This blog is inspired from my FB video blog for my book:
THE AWAKENED FAMILY: A Revolution in Parenting
You can see the video replay here:
Let’s keep in mind that my friend is not the norm. I don’t believe every single person out there would have reacted in the same way she did. In fact, I strongly believe that for every person who cares, like she did, there are as many who don’t.
And this is the difference between those who choose to live awakened lives and those who don’t. Those that choose the path of consciousness care about things like their word and their commitments. What they put “out there” in the Universe, matters. It matters a great deal.
Why does it matter you might ask? It matters because they understand that there is a reciprocal relationship between the things we put out, as in “give” to the Universe and what we receive back. If our “giving” is not clear, consistent and committed, then what we receive back will not be either.
Everything in life is based on an equitable exchange of energy. It may not feel equitable to our naked eye, but it is. It all eventually evens out in the grand scheme of things. When the exchange of energy is clear and committed, then every party in the relationship benefits. Of course, this can happen best when each person is conscious of the energy they bring to the equation.
Let’s break down what this equation of giving and receiving really means.
There are many who believe that giving and receiving are two separate things. This is highly erroneous. A downright delusion. Giving and receiving are in fact, one and the same thing. They are literally the same act.
I can just hear your confusion whirring. You might have never heard of such a thing. You may even feel indignant as when you have “given” to another, you feel as if you have definitely “given” – in that, there was no receiving occurring, only giving.
It is because we believe that giving and receiving are two separate acts that we experience things like caregiver burnout. You have probably experienced this yourself. It occurs because the caregiver feels as if all they do is give of themselves and receive nothing back in return. Quite naturally, with such an attitude, one feels completely sucked dry of resources at the end of the day.
What if we re-hauled our entire way of looking at the equation of giving and receiving. What if we felt we actually were the receivers when we were participating in the act of giving? How would that feel?
Let me explain.
When I was a therapist in my twenties, I consistently experienced burn out. I was always exhausted, cranky and eventually, resentful. I began to loathe those I was counseling and began to see them as energy-suckers. I became gloomy and irritable.
Until it all changed, in one sudden swoop of insight.
I realized that I had created an entire movie in my head where I was the undying martyr and victim of the story. Much like my mother and the women I was raised with, I too saw myself as a “giver” – and then of course, as the supreme martyr. Truth be told, there was a huge payoff to feeling like this. It evoked sympathy from my loved ones and allowed me to place myself on a pedestal of self-sacrifice and saintliness. I loved it…and I hated it. I was trapped. I couldn’t get out of the cycle.
It was only when I saw how I had created this movie based on an ancestral script that I could break free from it. I saw that I was simply regurgitating an old pattern and just following how I saw other women in my family act. They gave, gave and gave some more and crumbled into a heap of exhaustion at the end of the day. They would then become bitter toward those they were “giving” to and withdraw affection and genuine care. Love was an obligation not a joy.
When I realized that I was turning into my mother and grandmother, I snapped out of it. I sternly admonished myself and said, “If you don’t want to give from your heart, which means the act of giving is a song to your heart, then don’t give. No one needs your false giving. Your false giving reeks of negativity. It does more harm than good. Only give when it is a song for your heart.”
I changed my entire relationship to giving from that day on. I began to consciously choose when I gave. I no longer gave blindly, simply because I was “supposed” to. As a result, I began saying “no” more often, of course, and I probably lost a lot of friends, but at least I was being authentic.
When I chose to say “yes,” and to give, I made sure I could hear the song in my heart. In these moments, I reminded myself, “You are choosing to give at this moment because you are actually desiring the feeling of giving for your own soul. Your own soul is asking for you to give. This giving has nothing to do with the other person. It is only related to your own soul’s yearning. Be grateful you have this opportunity to give! How blessed you are to give!”
When I began to incorporate this new belief system around giving, my entire heart began to open. I began to receive much more than I thought I was giving. More importantly, I was no longer stressed or burnt out. On the contrary, I was overwhelmed by endless energy and boundless spirit.
I had finally unlocked the key to joy: the act of giving to another is first and foremost an act of giving to the self. It is in this wisdom that we learn to receive as we give. The giving and the receiving occur at the very same moment in time.
This new way of consciously choosing to give has challenged me to become very clear about my BOUNDARIES. It has made me confront my fears around saying “no,” and disappointing my loved ones. I had to wade through the marshes of my fear of conflict and learn that conflict was inevitable in relationships, often even healthy. I also realized how attached I was to being seen as the “good one.” I so wanted to be “seen” as someone selfless and giving that it overrode the fact that the giving was coming from a bitter place. As long as the “other” thought I was “good,” that was all that mattered.
I slowly began to see that beneath this entire idea of giving was a narcissistic and self-absorbed desire to be seen as someone…who I actually wasn’t. It was hard at first to let go of this image I wanted to keep: The Good One. But slowly, I was able to discard it for something far more important: The Authentic One.
So, I encourage you to:
let go of all these false ideations in your head around giving
instead, fully embrace the notion that when you give you are actually receiving something from this act.
Tap into what you are receiving.
Feel it deeply.
Open your heart and be grateful for it.
And in this way, your cup will runneth over.