The Love I Give to My Family and Friends Is Being Taken for Granted



To my friends and family, I go out of my way to always be there for them. In recent times, I have noticed that my loved ones are taking my love for granted and abusing it. I am trying to practice unconditional love but I have been told that self-love and boundaries are also important. I am confused. How can my love be unconditional if I prioritize my mental and emotional well-being before others? I feel like I am being dishonest in the relationship if I don’t give all my energy to it.

—Pavithra, USA


Dear Pavithra,

These issues are always a question of: “Honestly speaking, where am I right now, how far can I go with where am? And where does it become too much and is counter-productive?”

Most of us mortals have limits and we need to understand where they are and respect them. That is your task in wisdom, in self-analysis. How far can you go while your soul still smiles, as you forget yourself in loving? And where is the situation rather like a drowning person trying to help another drowning person?

The second important point is this: if your family is taking your love for granted and is even abusing it, for their sake it would be good to ponder the situation wisely. The love you are given is sacred, it is an offering of the Divine. I just read this from Yogananda, see how beautiful it is: “Nothing is more sacred than the unconditional sympathy of woman toward man.”

If your friends and family treat your sacred love poorly, it is bad karma for them. So see how you can communicate your discomfort, or your perception, and if communicating doesn’t work, see what practical measures do work. Maybe you can share your love a bit more cautiously, to those who really appreciate it. But try communication first.

So, it is all a journey of growth, balance, and wisdom.

May God bless you with wise understanding,