That was a recent text from a family friend. Here are the series of texts that led to that response:
Family Friend (FF): Hope you enjoy your long Easter weekend. Hope you meet the love of your life soon…(additional stuff not related to this post)
Me: Thanks for your message! I think I’ve given up on meeting the love of my life. I just want a fulfilling life. (additional stuff not related to this post)
FF: You are too young to give up. My cousin’s daughter married at 42 and is having a baby at 44. Life will happen. Love you.
Me: LORD! That’s a lot in her 40s. I just don’t know if I will meet someone of quality who will do the work. I always end up giving more of myself. It’s exhausting. Love you too!
FF: Stop giving. (additional stuff not related to this post)
Stop giving. That has really stuck with me. What would it be like if I stop giving? I’m a giver at the very core of my being. I’m not sure if I don’t know how to stop giving.
I’m a giver. I sometimes don’t like that about myself but it’s in my nature to be a giver—I give of my time, my resources, my love, my talents, etc. Like I love hard, I give equally as hard. I don’t give to necessarily receive to win the affections of people. I give out of my being because I have so much to share and offer.
To be honest I’ve shut down. I’m shut down from men. I’ve shut down from friends (I’m currently not friend shopping). I’ve shut down from people. I don’t trust anybody at this point. I’m just tired of giving so much of myself and people not giving in return.
Maybe I need to adjust my expectations or know whom to give the appropriate amount of myself to. I’m not sure. This is where I am right now. I’m aware of my feelings and I own them. I’m not trying to stay in this place forever but I need to take a time out from giving. What does this look like? I’m extremely intentional in the people that I invest in right now. I’m sticking to my inner circle of close friends. I’m very protective and not willing to let new people in my life.
If you’re not investing in me then I’m not investing in you. I’m not interested in being in large groups for long periods of time. I’m taking “me time” as needed. I’m also just really careful about opening up to people as I’m in a fragile state. (I know that this is totally ironic that I’m writing all of this for people to see but writing is different. As a writer, you it’s necessary to provide a certain degree of openness to connect with others.).
During this time, I’m learning about boundaries and how it relates to giving. I want to be able to have open communication about giving in my future relationships/friendships. Let’s just put it out in the open. I don’t want to get to this exhausted state without doing some work to prevent it.
I know being shut down is an issue—it happens. I’m prone to it because I’ve been hurt a lot in life. However, I don’t want this to be a common practice or a way of life. Guarding your heart is a very wise but there is a difference in that and being shut down. We’re made as social creatures and quite honestly I know the value of social interaction. I also think that I can’t fulfill my dreams being closed off to people because they are central to what I want to do in my life.
So I’m just taking this time to heal, keeping it in prayers and receiving the love and support from those that I treasure. These issues are very prominent in life as I’ve recently had a deep conversation about this with my bestie the other day. I also went up for prayer after church and the thing the minister focused most on was HEALING FOR MY BROKEN HEART. I wholeheartedly received that prayer as tears rolled down my cheeks. I know that this is something I need to deal with.
Will I stop giving? Yes, for the time being but I don’t think I’ll never be able to stop giving.It’s not who I am.