“When you know how much you’re worth, you’ll stop giving people discounts”…Unknown

Dear Son,

I take it back…..You don’t have to share. Sharing sucks!

From this day forward you don’t have to share your Thomas train, your fruit snacks or your Legos. In fact, you don’t have to share anything that brings you joy ever again in life.

I’m telling you this now so hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes in sharing that I did. I unfortunately was taught to share. Growing up if another kid came up to me at the park and demanded a toy that I was using, I was expected to hand it over. Not only did I have to give up something that brought me great entertainment and joy, but I was expected to do it with a smile. This may seem crazy to you, as it should have to me, but this was what was taught during my time.

The problem is, this lesson with all its flaws, spilled over from the playground to my life in general. Without realizing what was happening, I have been sharing my joy for many years with people who have done nothing to deserve it. In fact, many people like the tantruming two year olds, simply walked up and demanded my joy, and I gladly handed it over. Subconsciously I believed this was what had to be done for someone to like me. During that phase of my life, my intentions were to be liked and accepted and so I did what was expected.

But here’s the part of the lesson, I wished I had learned sooner: Don’t do anything unless you intend to do it.

As a child (and I mean myself just 2 years ago) I was infected with the disease to please. Yes, it is a disease! I would give people my time, money, love and joy all with the hopes that they would return the favor. But guess what happened, they would leave full and I would be empty. The key is they still would leave.

My remedy has been my intentions. Once I learned that my intentions had to be about what I wanted and not anyone else, I simply stopped. I stopped sharing my joy, my fears, my gifts and my talent with people who gave nothing in return. Not because I’m selfish but because I’ve learned that it is not what you are giving away, but why you are giving it away that’s most important.

A wise man once said, “To do on to others as you expect them to do on to you, is as silly as expecting a lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat it.”

So you can share your toys, your fruit snacks or your Legos……Or Not……It’s up to you.


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