Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Fine Art of Giving and Receiving

Do you remember the old book title, Women Who Love Too Much? Well, I never read that book because the title didn't work for me. I knew it wasn't possible to love too much, since our highest and most precious nature is to love and to give and receive freely. But I understood the author's intention. It was a warning about giving of ourselves indiscriminately, compulsively, for the wrong reasons, or to people who didn't want our "love."

Let me ask you this Are you happy with your current experience of giving and receiving? Are you able to give freely without feeling resentful or depleted? Are you able to receive freely without feeling uncomfortable (or others calling you selfish)?

This giving and receiving business is more complicated than you might think, or should I say our egos complicate the simple, natural, and logical process of being in the flow of circulation. The ego has a million tricks up it's sleeve to ensure that we get our human needs met, or that we deny ourselves what we need if we deem ourselves unworthy.

The way I see it, when you give anything (love, money, time, support) freely and with no strings attached, you feel great. If you don't feel great, it means you gave for the wrong reason, or you gave something that wasn't yours to give, or perhaps you gave to someone who clearly didn't want it. When you give from any place other than your heart or Higher Self, there are bound to be consequences.

For instance, many people are in the habit of giving to get. They give love so that someone will love them back. They give gifts or money out of guilt, or to buy someone's affection or a favor, or as a way of feeling like a worthwhile person to have around. Ultimately, this kind of giving is controlling and manipulative, even if unintended. The same can be said for it's flip side, withholding (which is what we do when our giving doesn't "work," or when we want to punish someone for not giving us what we wanted).

And then there's receiving, which is like giving in that there are lower qualities of it as well as higher qualities. Pure receiving is just the flip side of genuine giving, because when we give freely and with love, we receive that love back instantaneously---not necessarily from the recipient, but from the very joy of our own giving. Giving also happens to create the perfect conditions for abundant receiving from the outside.

The Law of Circulation says that true giving and receiving are part of the same flow.They can't really be separated. You can't truly enjoy giving if you don't know how to receive. And you can't enjoy the full benefits of receiving if you don't know how to give. (Regardless of how it looks, being selfish is actually a drag.)

So where are you in all this? This week, I ask you to notice where your giving and receiving feel pure and joyful, and where they don't. You may notice a general pattern, or that you have a specific area of concern, such as with the flow of money or love. Being honest about where you are can really open the doors to positive change.

Have a beautiful week.