re -cip – ro – cate
respond to (a gesture or action) by making a corresponding one
I did a lot of thinking this week about the concept or reciprocity, about where and to whom I am giving and from where and from whom I am taking. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t my favorite word–mainly because it comes to me during a season when I feel like I am taking more than I can give in most areas of my life (minus work, where the pace still hasn’t slowed).
And I hate that.
Lin and I have talked about this at length before–how we are both givers and growers (and sometimes pushers). We invest in things. In people. In ourselves.
We are the best when we are giving.
So being in a spot where I just can’t give as much as I feel like I should, and I have to take more than I feel comfortable…it’s not my natural habitat. And making peace with it is a challenge.
Or perhaps a call to action.
My body has been on my mind a lot this week (or if I am completely vulnerable, a lot these last couple months). I’ve been under a fair amount of stress at work and in certain areas of my personal life, and it’s left me with limited resources–and more often than not, that has meant limited time. And, to be honest, I have not always invested it wisely, though sometimes the choice I made was exactly what I needed–that glass (or bottle) of wine and that Netflix binge.
Or at least it seemed like it.
The simple truth is that I’ve been taking a lot from my body and, in turn, my mental heath and yet still demanding that it please me and perform at optimal levels–despite my willingness to give to it.
The fact is that are bodies are just like relationships. Like partners. There is give and take. Our bodies will come through for us when we really need it, even when we can’t meet them halfway. They will pull us through finals weeks and the emergencies of loved ones with little but coffee and will to fuel them. They will run 13.1 miles more than they wanted to that day simply because we asked. And they will hide a few glasses of wine and cheat days from the mirror.
But at some point, we can take too much. Instead of more water or a walk or a compliment, we have another glass of wine, opt for another episode, and hurl criticisms as we look in the mirror. And that’s no longer a relationship–it’s abuse. It’s no longer an excuse, it’s a choice.
And I’d like to make better ones, because no matter what I have asked of it, my body has always been there for me. It’s always shown up. Given its best. Stretched. Lifted. Moved. To get done what was needed.
And it’s about time I reciprocated, because it’s something I’d like to keep for a while.
So here’s to holding on to something different…
This week we CAPTURE.
Steph’s RECIPROCATE mantra: As long as you’re trying, I’m staying.
Steph’s Song of the Week:Work the Middle by Alex Aiono
& Don’t miss Lin’s post on #VOWreciprocate (coming soon!).