At the start of the week, I found myself being salty with a colleague whom I felt was being unduly harsh on a student we were working with. And in my self-righteousness, I determined that I was simply RECIPROCATING back to him the bad vibes he bestowed on another. My mentality in those moments was certainly not my best, especially as the case we’re working dwells in my territory. And ultimately a moment of defensiveness isn’t constructive… and certainly not what I should be giving back to the Universe.
So I tried to pay forward the grace given to me from others. That which I didn’t deserve when I was out of my element and performed in a less-than-perfect way.
This week I looked for areas where I take more than I give. Like Steph mentions, we both classify as Givers and Growers (though I’m less of a fan of the alliteration and prefer Evolvers). In the moments I steal from a coworker’s busy schedule in order to idly chat. In accepting (yet another) meal from my fella without an offer to pick up the check. In outreaching to friends in distant places for an update on their life.
Some of these I met with a gesture in kind. Some of them I adapted into a different but equitable one. Some I planned for. One in particular I’m making a game out of.
I also inspected (but didn’t dwell upon) the areas where I felt like I gave more than I received. In those moments, I tried to provide prompts for the other to outreach. Because sometimes people just don’t see the opportunity. Sometimes we need help from each other to be a little bit better, slightly more mindful, a boost in betterment. I lifted the opportunity as though to the wind. Sometimes they caught, sometimes they didn’t. Each time I let them float as they may.
With the wrong mentality we can easily frame RECIPROCATION as a battle. A veritable competition where we must fight and demand, the tug-of-war with another regardless of whether they know they’re playing. It was a quiet dance between letting go and stepping up and cuing expectations.
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Lin’s VOW mantra: She’s standing on a line between giving and seeing how much she can take.
Lin’s Song of the Week: Wrap Your Arms Around Me by Barenaked Ladies
Read Steph’s musings on #VOWreciprocate