I have never once thought, or said aloud to someone, that MY love couldn’t be given freely but had to be earned. The mere idea of someone having to earn love from another… it seems preposterous. Love, of all things, should be given openly and freely, without strings attached. At least that’s my view on the matter.
I had a heartbreaking conversation with someone recently, one that boggled my mind, and left me saddened and empty inside. I think we all have one or two people in our lives that we spend, what seems like an eternity, trying to impress, or to earn their affections, or gain an ounce of attention from. It’s sad but true, and we all have at least one, be it a lover, a friend, or family member. Someone who just can’t seem to wake up and notice us standing in front of them, asking to be loved, respected, cherished. For me, this yearning seems to have almost spanned decades, though I’m sure that’s an exaggeration. But it’s not an exaggeration when I say I feel as if I’m losing a war, and that as the days go by, my sentiments appear as if they’ll never be known. Or maybe just never understood.
I asked for help. And I knew the answer before I asked it. It’s always the same. Why should the help be given? What have I done for them? Why haven’t I gone out of my way to make them happy? I should know better than to ask. I should have learned by now that you can’t get something for nothing.
The thing is… That’s not how I was raised. Mom brought me up with the knowledge that love is given freely. Love is not earned. Help is not earned. Respect and trust can be gained. But strings aren’t attached to these things.
All I did was ask for help. Silly me. I thought maybe because I was sick now, that maybe, just maybe, help could be given without strings just this one time. I wouldn’t have to earn the love or help. It would be given freely and I would bask in it. Just this once. Maybe cancer would be my golden ticket, my free pass to receive the love and attention I craved.
Because I didn’t earn it. And how dare I ask for help when I didn’t do anything to earn it. I guess time hadn’t helped me learn. Love came with strings. Help came with strings. At least for this person.
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Damn, I’ve been a fool many many times.
But no more. Love doesn’t have to be earned. And neither does help. If you don’t want to give it, then don’t. Because I’m working for it no longer. It’s not right. I shouldn’t have to feel a fool for asking to be loved. They should feel the fool for demanding that it be earned.
I am no fool.
I give my love freely.
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