Heart Opening Moments

BLOG of a Spiritual Stripper

Of Beer and Water

happy beer

“To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” – Homer Simpson, The Simpsons (Thanks to Jokers ™ http://angbuhayngis.blogspot.com/)

I’m not a simple person. I analyze. I won’t let go. Sometimes I even drive myself and other people nuts. I must come up with a solution to a problematic situation or else my mind will never rest. This is me. Accept it.

Here’s the story of beer and water. A straightforward story somehow turned into a complex way for me to change my perspective on life.

On Saturday after our vigorous aikido test, a bunch of us went out to celebrate with pizza and beer. I naturally took on the responsibility of getting beer for everyone at the table. After paid for a large pitcher and got four glasses, my hands were full. The crowd bumped into me as I struggled to bring our California Honey™ to the table. “I can finally relax now,” I thought to myself. “Is there WATER?” someone asked. “OH! We need another glass!” another person requested. Fine. I felt drops of sweat on my forehead as I pushed myself through the crowd back to the counter and returned with several water cups and another glass. The background music pounded louder as my muscles got even sorer. “Finally my bottom can touch the seat,” I thought to myself as I carefully poured beer into everyone’s glass. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed the friend near me got water for himself as he gingerly enjoyed the hydration. I looked around and noticed all the other water cups were empty and I desperately needed a sip of purity. “Did you get water for us too?” I asked as I gazed into the empty cups. Silence. “Could you please get the rest of us some water too?” I demanded with frustration. Unwillingly, he stood up and dragged himself to bring several more cups of water back to the table.

That was the story of beer and water. A straightforward story left me feeling uneasy for the next few days. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t help but feel all the uncomfortableness came after the story of beer and water. I just couldn’t let it go.

What really happened there? My ego could make up a bunch of judgements about the “fact” that he is lazy, inconsiderate and he should be able to use the cups I brought to bring the rest of us water as he filled his own damn cup. I could keep on being mad.  I could ask myself why wouldn’t someone simply repay my kindness. He might be tired but we were all tired. It is unfair that I help out everyone else and no one helps me back.

WAIT! Break… My egoic thinking worsened the situation and I must change my own god damn mind to be in balance again.

Think again. What really happened there? Deep down behind the incident is my belief that if I did something nice someone else should meet me half way. So if I brought his cup and poured his beer then the least he can do is to bring me water along with his. But life doesn’t work that way. It is extremely unfair of me to make such a demand on him. It is unkind to twist his arm and force him to be kind to me. It is my choice to be kind. I must not expect appreciation nor reciprocation in return. Acts of kindness with expectations would only set me up for more disappointments. In order to regain my own balance without needy requests I must be able to live as an expression of kindness and joy. My life would be lighter and less complicated if I lived without expectations. I give because I want to, not because I might be appreciated or praised. In order to let go my discomfort for blame, I myself must live in such a way to expect no payment. My goal is not to give to receive, I give to give, I love to love. It is pure – not contaminated with a hidden agenda. If any returned kindness is received, it is a surprise, it is a gift. This way is a much happier way to live.

I know some people would never let such a small everyday incident bother them. I am not a simple person. I don’t turn away. I think. A lot. This is me. I am complicated. Like or not I analyze. I won’t let go until I find a happier solution to my problem. Cheers. I love who I am and I will do anything I can to change the behavior within me so I will never hurt someone else.  After lots of beer and water, I am thankful for my new found insight. Oh god, I certainly hope he will accept my apologies…

April 20, 2011 - Posted by | Choices, Emotional Freedom, Inner Growth | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. This is something I’ve noticed some women do that has always made me uncomfortable: offer some act of kindness… and then act hurt. Earliest in life, it just confused me. I came to the conclusion later on that women have some kind of complex code by which apparent acts of kindness are actually a unilateral demand for a mutual trade… and for a time came to resent and avoid female acts of kindness. In particular, I hated seeing the women in my life, my mother, my sister, and for a time, my wife (ex), suffer because of this, being caught in a vicious cycle of mutual “kindness.” It makes me happy to see yourself liberating yourself from this.

    Of course, we can’t always have that magnanimous attitude… but do you know what I do when I’m at my worst and starting to get the feeling my acts are unappreciated and unrewarded? I believe there is a God who keeps an accounting of such things, and remind myself that, one way or another, it will all be repaid, somehow, someday. It is not mine to know the means by which this will occur.

    At my best, a smile is reward enough. But Flo, if you ever find your hands so full, your muscles so worn, that a task of kindness is actually a physical challenge (whether literal or metaphorical)… don’t be afraid to ask for help. 🙂

    Comment by D.A. Sawyer | April 20, 2011 | Reply

    • ha ha, love it. We both analyze A LOT! I see the demanding attitude in my mother. She doesn’t mean to do it but it comes from so much training from those came before her. I see it in my culture as well – Chinese people tend to give “gifts” back and forth as obligations and not pure gifts. It really annoys me.

      Thank you for sharing what you see in women and I am glad that I’m breaking out of the cycle.

      AND I happily report, he did accept my apologies!

      Comment by Flo Li | April 20, 2011 | Reply

  2. I’ll add that Chinese (or any similar culture) people tend to follow these “rules and regulations” to the dot without quite understand why they are there. Thus disregarding/warping the original intent.

    From a personal perspective, if I that man I honestly would not have taken offense to you “request”, seeing as how I would have been inconsiderate. And I’ll agreed with DA Sawyer, I too have noticed that with a number of women. I too will agree with his assessment.

    Comment by Accidental Aikidoist | April 20, 2011 | Reply

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