What’s Your Motive? The Gameshow!
I’m feeling reflective today about Whys.
Why did you do that?
Why did you say that?
Why did you help so-and-so?
Why didn’t you leave that situation?
Why, why, why?
Here’s the reason…in the last couple of months, I’ve been thrust into the role of “Bad Guy” by quite a large (to me) number of people in my life – directly and tangentially.
I have, quite literally, found myself now having zero contact with people I once cherished, because in the script of their life story, I committed some kind of offense that has led them to banish me completely.
The interesting part is that not one of these alleged offenses is actually true. Additionally, every last one of them has been levied against me under the guise of “What else would her motive be?” or “Why?”
I was accused of manipulating a loved one during a time of crisis just to spite a family member.
I allegedly provided emotional support to a friend because I wanted more from them than just friendship.
Ditto for my reasons for providing financial support to another friend – because I had a salacious ulterior motive apparently.
Most recently, I have learned I have maintained a professional relationship with an ex simply because I simply must still want to be with them – according to their current situationship person.
Man, I am really evil.
The interesting thing about me is that the idea of that much scheming and manipulating just seems like an awful lot of work.
I mean, really, how exhausting would it be to spend your life trying to figure out how to screw people over?
Believe it or not – and I know it can be difficult in this cynical world – there are actually people who just enjoy helping others.
Now, don’t get me wrong, of course there’s something in it for me. For me the answer to Why? is simply because I enjoy helping others. I enjoy the connections I have with people. I like being a support, offering advice when I can, and being a rock if needed. I have fun helping others become the best of themselves.
I help because I like helping.
Is this always a good thing? No. I have a habit of helping even when it’s to my detriment. That’s bad.
But what’s bothering me the most right this second is the fact that I feel the need to defend myself almost constantly about Why I’m doing the things I do.
That’s the problem.
I have to remind myself that I don’t have to justify my Why to anyone except me.
I do the things I do for my reasons, and I owe an explanation to precisely no one.
I know my motives are good, pure, and truly in the spirit of helping people I care about. Anyone who thinks otherwise can take a long walk off a short pier.
That stance, while admirable, is not always easy.
Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that sometimes the person I believed myself to be helping finds themselves in a position of being told to choose between me and the person making the accusations.
This breaks my heart.
Personally, I would never do the “It’s them or me” thing to anyone I actually cared about.
Yet, just today, I listened as a dear friend of a number of years was berated in a rather vile manner by someone who believes me to be of ill repute, and who called me every name in the book, accusing me of all kinds of despicable acts. That friend found themselves in the position of being told to choose. They tried valiantly not to make the choice, so I made it for them.
After trying to have a rational conversation with my accuser in vain, I did not respond in kind to the things I was called. I simply told my friend that my role is to support, not to stress. So, if my presence was causing that much conflict, it could be removed. When my friend was given the choice of their other person or me, I took away the burden of making that choice and said go forth and prosper. I’ll still be here if you need me.
Because obviously I’m a saint.
That’s not even remotely why. I did it because I don’t want to see my friend in pain. Period. I did it because they need to make the decisions that are best in their life, even if those decisions don’t include me.
Did it hurt? Hell yeah.
Would I do it again? You’re damn right.
Because I love my friends. I cherish them. I want them to be happy and to thrive. And if I am an impediment to their success in life, I gladly give them permission to say goodbye to me.
There’s a saying that if you love something, set it free. That’s what I do.
There is no point in trying to hold on to someone or something that doesn’t want to be in your life. It doesn’t matter if you feel outraged because your motives are being misconstrued – people who value you will know who and what you are and choose to have you around. People who don’t, well there’s not much you can do.
So my answer to all of the Whys? is simply because that’s who I am.
I’m not a saint. I’m not perfect. I’m just a person who is trying to live a good life with other people. Take me or leave me, but I gotta be me.