Gifts. We all have them. And much like with the holiday approaching, I am reminded of the saying, "It is better to give than receive."
I used to think this referred to your karmic piggy bank....selfless acts with no thought of yourself will ensure that some day, good things will happen for you. But more often than not, in this buy more, have more, commercial-consumer-weigh-your-value-by-how-you-outperform-others, exterior-worthiness-hustle-to-out-Facebook-everyone, world--giving "better" means you ARE "better". Smug self-satisfaction and judgement wrapped with a bow.
Somewhere, the message has been lost---or associated with the thing, when it fact, it is the energy of giving that is indeed so much better because you make, even just for a moment, the world a better place because you have extended your consciousness beyond your self to see and acknowledge someone else.
In the best situation, the love you put out there in the gesture, is ignited in someone else, whose perceptions of themselves, and the day, and who they are shifts and something positive is added to the world.
Even if what you do or feel or say goes unseen or felt or heard by someone else, the gift then becomes your own. You have gifted yourself with a shift in consciousness that lowers your blood pressure, releases endorphins, and allows you to face challenges with an improved perspective. And whether your positive energy is recognized, it is still a presence. The negative energy cannot grow unless you feed it.
"Love grows on the basis of giving" says Deepak Chopra.
The more we feed love, in our hearts, the more it will grow to the point where it overflows and we can extend it to others. Starting with self-love may be the hardest part. But how do you give what you don't have? Start with you! Explore your joy---add more of it. Reflect on the gap---how far have you come? What have you learned? Celebrate your successes before charging after the next one. Take a bath, take a walk, take a coffee break. Call a friend, watch your favorite movie, visit a pet store. Fill up your cup.
"Negativity is born in the gap where love has been excluded."
To energetically embrace every situation or person or experience is not particularly realistic. However, when you do allow room for love, you open the door for judgement and negativity. How many times a day, without even thinking, do we pass judgement on ourselves for forgotten keys, speaking without thinking, being late.
"I am so stupid!", the mantra of the busy perfectionist who forgives transgressions in others that are unforgivable in themselves.
"Gaps occur in places where we are afraid to see ourselves." Deepak Chopra
And where love is absent for others, judgement whiplash--your own voice in your head as you walk though the mall, at work, anywhere there are people....they are too fat, too thin, too loud, to dirty, too rude, too fit, too cool. We stir the pot of inadequacies and kick up a dust cloud of negativity to protect us from looking at ourselves.
Hate is not the opposite of love. I think fear is the opposite of love. And in the name of fear we do and say horrible things to ourselves and each other.
A group of happy, loud, teenage girls causes a flash of anger. Why? Because I was that once, because that time of my life is gone, because I fear getting older, because I envy them, because I am here to get groceries and could never fit into those skinny jeans anyway.....
I was them once. I had fun and felt like the world was mine. But it was not all wonderful either. Enjoy their energy, remember your favorite times, call an old friend and laugh. Smile at the girls as they walk by. They may smile back. You have connected. You fill the gap with love.
Listen for the voice. It is fast. Challenge it. What is it whispering under the criticism. Only once you are aware of it, can you start to change it.
"All obstacles are created by ourselves, by a belief in non-love." Deepak Chopra.
I write often about how resisting "what is" creates our biggest challenges in live.If you can love "what is" in whatever form it takes---being fired, someone dying, incompetent co-workers, a traffic jam, root canal---all of them become much easier.
It is hard to love a root canal but to believe you cannot find a way to find some sort of peace, will at least reduce the size of the obstacle. Problems happen. We cannot control that. The only thing we can control is how we choose to face them. Loving yourself, accepting who you are, being aware of how the situation makes you feel, acknowledging it and loving yourself throughout it all will help you make it over, under or through the obstacles that most certainly will come.
Be kind, be patient, be accepting.
"To see love in the moment, we must clean the windows of perception." Deepak Chopra.
Waiting in a line on my lunch hour to purchase some items for my son at a retail sale I found myself annoyed at the cashier's lack of speed and the customer she served who was trying to do a complex return of something she did not want.
"She" (the customer) probably didn't have a job. I need to go. I am important. Can't you just accept what the cashier is telling you. Why are you so inconsiderate of others. This will take forever. I am going to be late. This store is understaffed. I will never shop here again.
It was an emotionally charged, "me" focused, moment. In reality, it was probably not the universe conspiring to ruin my lunch hour. Expecting speedy transactions at the busiest time of the day was not realistic. There was a big sale on. If I was late back to work, nothing would happen. Everyone is occasionally late.
This was inconvenient at best. It was not the drama I had perceived it to be. And stepping back to clear my view, I could then notice the tiny baby nearby who treated me to several gummy smiles as we waited.
It is all in how you choose to look at what is happening. Problems happen. Fight them, or let them and move through them, don't let them wash you away even for a minute.
So love. It IS good to give --but not better than to receive. It is not an either or thing. By giving love it means you have love. Each time you have some to give, you feed your source and it is maintained --you receive love.
Love is not dependent on anyone else. It grows and expands and thrives inside you. Giving it away only encourages it to grow more.
It is best to give love---let's just stop there shall we.