Updated: Aug 10, 2021
Who do you take for granted?
Do you get to the end of the week, without having played with your children?
Do you come home from work late, and the family has already eaten dinner?
Is it more important to take your clients for a drink, than your spouse to a movie?
If you have kids, of any age, chances are they'll remember the times you had fun together. But, if you have spent their lives somewhere else, they'll have no memories of you. Is that what you want?
All my life, my parents were both there for dinnertime. It wasn't always that way, though, and my older siblings would tell a different story. But, I remember the times I went fishing with them, and I cherished cooking with them. Even the simple act of doing the dishes together brought us closer.
I recall a story about another couple, though, in which one spouse got a new job and felt compelled to attend after-work drinks. This not only led to feelings of neglect felt by the other partner, it caused health problems (due to increased alcohol intake) and grounds for divorce.
So, what are your priorities? Whom do you ignore, or forget about, or take for granted?
Do you take your siblings for granted, because your partner is needy and demanding?
Do you take your friends for granted, because you're so swept up in the responsibilities of your job?
What do you do when someone calls you out on your inconsiderate behaviour?
We all get overwhelmed by life. It's precisely then, that we should reach out for help. The people we call on, are the people we trust. They're the people we know, who know us the best. They're the people we shouldn't forget about. They're the ones we should treasure. They're the ones who call us, to ask us how we're going, even when their own world might be falling apart.
Being busy is actually no excuse for forgetting those who love us. If we continually use that as our reason for not replying to a call, text, email, or letter, then those people will eventually ... let go ...
They'll see the writing on the wall, that says, "You're not important to me" and they'll walk away.
They might make one last attempt (after many), to give the benefit of the doubt. After all, love is always hopeful and forgiving.
They might even grow enough courage to speak up about being taken for granted. How we respond will tell them everything they need to know.
You see, a good spouse, parent, sibling, or friend doesn't need to be reminded to keep the rivers of communication flowing. They don't need to be told, "You've hurt me".
When someone has been brave enough to speak up, our response should never be a giggle. We should never make light of it. We should take it on the chin, own it, and apologise. And, we should try to make amends (as well as making changes so we don't hurt that loved one again).
There's another relationship that we shouldn't take for granted, and that's our relationship with our parents (or parent figures). One day will come, when they're gone and their shoulders won't be there to cry on.
So, who are your apex priorities?
When I wrote my first book, [RE]BIRTH: Self-Transformation over Tea and Tarot, I wrote about the different types of relationships we have throughout our lives, the things that go well and the things that can go awry. It's a book about healing, growing, evolving, and empowering. Part of that process, is to review our relationships with ourselves, our workplaces, and the people who are significant to us. Part of that review process, is to look at specific situations from different perspectives, so that we understand (more fully) what happened and how to improve things if a similar situation arises in the future. Part of the process of building a new future, is seeing ourselves as others might see us.
So, I invite us all to sit with that for a moment. Let's consider someone whom we've taken for granted, and think about how that has made them feel. And, let's call them and ask them. Apology and amends might be in order ... but we're big enough to do that, aren't we?
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