The Myth of Reciprocity

It's toxic. It's dangerous. It's pervasive.

The myth of reciprocity.

The myth of reciprocity is the idea that life is a zero-sum game, 

that we are owed or that we owe others,

that what we give must be returned in equal value.

Unlike love and generosity which are given freely and received freely, reciprocity allows us to place demands on others and helps us create excuses for ourselves. 

I found myself this past week beginning to operate out of this story. I try so hard to meet others and to be seen by them, but why won't they see or pursue me? 

Mixed motives are revealed in this light, as well as my own excuses. If so-and-so won't do (x), why should I? We return in kind.

This is not love! This is not service! This is not me being who I desire and helping others be their best! 

This is draining, not sustaining. 

Many myths deserve to be deconstructed, and I can think of few more pernicious than this one.