The funny thing about giving to another person in our western culture is it’s often about doing something entirely physical. But, especially in our most intimate relationships, if we scratch the surface a bit, we often find what we’re really moved by is a desire to change someone, so we can get what we want from them.
We might want our kids to be happy (and we do backflips for it) because we need them to give us the feeling that we’re really good parents. We might want our spouses to be happy (and we do lots of stuff to get them to be happy) because we feel we’re failing them and we fear they may leave us.
The missing awareness is simply compassion, which would create more stillness and presence within us and between us and our loved ones. It would create listening as they find their way (just like us) and even humor. Because we all often need people who love us just to be with us, teach us nothing, and do nothing other than enjoy watching us learn and love.
Everything and everyone grows without us doing anything other than joining that process. Because what we’re witnessing is not only what the person most needs, but also what we most need.