Most of the times I am asked “Pablo, could you give me a ride?”, “Can you give me a cigarette?” or sometimes my friends and I are planning to eat in a restaurant and one of them says “I pass, I don’t have any money”, so I say “I invite you. Let’s go”.
My current status since last December is: unemployed. So, you can realize that the money you get after you are fired (unemployment insurance and payment of balance) is not forever. Plus I haven’t found a new job.
I kind of know that I can live the way I’ve been living since I started working for about 3-4 more months, but the money I have is going to be gone soon.
This situation has led me to fear. Fear of not having everything I have until now, for instance, gas for my car, cigarettes everyday, buy junk food every time I want, etc.
Then, I thought “I have always helped my friends when I have the chance to do it. Will they do the same for me if someday I have no money?”
After that, I thought “Well, if I am inviting my friends when they do not have money, I am not doing it expecting something in return, but probably they are too used to having me inviting/helping them”.
So, last night I was in a friend’s house with some other guys and one of my friends wanted to buy something. It was 2am and the place he was asking me to go, according to my knowledge, it’s kind of dangerous.
This was the chance to test my friends' reactions when deciding not to help them.
They said “If we pay the gas, could you give us a ride and then we all come back here again and continue having fun?”
I said: No
I realized that they didn’t accept my answer and started to say stuff in order to persuade me. They continued insisting. Then kidding about it. Finally one of them (who was a guy that I’d just met) said: Why “no”?
It was interesting to hear what I said, because I hadn’t prepared any speech. It was just me, expressing myself in that context.
I said: You see, I always place other people’s needs before mine and this time I say NO. It’s not that I am a selfish guy or anything like that. I don’t like talking about this, because I would have to start naming the things I have done for all of my friends when I invite them, but that’s not what I really want to do. First, I don’t want to drive. I’ve just got here and if I stand up and leave, will be towards my house to sleep. Second, I don’t want to do it and that’s the reason that beats down all the other possible reasons I might say.
Then, they continued saying jokes about it and trying to persuade me. I didn’t like that situation and it was cool for me to realize how people easily accepts “yes” but when for some reason you say “no” it’s like the end of the world for them and they don’t accept it.
Finally, one of my friends said: Pablo, you are unwavering/unbreakable and cutting when you say “no”. - Which made me feel good.
But, I would like to refer to a sentence I mentioned when I was explaining why I said “no”.
I said “I always place other people’s needs before mine”. To be honest, that decision contains Fear, because if some of those guys who don’t have money wouldn’t go with us, I would perceive it as "we are incomplete" and that we will get bored, without realizing that I am not really “helping” someone when I always invite them, because those guys usually spend their money in other stuff, so when they say that they don’t have any money it’s like they express that they want to go with us to a restaurant (for instance) but then they say "the idea sounds cool, but...I don't have any money. Go on your own guys, I will be just here (in a sad voice tonality). Have fun", and then when we say "we invite you", they always accept it.
After experiencing the same situation a couple of times, I kind of see that it’s all really "fake". Like, I don’t even see it natural when I listen to their excuses, because if you don’t really want someone to spend their money on you and you know that they will do it anyways, you just realize “I don’t have money. This dudes have invited me many times. I’m not going to accept it and thus, I will be helping them save money”.
So - Last night’s situation got me thinking that there are some people that are used to be helped by others all the time. But, when you can’t help them, they insist. Therefore, as I consider them very fun/nice people to be with, it’s like I think “It doesn’t matter if they don’t have money, what’s more important it’s their presence”. Which is true, but then you will start developing a relationship based on the same pattens, like a tacit agreement = "They want to go to a restaurant. I apparently don't have any money, because I waste it on drugs and alcohol, but it doesn't matter, because they will invite me to eat anyways, because they always do and they always will".
Now - I realize that last night at least they kind of placed themselves in my shoes, because they were offering me to pay for gas if I was to give them a ride. But, what I didn’t like was that they insisted, because apparently they had considered “helping” me with some money for gas, but they couldn’t just understand why I didn’t want to do it. - As I mentioned before, the place we had to go was dangerous and I didn’t want to compromise myself or them. So, this time my decision had nothing to do with money.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to "help" other people with my money when I invite them to go out, eat or share something because I fear I might get bored if they don’t go with me/my other friends.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to refuse to see that my help is based on fear and self-interest when I invite other beings to hang out with me.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that the way I behave with other beings is building a relationship, therefore, a relationship based on fear and self-interest.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to just place other people’s needs before mine without seeing myself first in self-honesty and question myself why I am doing that.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear not having more money and thus, not being able to do all I have been doing since I started with my first job.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think “will my friends help me the way I do if someday I have no money?”.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to expect that my friends will do for me the same I do for them in the future by the time I won’t have more money due to my current situation.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become in “testing my friends” mode because as I know I won’t have money in a few months more, I am more aware of my money and how they behave with me.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear experiencing regret when I picture myself in the future having no money and my friends letting me be alone.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to picture my behavior in the future when I won’t have more money, seeing myself with self-pity, because I won’t be able to do the same stuff I am able to due now while I still have some money saved after I got fired.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that my existence/expression as a human being won’t be the same if I don’t have money.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that I have built the way I live now and as I built it using money, I can deconstructed and build a new one adapting myself.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be blind with the fear of not having money instead of looking for new ways in which I can make money to survive.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to live at the limit, expecting the moment when I end up with no money to start moving without taking advantage of my present and moving myself now.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be more focused on the future instead of seeing my present in time and space.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to help others without even being able to help myself.
When and as I see myself about to “help” someone with my money, I stop and breathe. I see, realize and understand that there is a reason why I am doing what I am doing and that I have to place that reason in front of me and see it in self-honesty and realize if I am really going to “help” or just really building a relationship based on fear and self-interest.
I commit myself to stop and breathe when I am about to “help” someone with my money, in order to see in self-honesty why I am going to do that, so I will make sure that I am going to really “help” instead of hiding behind self-interest and fear.
When and as I see myself thinking that if some of my friends is not going with us everything will be boring, I stop and breathe. I see, realize and understand that I am just inviting someone because I fear getting bored as if it was my friends’ responsibility to keep me entertained = Me paying them for fun because I fear getting bored.
I commit myself to do what I do on my own and just accept the current moment as it comes without depending on others to be entertained/happy.
When and as I see myself reacting with fear due to my current situation and seeing myself with no money in the future, I stop and breathe. I realize that I am not enjoying my current experience here, because all I am doing is based on fear. Fear of not having more money.
I commit myself to stop and breathe when I start thinking about the future wherein I see myself with no money, in order to bring myself back here and see what I can do now to start moving instead of waiting for that moment to come.
When and as I see myself testing my friends and thinking if they would help me in the future as I have helped them until now, I stop and breathe. I see, realize and understand that they don’t have any responsibility towards me and that I can’t accept and allow myself to depend on them and expect their charity in the future, because I have to take self-responsibility for me first and be able to only depend on myself.
I commit myself to stop the thoughts and imagination where I see myself in self-pity and expecting my friends to help me the way I have helped them with my money so far in order to focus on myself and move towards a solution instead of remaining in fear.