"When people ask me about their personal relationships, I can read the future simply by the attitude of the question. If they talk about what the other person is not doing for them, I know the relationship is probably doomed...[Neediness is a symptom] of desperation...To create a lasting relationship...means thinking about what we are willing to give before looking at how much we are going to get." - Sakyong Mipham
The Sakyong reminds us of exactly what Jesus is remembered to have taught, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Sometimes we make the mistake of wanting church or a lover or a friend or a job to make us feel good enough, important, special. But we don't get our needs met by demanding, begging, complaining, or expecting others to give us what we think we need.
Religion is a relationship. Romance is a relationship. Work is a relationship (or several). Even being on a diet is to redefine our relationship with food.
Relationships aren't one-sided. Relationships aren't about getting what we want, when and how we want it, and punishing the other by vilifying or abandoning him or her if what we want or think we need isn't handed to us. Relationships are mutual. Yes, we receive. We even have specific desires and expectations, but we also have responsibility. We need to offer something. Giving and receiving become the exchange of energy that provides health and well-being to a system, a relationship.
A body of water that has no outlet will stagnate. There must be give and take in order for the body to be fully alive, fresh, and life-giving. When we aren't getting all that we need, sometimes the question to ask is, "Am I giving all that I can give?" If we aren't doing our part, the other will never be able to fill the void.
Whether in a friendship, a religious community, a career endeavor, or any other sort of relationship, we must remember that relationships aren't one sided. If we aren't getting what we need from them it is often because we aren't giving enough to them. Before blaming the other, let's honestly look at how much responsibility is ours. The good news is that whatever is ours we can change, and the ability to change is the power to achieve. As we learn to give what we can, we may find that we receive much more than when we simply complained about what we didn't have.