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Are we giving for ourselves, or truly giving to the other?

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Last summer I had a date night with my partner. During the evening I wanted him to read part of his “Now” Wedding gift I gave him (he has read 1/3 of it so far). He decided he didn’t want to do. I got upset and was experiencing an internal temper tantrum, which soon became an external upset between us. I finally saw where my upset was coming from. I was making him not reading the gift mean “he doesn’t appreciate what I did for him, he doesn’t care about his gift, he doesn’t even care that I am upset that he is not reading the gift.” Then it all hit me at once – I was making this about me and not about him. This is his gift, and however he would like to experience his gift, up to and including never reading it, is totally his choice. I was not accepting him fully as he is. And it gets a bit more embarrassing than that. In a matter of 10 minutes I saw all of my old programming surface, and as soon as I could see it I shared it openly with him, even though I was embarrassed and was afraid of “not looking good.” While I was in the upset, I was making a plan to build a case against him and I thought to myself, “Which girlfriends could I call to get them on my side, to show him how wrong he is for not reading the gift, so that I can be right and him wrong?” The plan would have had me avoid, not be with or responsible for my emotions/feelings. I also noticed my emotional manipulations, I remember thinking, “I will be sad and upset and that will make him want to do what I want him to do.” As soon as I owned and acknowledged all of this, we both couldn’t help but laugh at the way I was being. He held such beautiful space for me. He could see me being very much not Queen Be like, and said, “Queen Be is smart, she will figure this out.” The impact on him was, it felt shitty that I was not accepting him and wishing he was different. He gave me such loving space, and did not get triggered and he didn’t enter the downward painful spiral with me, which allowed me to see my old programming quickly and with ease. Phew! Thanks for the beautiful breakthrough!

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