Reciprocity or Entitlement?

Tired of reading today? Just sit back and listen as I read this to you.

Me: It's all about RECIPROCAL, respectful relationship.

You: Of course it is, Janet. What the heck is the big deal about that?

Me: It’s that little word ‘reciprocal’ that is sometimes forgotten about. I know you know what it means, but my question for you is......do you practice it?

Practicing Reciprocity

We all claim we practice reciprocity, because that is most likely our intent. But when we examine our actions closer and with an honest appraisal, are we practicing reciprocity or are we practicing entitlement?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that each one of us has had, or currently has, someone in your life who has the expectation that you will drop whatever you're doing so you can accomodate their request:

…Would you mind watching the kids while I go to a movie?
…I'd love to have you come to my party; by the way, bring your music and you can play the piano for us while you're here
…My car is going into the repair shop, can I borrow yours that day? I'm going out to lunch with friends (and of course, you haven't been invited to the lunch). 

Doesn’t that just leave you feeling like yesterday's trash??!

It's the same when we are in relationship with beyond-human sentient beings.

Say, for example, you have a beautiful oak tree in your yard and you're always running to her/him with requests.

…What wisdom do you have for me today?
…I'm going to sit under your branches to receive your healing today.
…”I need a hug” and then you proceed to hug the tree, expecting the tree to take care for you right then and there

Right relationship doesn’t happen overnight, or happen because it’s solely your intention to build it with another sentient being. There is both a building and a long term tending of the relationship that is involved. There needs to be mutual cooperation and guidelines established. This takes time, patience, perseverance, respect and the willingness to heed and respect another one's agency.

Right relationship is not all about you, it not about just getting your needs met. It’s not about what you may feel you’re entitled to.

It's about
…Mutuality
…Cooperation
…Reciprocity
…Exchange

Right relationship is about using those words we all learned early on in life: please, may I, thank you. It's about your willingness to not demand from another that which comes from a self-centered stance. And it's about the willingness to no longer take for granted something is automatically yours which is not yours to commandeer.

First Steps To Building Reciprocity

What are some starter steps to buiding reciprocity and right relationship?

  1. Greet and acknowledge the sentient being. Nothing more. No questions, no jumping into conversation, no demands, just a simple greeting. Acknowledging can be as simple as “I see you”, as was said in the movie Avatar.

  2. Give the sentient being time to get to know you, and this will vary. This means consistently showing up with many repetitions of step 1. Don’t rush the process. Take your time and be willing to be in companionship until you receive an acknowledgement from the sentient being.

  3. Once you have received an acknowledgment, thank her/him/it and ask if there’s anything you can do for them.

  4. Keep in mind, we humans have been less than honest with other sentient beings. Because of what they have witnessed, they have no reason to trust us. We need to present ourselves to them in honesty and integrity so they can see who we are, and we need to let them set the pace when it comes to connecting. We also need to allow them to decide if they want to connect with us.

Let’s Do This!

Does this sound like a lot? That’s because it is. However, it’s way more than connecting to a beyond-human sentient being. What you’re actually doing is changing yourself: your perspective, your expectation, your sense of entitlement and perhaps even your need to be a savior (gasp) to the beyond-human being folks.

The good news is this kind of work is meant to be done in community, not solo. Because community offers us support, accountability, encouragement and even cheer-leading when needed.

Are you ready to learn more or get started doing this kind of work? Good for you! Click below to book a free 30 minute discovery session.

We’re in this together,

Janet