I sometimes feel frustrated in trying to find the thin line between being independent (loving myself) and being able to belong (loving others). I get frustrated because whenever I try to break out of my shell and reach out to other people, I find my efforts are often not really needed, if not too demanding of others.

You see, whenever I think of loving others, I get into this ideal mode in my mind that says, “I care for you and you care for me. We care for each other. My actions aren’t only for myself and so are your actions. In everything that we do, we take one another into consideration.”

So guess what happens when someone performs an action that does not consider the other – “me”! I feel terribly disappointed. Even if it’s the other way around where I’m not able to do what I think is “expected” of me, I feel bad not being able to do my part.

Feeling terrible as this, I then wonder if reaching out and trying to form relationships is really worth it. Wouldn’t it be easier to just care for yourself? In that way, you wouldn’t expect anything of anyone. Also, nobody would expect anything from you.

Yet what kind of life will that be? While it is true that you wouldn’t have troubles or misunderstandings that way, you wouldn’t feel warmth or connection as well. You’d feel cold and empty and life will be very boring as well, a life that isn’t worth living.

In the end, it all redounds to balance, which is not so easy to achieve. I guess I just have to carry on, learning from each mistake, each little triumph, forging relationships that may not be perfect, but which fills the heart with warmth and a lot of joy.

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