Coming up short I

This is what happens when we believe we have come up short:

We believe – we are convinced – there is something we didn’t get enough of: love, appreciation, money, support, beauty, size, talent.

We believe that someone (father, mother, teacher, boss, partner, god) has simply refused to give it to us. On purpose.

We are actually really angry at that person. Even if it’s God. But, mostly, it starts with the parents and from there leads just about everywhere. Our friends don’t pay us enough attention, our siblings had advantages over us, the government won’t give us what we deserve, or tries to take away what we want to keep. Tax evasion, anyone?

If that is what we believe, then we are full of resentment. We are envious and jealous of others. We stubbornly withdraw and refuse to participate. We don’t give, because first we want to get.

We feel self-righteous. We are right. Period.

But happy, we’re not. We lose relationships and don’t get any richer. The more we feel like we came up short, the more we actually do come up short.

There is a hole in this construction of thought. The wording already implies reproach. Something was distributed, and I (ME!) didn’t get it, or didn’t get enough of it.

From that moment on, we search the world for people whose fault it is that we feel so crappy. They are easy to find. People not willing to give us what we want are everywhere. Especially if we don’t even ask.

Entire cultures celebrate that phenomenon.

However, this thinking isn’t entirely unreasonable. There have always been those who took advantage of others. Victims of exploitation do exist, and there are exploiters who don’t mind in the slightest if the consequences of their actions do others harm, or take away from them on a massive scale.

Nonetheless, it’s a dead end if people stay stuck in that emotion.

If they do, they will always carry a big “minus” in their heart. When interacting with others, especially those they assume to be rich or powerful, aka guilty, they demand of them to fill up the empty account of not-gotten donations in their minds and hearts first. Otherwise, they couldn’t be expected to give anything at all.

And if that wrongful lack is not acknowledged, they feel validated to judge and punish as it seems justified to them, addressing whoever they consider guilty or unjustly in a better position.

Unfortunately, that tactic doesn’t work at all. Others don’t feel like being reproached or whined at. Most people don’t enjoy being punished for having a good life.

So, no matter what area of life you or I consider our shortcomings, due to someone else who “should have” – whether it’s love, money or praise – no one will fill that empty place for you. Do it yourself and let go of the past.

Everyone has experienced this to some extent. No one can demand justice from life or their parents. We all have received too little of this or that. But we are here now, and we get to decide whether we want to look back and moan for the rest of our lives. Or if instead we open our eyes, look ahead and look forward to all that we actually can have and get.

If we ask, if we are kind to others, if we listen, if we give, if we receive and if we put some effort into creating good lives for ourselves.