As I begin my first creative brainstorm for this topic, Im reminded that a key to unblocking creativity is a proper state of mind. I think about the state of mind we are in when we give.
Our intentions… Do we give in order to get something back? “Don’t give back, just give.” I’m reminded of that quote but don’t know who it’s by. Have you heard it before?
Do we give out of obligation or guilt? Do we give cause we believe its the right thing to do but inside don’t truly want to give? When giving, most may think of material or monetary gifts. It can often be the easiest way to give. Giving time and energy may be viewed as more valuable. Giving expertise and guidance is another form of giving. Or, it can be as simple as giving a genuine compliment or a caring smile.
Whatever the form of giving may be, a key factor for the fulfillment of the person giving is rooted in their intentions. Is it out of true sincerity or some other alterior motive? Inner peace through giving only comes from the former. Expectation is released and this is giving in its purest form. To expect something back, even in the form of praise, is to miss the true essence.
When we release the wanting of control, the wanting of praise in ego, wanting of approval and wanting of reciprocation, we totally align ourselves with a higher form of consciousness and the path to true happiness – or inner peace. We are all connected through natural law, thus what we do unto others we do unto ourselves.
Some suggest that we must have in order to give. That is, we cannot give what we don’t have. While true in a material sense, why not give what we wish to receive? Simple acts of kindness and compassion. A smile to a neighbor. By giving we will receive. The mistake is made when we expect to receive from the same person we gave to. Expectation is ego based and pulls us away from inner peace.
We’ve all heard stories or know someone who seem to “have it all” and yet are unhappy and unfulfilled. I personally know someone who is very accomplished, intelligent and financially wealthy from a young age. Yet he only felt truly fulfilled when seeing how much he added value to other people’s lives from giving and caring. He was constantly surrounded by people always trying to take from him, yet he always gave. Giving to people who try to take isnt fulfilling because again, it’s based on guilt, obligation, scarcity, and ego. Giving to people and causes he wanted to help gave him a deep sense of happiness that money and accomplishments didnt measure up to.
What do we have possessions, expertise, talent and resources for if not to share them with others? Even happiness is best when shared with someone.
Its important that we are also great receivers. By receiving well we allow the universe to bring us what we desire. It’s an act of self acceptance and deservingness. By saying “no” to things we block that flow of abundance, telling the universe that you don’t want that, essentially revealing some un-forgiveness you may be holding on to. By responding “no” to others we are saying “no” to ourselves.
Holidays, birthdays, and various celebrations are too often tied with expectations and obligations. This only adds stress and takes the joy away. People often attend functions and give out of their comfort zone out of obligation cause deep inside they want people to reciprocate, attend their functions, and give something back eventually. They cycle of obligation and guilt continues and the true essence of the celebration is lost.
When giving is not aligned with our true values or true heart’s desires there is emptiness in place of fulfillment. Many times that emptiness turns into resentment. Resentment then poisons our relationships and moves us further from happiness.
Giving under these conditions is not truly giving. Its a negotiation. Expectations and obligation are tied to this also. When expectation is attached we invite disappointment and give up our power to be happy to an external source.
By identifying ego based intentions from spiritually based intentions we can identify causes of our inner peace, or lack thereof. Focus on what makes you happy and intend your giving based on that…