You hear the refrain often: Give to get. But we can’t expect to give unless we are open and receptive, unless we see our abilities to be able to give…and receive.
Let me explain.
When you start to see every experience as a privilege, your life will turn, shift, and expand. Imagine approaching every bill, every bit of debt, every luxury, every volunteer effort, or parenting task with the wonder and enthusiasm of a naive, innocent, and eager young child.
Your life would be vastly different.
But something happens along the way where we get this twisted. We orient ourselves around giving in ways that build resentments and keep a tally of what is owed to us, which feels heavy, life-sucking, and false.
Use your body as a pendulum that provides feedback around your reactivity to giving. Here’s a quick checklist.
Mortgage/rent: joyful or burdensome?
Groceries: light or aggravating?
IRS: privilege or scam?
Diaper changing: adventuresome or exhausting?
Housecleaning: resentful or restful?
Here’s the deal.
You always have a choice. You are not a victim. You don’t have to do a damn thing, if you don’t want to. You are a grown ass human being. Escape your family. Leave your job. Ditch the dog. Flee from the IRS. It’s your life: CHOOSE!
The moment you get that you actually have a choice, you open up to the joy of getting to give.
Here’s my practice. When I write a check to the IRS, I bless it. I give thanks for all of the resources that my money helps fund. I remember the times I have required government assistance, and I give it UP for all the people that paid their taxes and helped me out. If I notice my mind start to critique the way my resources are allocated within the government, I remind myself, “Lola, then vote.” It’s simple — move on.
We waste so much psychic energy huffing and puffing around what we “have” to do rather than remembering how much we have to be grateful for and what a gift it is to give!
So today, what do you GET to give?
For me, I get to give my undivided attention to my teenage son over dinner.
I get to give my body a bath and engage in some serious deep breathing.
I get to give my husband an apology for overreacting.
I get to give my dogs a walk.
I get to give my words of encouragement to another human being who is deep in a struggle.
Remember, if you notice the rabbit hole of resentment luring you in, stop. Take a breath. And remind yourself, “I get to choose.”
You have options. Tell yourself:
I can walk away now and just throw it all in.
I can ask for what I need and want and offer someone else the opportunity to give to me.
I can create a new routine that feels fun, playful, and life giving.
I can generate gratitude that I have something to give — energy, money, time, or attention.
I can ask myself if there is another way I would prefer circulating my good and how might I do that.
Look, we always have something to give, no matter how trying life may seem. And oftentimes, the less we grip and the more we give, the easier life becomes. Get to give. It will remind you of all that you have. It will move you from resentment and victimhood to appreciation and aliveness.
It will allow you to receive more, to give more, to live more.
And isn’t that what it’s all about?