Giving well is a fine art. It’s giving the right thing, at the right time and place, for the right reason, to the right person. In today’s article, we’ll look at ways to give to ourselves and others in an empowered way that brings more JOY.
Our intention is the heart of what we give.
When we give … whether it’s our time, love, focus, money, gifts, etc., our intention is extremely important—often more important than what we physically give. In order to know our intention and give wisely, we can ask ourselves this question:
WHY do we want to give?
To know why is to know our intention. This “energetic gift within the gift” can deeply effect both us and the receiver. The best gifts are ones that are given purely because we would like for the receiver to experience JOY without any of our own “strings” of need, hope or expectations. This kind of gift is rare. To see if we have any “strings” attached to giving our time, money, gifts, etc., we can ask ourselves the following three questions.
WARNING: our answers may momentarily sting, but no one is watching and our new understanding will allow us to give and receive more joy.
Are we giving to get?
Sometimes, we give in hopes of getting something: friendship, clients, a favor, an introduction, a date, sex, attention, awards, etc. Giving with the intention of getting is not a gift, it is a “thing with strings,” it’s a request to the receiver to give back. Energetically, this “gift” feels like a debt and obligation to pay the giver, as soon as possible.
A better way …
If we would like to get something, the most courageous and empowered choice we can make is to humbly ask for what we want and ask how we may best give back.
Are we giving to make amends?
As an empowerment coach, I’ve worked with people in all walks of life. In my experience, some of the “biggest” givers desperately seek to “do good” to “make up” for the “bad” they’d done. In these cases, their “gifts” to charities, etc. are actually ways to make themselves feel better and try to “right their wrong.”
A better way …
When we “mess up,” nothing we do or give will change that. From this point forward, the best gift we can give to ourselves and others is to forgive ourselves, change our behavior and apologize.
Are we giving in martyrdom?
Sometimes, givers may give gifts of their time and money, knowing that they will get hurt and/or hassled. They may also tell others of the pain and suffering they willingly endure in order to “give.” What they get from this “giving” is the attention of pity, compliments and reassurance from listeners.
A better way …
Give to those who wish to receive. And, give to ourselves, in ways that honor our best health and happiness.
Givers who get are prone to addiction.
Working to inspire people to be empowered and kick their nasty habits to the curb, I’ve noticed something striking about “givers who get.” When givers give to get happy, feel appreciated, feel “better” or to get something—and don’t get it, they might react in a variety of negative ways. They may make biting remarks. They may act coldly, pull away or say something that begs the receiver to say something complementary. If they don’t get their “atta girl/boy” fix from the receiver, they may feel worthless, unloved, depressed, angry and seek reassurance from another source … food, drugs, sex, thrill-seeking, escape, etc.
When we are aware of our intentions to “get,” the healthiest choice we can make is to give ourselves what we truly seek (love, attention, comfort, etc.) instead of looking to get from others. If we don’t feel worthy to give ourselves that much, or receive that much from Life, here’s a link to another free article on forgiving ourselves http://www.willyou.guru/forgiving-ourselves/
Although I was not conscious of it at the time, when I was deeply hurting, I tried to give others happiness, because happiness seemed impossible for me. Giving my time, energy and resources to those I deemed “less fortunate,” seemed constructive, productive and helpful—instead of drowning in pity or feeling overwhelmed and unable to change my life. “At least I could brighten someone else’s life, even if only for a moment,” I thought. Seeing others’ joy gave me a feeling of happiness. I felt that I made a good choice to give, instead of being destructive or falling into my old traps of addiction to food or work. Although this was a step toward artful giving, it was a long way from perfect. I did not yet know how to give to myself or how to receive the goodness that life offered.
What kind of giver are you?
If you’ve been reading this article and discovering that you may be giving with the hope of getting, take a momet to appreciate and compliment yourself for what you have done WELL, and simply be aware of your intentions in the future. If you need love, praise, affection, attention or appreciation, you can learn to give that gift to YOURSELF first!
What say ye?
Could you or someone you know be a better giver? Please share your thoughts that we may grow in strength and willpower together …
Always with love,
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