The Story of Alissa & Alexander

When Alissa and Alexander met it was inevitable that they would be attracted to each other, not because of what they had in common, because they did have a lot to share, but because of their stark differences. Alissa had been deeply hurt in her past. And it had happened over and over again. The kind, giving nature that drew so many to her also made her the ultimate victim. She could never understand why, when she gave so much, why others seemed never to give back, but only to take more. The more she gave, the less she got in return. She didn't realize that she was giving what she wanted, but not necessarily what the others wanted or needed. That there is an art to true giving that means giving of oneself, not for oneself. And so she continued seeking those who would accept what she had to give, and never looked into herself for what she wanted. Or at least she was afraid to admit what she really wanted.

Then Alexander came along. Alexander had been hurt in his past, too. But his reaction to his pain was much different. He had become a master taker, and knew how to take advantage of a situation, make even the negative work to his benefit. This was not a bad thing, he told himself. "This is capitalizing on opportunity. And nobody with any sense would let me take something they want to keep." He saw taking as a game, a challenge. How long could he take, how much could he get, without crossing the line of trust from the other person. But Alexander hadn't found out yet that there is an art to taking and accepting what others offer of themselves, and that there is no limit to what people will give, if they feel those gifts are cherished. And if he opened himself to accept what is offered, there would be no need to take, and he would receive more than he ever imagined trying to take.

When Alissa and Alexander began their relationship, they fell into their old patterns, Alissa giving relentlessly, Alexander taking what he wanted, feeling justified in it since Alissa never held back. In fact, her ability to give so freely considering the pain of her past touched him, and endeared her to him over time. In fact, he soon felt guilty for taking, but like an addict, continued in the spiral of guilt-laden obsession, because what she gave never truly satisfied him, because it wasn't what he really wanted. Alissa was getting frustrated, because, again, although she loved giving to Alexander, what she gave never seemed enough. But Alexander was so kind to her, and seemed to want so much from her - it could only mean he cared deeply enough to be willing to share his needs with her so freely, right?

One day they were getting ready to take a train trip - running late, and in a hurry, with much luggage and rushing about, because they were about to leave their past, and hurry into their future. Of course Alexander blamed Alissa for their rush and was cruel to her. Alissa thought it was Alexander's fault, and the frustration came to a head, and Alissa said, in a fit of petulance, "why do you hurt me when I give you so much!" And Alexander replied back, "but I never asked for anything!"

And it seemed, at that moment, so clear to each of them, that both were so right, and so wrong. So they started to talk, really talk, about what they wanted from each other, and what they were able to give to each other, and what they could try to give, if asked, and what they would be able to accept, when given. And now, Alissa gives without need, and Alexander receives without desire, and both have become freer than ever in their lives to truly share in the love of another person.