Three things not trying to be everything for others does for me:
It allows me to take care of myself
It allows me to love myself
And once I love myself, it allows me to love others unconditionally
Not loving myself, my love for any other was always qualified. My son respected me, and I loved him. My wife showed me affection, and I loved her. When the tree shaded me from the harsh sun, I loved it.
But when I did not see love for me, I did not know how to react except to withhold love for others. And since I could not make everything all right, I could not love myself either, and I refused to allow that I also needed and deserved to love myself.
Loving others, learning to unconditionally love others, was hard. Although I had thought that it meant just giving, I found that I could not give in that manner without also opening up myself to receive. So, it wasn’t the giving at all. I found, as I had always expected, that I had an unlimited supply of love to hand out. I was astonished that others would give it back.
I cannot open my hand to give to you without also opening my arms to receive.