No one has ever become poor by giving‘ – Anne Frank
Many of us feel pretty good about giving, I’d say a lot of us really enjoy giving. To be giving and kind, is part of our human makeup, we are generally wired to be kind. Yet modern life, how we were brought up, and what self-beliefs we have taken on as our truths, may all have caused some internal confusion about what the act of giving really involves. The act of giving is not only about ‘gifting’, and it is not only reserved for people we know and love. Rather, giving is about selflessly tuning into someone else’s needs, and being the facilitator of bringing that which is desired into their life experience, without the attachment of receiving praise or something in return.
Giving to people we don’t know, and doing this on a regular basis, deepens our experience and understanding of compassion, cooperation and kindness. All characteristics which are natural traits of a balanced human being, and all aspects many of us yearn to express more freely. Our community and our world greatly benefits when we open up our sense of giving to include all beings around us, as well as our loved ones. Really, it is crucial to our long term well-being to be of service and to get consciously involved when it is obvious to us that someone else is in need of help or assistance. Acts as simple as paying for someone’s coffee who is short on cash, picking up something that someone dropped or helping someone with their groceries to their car, can boost our sense of well-being, caring, and being cared for, in a split second. How meaningful is that. In a simple selfless act of giving, we can change the well-being in our own life as well as the receiver’s, in a split second. The act of giving initiates a butterfly effect, and results in a wave of passing the giving forward. Giving, creates a culture of cooperation among us.
In order for the ‘act of giving’ to exist, we also depend on the ‘act of receiving’. Receiving is just as important as giving. However for some reason, the act of receiving is not as easy for some of us as it is to give. If we are not able to receive as wholeheartedly as we give, an imbalance in the flow of energy results, which eventually stifles the whole cycle of generosity. It seems like many of us feel at some level that we do not need to be on the receiving end of giving, or we are not worthy to receive unconditionally from others. Here is the twist though, if we are not capable of receiving as unconditionally as we are giving, we are essentially not allowing people in our World to love and care for us either. In fact, there may even be a sense of self-love deprivation going on. One could question how unconditionally one can essentially give, when giving from a place of self-love deprivation, or if perhaps the intention of giving from this place almost automatically has a sense of expectancy to get something back. Could it be even that when giving from a place of self-love deprivation, that giving may well not be unconditional.
Love and kindness directed at us from the world is not dangerous in any shape or form, and logically we all know this! Yet, receiving may feel a bit awkward at first if we are not used to allowing ourselves to be worthy of the attention. Love and kindness is what holds us all together, and it is essentially what makes life worth living. When we find it harder to receive than to give, a good place to start is to simply accept next time someone desires to give, whether it be a compliment, a gesture or a thing. As we allow ourselves to receive, we expand energetically and our defenses automatically come down, and a bit of transformational magic simply happens.
There is a Universal law embedded in the act of giving and receiving, and that is, when we are of service to the World and when we are open to love and kindness from those around us, this way of being puts us in a position of having our own desires and wishes granted. This is so, as when we desire something and at the same time, are selflessly capable of facilitating desires and wishes for others, even if they are small ones, we are being in alignment to receiving that which we desire as well. We are doing to others, without thought, what we essentially desire to have done to us (without the calculated intention), and simply surrender to the act. When we allow the act of giving and receiving flow freely between us and our World, we are at a higher state of being energetically, we feel good and are happier and those we interact with feel better too. When we are in a state of happiness and feeling good, good things happen, it is simply how the cookie crumbles. As we remove any preconceived ideas or perceptions that we may have attached to giving and receiving, and simply allow these two behaviours become part of our natural state of being, the World that we live in changes for the better instantaneously.
A great practice that I have found helpful, is getting into the habit of asking yourself ‘how can I be of service today’, and open yourself up for that which will come in return.