"What does that mean and why should I give at all? I don't have any money to give away. Money's tight these days. Haven't you been listening to the news?"
It's interesting that when we think about giving, we think we have to dig into our wallets and give someone our hard earned cold cash. Cash is nice and it is important to share our abundance; however, that is not the type of giving I am talking about.
There is something interesting about us humans -- we enjoy the process of giving. It makes us feel good. In fact, the act of giving and receiving is a core part of life on a very basic level. Each time we inhale we receive and each time we exhale we give. If we just received and didn't give, we would die. In the breathing analogy, a natural balance is maintained for life and health to be present. The same is true out here in the world. It's important to maintain a balance between our giving and receiving.
We also have let go of what we give. However, can you imagine trying to hold onto your last exhale? The universe does not hold on either as it gives us our next breath. There's a continuous process of letting go on both sides of the equation.
Do you hold onto your giving? Are you afraid to receive from someone because they hold onto their giving? Unfortunately, most people don't know how to let go. So, let's explore the actual process of giving and receiving.
When you receive something from someone your job is just to receive it. When you receive it, it's nice to be polite and say, "Thank you." Then, after you receive it, I would encourage you to cut any strings the person might have connected to their giving. Just put the item or compliment aside for a while and claim it. It's now yours. At this point, you can cherish it forever, give it away, trash it, sell it, or use it however you choose to use it. It's yours.
The person who gave you the item or the compliment might have expectations that you now owe them something. They might want you to clean out their closet. You just might love cleaning out closets and it's something you would love to do, so go ahead and have fun. However, you're not required to give back. When you received the item or compliment you completed the action for the giver. If you didn't receive the gift, the giver would have felt cheated, insulted or slighted some way. "How dare you not take my gift?" Or, "There must be something wrong with me if you don't want to receive a gift from me." It's important to receive and your receiving completes the action.
When you give, it's important to give freely out of your overflow. When we give out of our overflow, we usually don't have any expectations. The gift is just given freely. However, if we do not give out of our overflow and give out of our essence, we are tired and yet, we are still giving, then we do have expectations. And, rarely are our expectations fulfilled. When we give out of our essence we give with strings attached and we often end up walking away from the situation feeling resentful and bitter.
Being aware of staying balanced in our giving and not giving too much, helps keep us in a loving and centered place.
Okay, so now you're balanced in your giving and receiving, you're not holding onto your gift, you're not having unrealistic expectations, and you're not building up resentments. So what do you give -- if you're not giving money?
How about giving your loving, your peace, your joy, your smile, your compliments, your time, your words of appreciation, your touch, your sharing and your caring. And give generously! The act of giving becomes your reward. Best of all, your life will be joy-filled and full.