I had a moment of clarity.
I believe we all have a purpose, sometimes our purpose is more evident than other times.
My purpose is to give.
I want to tell you what my friend Patty said about me. It brought tears to my eyes, especially coming from Patty because she tells it like it is…like it or not. This is one of the nicest things that anyone has ever said about me and I think the reason is, it is so tied in with my purpose.
You are ACCEPTING. adversity, change, differences in others.
You are DRIVEN. focused, determined, persistent, ambitious
You are GENEROUS. spiritually, self/time, financially
I love the accepting and the generous….driven is something that everyone just has to put up with…but it does get you places.
We are on the earth such a short time (and believe me, the older you get, the shorter it seems) that when we are here …it is important not to attach ourselves to the things of this world. It is important to give all you can muster.
So here is my dilemma, why is it that when someone tells me I have to give, or if they try to take advantage of me…I do not turn the other cheek. I can tell you several times when that bothered me so much that I just plain old refused to do it. There was a painter who took advantage of me once…it was questionable whether he was being a little dishonest in his billing…or just didn’t do the work in the most efficient way. So I paid him. Then he did another job for me and pushed it past the point where you could wonder. I would not pay him more than we originally agreed. Another time I had a photographer who agreed to a deadline because of a publication deadline for a design competition. He got busy with something else and did not give me the pictures until after the publication deadline was past and they didn’t have the “clean up” that he promised. I told him I didn’t think that I should pay him because the pictures no longer had value to me….I told him, though, that if he did the photoshop work on the pictures that we had agreed on, I would still pay him…he didn’t do the work and he didn’t get paid.
So, how does this fall in line with my strong need to give? Why didn’t I give to these guys when it makes me feel so good to give to others? The moment of clarity came today. It is because it is not giving. Giving is a free action. I can offer my time to grade papers for the teacher at school. It is an offer that comes from my heart because I know that she is underpaid and overworked. I can contribute in a valuable way. Same as talking to someone…I can offer my time in ministry to listen to a person in crisis. If it was demanded of me, I am sure I would find something of my choosing that I would contribute better to. That may be a bad example…but you get my drift. We give freely and the painter and the photographer were demanding of me to give and I am able to contribute in any way that I desire. I don’t desire to give my money, time or talent to someone who is dishonest or lazy.
So in my clarity, do not let these people muck up your waters of goodness. Keep contributing in your own way with your own values and discernment.
Another thing, giving does not count unless you do it without any desire or expectation of reciprocation. If you advertise your contribution for that purpose, I don’t believe it counts as giving. It only counts as getting…because you are trying to get something for it. I will need to have another moment of clarity before I can rationalize giving to feel good. Is that still giving to get…or is it enjoying the feeling it brings?
AND…what does this have to do with health and wellness?
First, contribution is one of our primary needs, which actually feeds into another need of feeling valuable. The other thing, I have felt a little guilty for the times that I feel taken advantage of and I put up a fight…and this moment of clarity has released me from that. That is a very healthy development!
All of this led me (can you tell I had a long drive today?) to thinking about the need for approval. This is another reason some people give. This is another reason some people give into people who take advantage.
This is definitely a tweetable…
You can not benefit by seeking the approval of others. The only person who you have any control over is yourself. You can talk to 30 people and there will be 30 different opinions on the value of what you said. Your values are the only ones that are about you. The other 30 opinions have more to do with them than you.
copyright 2012 Cathy Sykora all rights reserved