Selfish difficult teachers

Many people hold the ideal of being able to love unconditionally something for which they would choose to strive. They do not however know how to achieve this lofty state in their actual relationships, especially with other adults like parents or siblings. In the real world you often feel exploited or used when you realise that a person to whom you have been devoted and loyal has never reciprocated your investment or is not there when you have needed them. It can be a huge blow to realise that someone important to you is unremittingly selfish and expedient and only entertains relationships on their own terms. What causes us pain in reality, is that these people are occupying with impunity positions in the relationship that we would dearly love to occupy only do not have the sense of self-worth claim. We hope that if we sacrifice our needs and feelings to them, they will do the same for us.  The exaggerated sense of worth and entitlement of the selfish person is however only mirroring your own lack of self-regard. The choices are to either claim your own worth and make demands and set limits in your relationships with these people, which may lead to conflict or a breakdown of the relationship because if they were able or willing to give you what you need they would have done it without a confrontation. You could leave or avoid the relationship. The option I am suggesting is that you give them what they need, allow them to be central in the relationship and use the opportunity to serve with equanimity, knowing that you will not be getting anything back. This will in time help you to develop qualities of character in the way that resistance training develops muscles.  Rising to this challenge helps you be more of who we are and discover the infinite reservoirs of love that you hold within yourself. The reward at the end of this process is that you discover that all the love that you need is already inside you.

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