Sometimes giving is the only way to get what’s missing in our lives.
I have had many ups and downs in terms of earthly possessions over the years and it seems to me that the more I have, the more there is to worry about. I get scared of losing all that I’ve gained, as if someone is keeping score. But then I think of the times when I had barely enough for my needs, it was much more obvious to me what I needed and what I could part with. There is a danger in having too much: it takes energy and space from our lives to possess things. If that space is taken up by stuff then maybe we’re not making room for better non-tangibles in our lives.
Have you ever given to others? Whether of physical things or of time? Many times, especially when I’ve given my time and attention to others, I have received my own gift. When I feed, when I warm, when I love others; I am fed, I am warmed, I am loved. Giving to others requires something from us, yes, but it is a trade often in our favor. I think it is an essential need in our lives for us to give to others. It is a step in our human development. It is that thing that creates an emotionally healthy state of being. Giving to others is an action that asserts control over the battle of needs and wants we all carry within. It silences the thoughts of self—if only for a moment. It shifts our perspective and gives us breathing room, just enough to grow into something bigger. Me becomes we.
I used to sing a song as a child, “When I’m helping, I’m happy.” I see this in my own children. When my kids are able to have as much screen-time/personal-time that they want, they tend to argue more and are just grumpier. When I get them to help me around the house for short periods between screen-times, they are SO MUCH happier and more pleasant to be around.
If things are dark, take a break from your self-time and spend time with people and give your full-attention, a listening ear, a hug, or look and see what someone else needs. “Because I have been given much, I too must give.”
Photo Credit: Keith Nerdin