.) It’s difficult at first, but the more we practice taking care of ourselves and living into the energy cycle, the better we get at it.
As we become more comfortable with receiving care from ourselves, and those muscles are getting more developed, we discover that we’re more able to receive gifts from other people. As we become more balanced, we no longer attract people who are not willing to be in a mutual relationship. But also we discover that people we though were not good at giving suddenly become really good at it. Because we’re finally letting them in!
Once we’re in a state of balance, where we’re able to give and receive an equal measure, we become capable of unconditional love, the highest ideal in human relationships. Unconditional love means that we can offer a gift to somebody with no conditions, no strings attached, no need to be paid back. We can do this because we are in a cycle where every time we empty ourselves we are filled right back up. We are giving not out of scarcity, or a need to hold on to somebody, or get them to take care of us; but out of a true experience of love and compassion for them. Once we are living in unconditional love we no longer have to experience imbalance or debt. So we have nothing to forgive!