Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Price of Selfishness
I'm sure the title seems rather ominous to folks, but June and I felt that it was important to talk about the high price of selfishness in DD/TTWD relationships. What is selfishness? Well, it is our belief that selfishness is something that can manifest itself in a number of different ways, but before we get to all of that let us see if we can define it.
adjective - Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's on interests, welfare etc.
It becomes easy to see why this is a negative, but it also paints a clear, honest picture of the need for both HoH and TiH to be cognizant of their actions and motivations. Words spoken offhand, doing some of the same old things we've always done, or just dismissively not hearing the words that our partners speak are not just dismissive, but clearly selfish, and in this discovery we must determine the course(s) of action to grow closer, stronger and more affirmative to the needs and desires of our partners. As an HoH I realize that my life and the direction of all of those under my roof must be positive, and this positivity must be catalyzed by a fair amount of love and sacrifice. Turning off the tv, following a conversation (even when I am tired), spending time teaching and playing with my sons, and giving her an opportunity to be heard... I said sacrifice before but honestly it really isn't for me, by being unselfish and attending I gain so much more than I would have by napping on Saturday afternoon, or by watching hours and hours of sports. No, I can be better than that for my family and I can be better than that for my June. I guess when I think about it that way it's not so much of a choice, it is the right thing to do and I honestly find that when I make the right choice the day goes so much smoother.
Selfishness is also a two way dance and as surely as an HoH can be dismissive and ignorant of fruitful communication and familial growth, so can a TiH. Talking over her HoH, being unconcerned about things that are important to him, being dismissive or downplaying his words, or by saying nothing and later being resentful that something wasn't handled just the way they would do it... these are all small examples of selfishness that can cause a great deal of harm and slow or damage growth within a healthy relationship. Encouraging open honest dialogue, and giving her my undivided attention, making eye contact, having an open, but solid posture, these things, and my own personal demonstrations of love, attentiveness, and tenacity allow June to see me for who I am and what I desire, need, and crave from our relationship and these same ideas also allow me to see to my June's needs with a happy, engaged heart.
We find as we do these things, the desire to give of ourselves to each other only grows greater with time. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't think of ways that we can improve our service to each other and our relationship. As a man, I find it pleasurable to find ways to give my wife, my lady, the attention, care and effort that she needs and deserves. It also thrills me that she never fails to give me the kind of care and love that I have needed for the longest time.. It is a true privilege to call her mine and a true honor to be hers.
My Daddy honors me with his words. And he honors me every single day, in every single look, every touch, in the seemingly small considerations, that to me, are immense. I have never been important to anyone before. I have never had the reciprocity that he shares with me. I have always given, thinking that someday it would be returned, some day someone would see the heart in my service and I would become important. That never happened till the day I sent an email to tell a man that his words touched me. From that very moment I have been treated with the most extraordinary care and kindness that I have ever known.
I love him. Purely and honestly love him. It is at once simple and as profound as anything I have ever experienced. I pour myself out on him, but I am never depleted he is continuously filling my heart. It is my joy to be of service and in service to him. I try to always be conscious that he is my heart, and he is committed to being my soft place, my safe harbor. I try to give him the same, with every ounce of intent. I try hard to remember that things do go wrong, but he is not my enemy, he is the one I can always turn to. He is the one that will always have my hand. He is the one that will always do what it takes to make it right. Even when it isn't easy. No matter how hard it is. No matter how tired he is. No matter if there is a program on tv that he has been waiting months to see. He is there, and he is my leader. He stands before me, fighting for us. Do I owe him any less?
He makes his efforts strong and committed and consistent. We hear a lot in blogland about problems caused when our HoH's are not consistent. But I would challenge: How consistent are you in your submission? How consistent are you in showing him your respect? We are equally charged with giving our best and most consistent efforts.
Is that always easy? No, it's darn difficult sometimes. Sometimes we are are the end of a stressful day with children, work, house, laundry, school problems. Sometimes he is tired. Sometimes he says things that may be irritating, or hit you the wrong way. Those are the times I take a breath, close my eyes and see with my heart who this man is to me and what is his due as my husband, as my man, as my leader, as my partner. He used to get frustrated with that moment, now he understands that I may be challenged and working through to my best self. And he gives me that grace. And I remember to give him that grace when he has a moment as well, perhaps gently sharing that he was a bit short. And then we grab hold of each other's hands and give each other the grace of forgiveness. And with that we grow and flourish. That's pretty awesome.