Dear Lucy & Ruby,
This begins a little journal of communication to you with life lessons, stories, and/or memories that I would like to share with you as you continue to become the beautiful women you are.
Please know that my desire is to empower you to live life with strength, steadiness, and confidence. I want you to be aware of your value and your power. I also want you to be aware of your privilege. I hope to grow and learn with you and to share tools that will help you be a force for good.
I love you unconditionally. You will make mistakes. I will make mistakes. My hope is that we can learn and grow together and forgive one another and be gracious to one another along the way.
. . .
Love and Kindness Are Not Transactional
Something that I wish I would have understood more clearly as a young woman and into adulthood is that love and kindness are not transactional.
Just because someone is kind to you or shows affection toward you does not mean that you owe them anything in return. Of course, you should treat people with respect, and it would be nice to reciprocate kindness, but you do not need to feel a sense of obligation to the individual.
And, in turn, if you are kind to someone or express affection toward someone, please try to do so without expecting anything in return. Of course, you should expect to be treated with respect, but not in the form of transaction (i.e., I did something nice for you, now you do something nice for me).
This is especially true in relationships – family, friendships, and/or romantic relationships. We are kind to one another and express our love for one another within our family without expectation. An expression of kindness or love should never be tied to a transactional expectation.
A true friend will not expect anything in return when they show you kindness or expresses their love toward you.
A romantic partner worth your time, energy, and affection will not expect anything in return when they show you kindness or express their affection for you.
Let me spend a little time on this romantic partner piece. Just because an individual is especially kind to you or buys you things or gives you gifts or stands up for you, does not mean that you owe them anything in return. No one can “earn” by transaction the right to hold your hand or hug you or kiss you. No one can “earn” by transaction the right to spend time with you or be your special someone. You make the decision by your own volition who is worthy of such precious gifts.
Tread carefully around those who feel like they have transactional expectations around kindness or love. Protect your time, your energy, and your self-worth. You have so much beauty to offer (body, mind, and soul) – it is yours to offer as you discern. Please share kindness freely and without expectation and know that you do not owe anyone anything in return when they are kind or show affection toward you.