We’ve been over this before but I need to say it again: don’t take crumbs.
There, I yelled. But this is super-important because I see you out there, caring, loving, giving 100% … and often hurting because you’re taking crumbs from significant people in your life.
You deserve the whole cookie–heck, you deserve MANY cookies!–but you’re taking crumbs here, a few crumbs there, some leftover pieces there. You’re not being fully valued and somewhere deep down you know this painful truth but you just don’t want to admit it.
Are you wincing a little bit? I am. Because I’m right there with you.
You accept crumbs for a variety of reasons. I accept crumbs for a variety of reasons. But, mostly, I suspect somewhere in each of us lurks that little us: the one who thinks “I don’t deserve more” and rationalizes this bullshit acceptance with the frightfully and chokingly banal “I’m okay with this.” (Oh, how we like to fool ourselves, especially in matters of the heart.) Somewhere that little voice inside us makes it easy for us to shrink ourselves from being vibrantly alive and full human beings into this smaller version of ourselves, the mini-me who thinks:
“I’m okay with this.”
Okay. Just okay. Not thrilled. Not excited. Just okay.
Is that any way to live your one wild and precious life? Being okay with how people choose to treat you, especially when you’re dying inside?
No! No! NO! It’s not. I’m here to tell you that right now.
If you want to be in love with this life, then be fantastically gobsmackingly in love with your world, your community, and the people you allow close to you: your squad, your lover, and your family in a world that sometimes seems to have too little of the good stuff. (It doesn’t. That’s an illusion. But we’ll deal with that another time.)
That’s how it works. Being thrilled with each other is a glorious way to go through life. Sure, there will be ups and downs: you won’t like everyone in every moment, but you’re still happy they’re part of your world. That’s a lot different from being okay with them being in your world. And it’s waaaaay different than them being “okay” with you being in their world.
Find a way to articulate what you need. Be kind but be firm when you need something. Be brave enough to ask for it, and ready to accept a no if that’s what comes. You’ll live.
Yes, this life is difficult and there are so many choices and we get beat down and we start to think the phrase “good enough” is not so evil after all. (It is. Fight that one. FIGHT IT.) But most of the time you can do better than you think.
Don’t settle, my friends. Never beg. And don’t accept a modicum of mediocrity when you are worth kingdoms of joy.
Because, like Sethe says in Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, “Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t no love at all.”
Go out there and love, my friends, but value yourself and don’t take crumbs.