Sunday, January 2, 2011

Is Your Love Bank Empty?

I was still living at home when I was 18 and got my first office job.  I was earning about $120.00 a week.  Rather than charge me rent, my dad insisted that I deposit $40.00 from every single paycheck into a savings account.  He demanded to see my bank book each Friday.  I didn't want to do this. All of a sudden I had money and I wanted to spend it on fun things, like dinners out, fancy clothes, a really nice car, and nights out on the town with friends.  However, I obediently did as he said and in one year, I had saved over $2,000.00.  Each year I was at that job, I got a raise and was able to put even more into my savings account. This wasn't really all that difficult to do.  I was surviving just fine and very comfortably on the money I had without the annual increases. A couple of years later, after faithfully depositing a portion of my paycheck into the bank each week, I had about $10,000 saved. I was so excited about this so I kept going.  I have dipped into this account occasionally.  I prefer to pay cash for major purchases rather than take out loans or buy things on credit.  Right now, I am not earning as much income as I used to, and I have had some huge expenses over the past couple of years that I didn't expect. I have been making withdrawals from my saving account more often lately.  I keep putting money back in every chance I get. This is my cushion, my retirement.  I have no husband, no man to rely on to support me in my old age.  This is all I've got in the world and I am not about to lose it, waste it, or spend it foolishly.  I have the security of knowing it's there when I need it and it will carry me into the future when I am old and can no longer work or earn an income.

This is not a lesson about saving money, however, I sincerely hope each of you does have some kind of security when when times get tough, if you find yourself without a job, or no longer able to work. If you don't have this, I highly suggest you start putting aside a little bit of money right now.  Even $20.00 a week adds up if you just leave it alone and let it grow.  It will just keep growing and will be there when and if you need it.

Every single person has a love bank deep within their heart.  If you are in a relationship, you share a love bank in which each of you should be making regular deposits all the time. The balance just keeps growing and growing, the interest compounds and when things get rough, you make withdrawals together in order to keep going.  There might be times just one of you needs to make a withdrawal, and that's ok.  You know there is something there for you and enough left over for the other person or for both of you.  As long as each of you are making regular deposits, this account will never be empty, no matter how much you take. The evidence of a true healthy, loving relationship is a big, fat love bank that never runs out.

What happens when you discover you are the only one contributing to this love bank? Day after day, you faithfully make your deposits and don't ever make a withdrawal.  You are happy, confident, secure and you know it's all there should you need it but so far you haven't needed to take a thing.  You never check the balance. You just assume it's all there and that your partner has been making regular deposits as well. But then a crisis hits. It's time to dip into that account and when you do, there is nothing there. Your partner has never made a deposit, in fact, everything you have been putting in over time, is gone.  He or she kept taking and taking without ever replenishing and now you have a zero balance. Now what? You are empty, the love you need  is not there for you, and all the security you thought you had is gone. It was never there to begin with. It will take time, energy, and great sacrifice to build up that account again--time and energy you might not have now because you are so emotionally depleted.

We balance our checkbooks and go over our bank statements each month.  Hopefully, if we see our balance is getting low, we cut back on certain things. We eat out a little less often, put off buying a new pair of boots until the following month, and take a little more from our weekly paycheck and save it.  If we don't do this, we will be unable to pay our bills.  We could be homeless and penniless in the blink of an eye. It happens all the time, especially in this economy.  It's crucial that we keep checking and balancing our love bank the same way.  When you see the balance is getting low, then you need to put more in and demand that your partner do the same.  If they are not willing to do this and are perfectly content with you making all the deposits so they can keep withdrawing until there is nothing left for either of you, this is not a good sign. I am not just talking about love relationships here. Every partnership, friendship, or love affair we have should  be constantly growing because both parties are giving, taking and investing. If this is not the case, you must walk away before you are completely destroyed.

It is more blessed to give than to receive, however, it is a law of nature that the more we give, the more we get.  If this is not the case for you, perhaps you are investing everything you've got in the wrong person or to the wrong cause. I pray this year, you would take the time to pour over every relationship you have and check your balances.  If there is more you can give, give it.  If someone else needs to give, insist they do the same.  If your accounts are empty, you alone need to decide whether or not your are willing to do the work to rebuild them again.  You must evaluate which ones are worth re-investing in and and which are not.  Drop the dead weight and all the accounts that do not yield returns.  Invest in yourself for awhile and don't give your love away again until you find the one who shares your values, ideas, and passion for life.  This is not being selfish, this is taking care of YOU.  You need to love yourself completely before you can ever love anyone else or before they can truly love you back.

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

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