Giving is not about what we receive in return, and ought to be without expectation.
That which we are blessed to receive, however, is worth cherishing.
It’s amazing how often I’ve caught myself imposing “should”s in my own life… And it’s a habit that is neither helpful, nor based in reality. But it happens…and I’m especially reminded around the holidays.
For one thing, I feel like every time I check out somewhere I’m asked if I want to make a donation to a charity. For another, it’s holiday season… This time of year comes part and parcel with the ringing of bells. Incessant ringing, and I don’t mean Santa OR his sleigh.
Stationed outside each supermarket (which I frequent nearly every day of the week!) will undoubtedly be a Salvation Army post for a bundled individual and a hanging donation bucket. For whatever the reason – and it’s definitely self-imposed – I always find myself feeling guilty when I pass by…or I say “no thank you, not today.” You probably do the same thing…pour a bucket of guilt over yourself for no good reason…?
We collectively need to STOP doing that!
I find myself reasoning it out – audibly sometimes, though mostly internally….
I don’t really know the charities some places are asking for money in support of. I remind myself that we give to a lot of charities, and physically volunteer. On a regular basis! We do it because we love to help and to make a difference, so that should be enough.
What’s with all the guilt then?! Am I embarrassed that someone will think I’m a cold-hearted person? Is it because I think I don’t do enough? Honestly, I think it’s a little bit of both…but I *try* to stop myself these days because:
So when you say “no” at the checkout, or pass by the ringing bells… Or if you don’t chose to throw money to a friend raising some for their own favorite cause…BE OKAY WITH THAT. (I’m saying that to myself too!)
You don’t need to feel guilty. . . or wrong. . .or less-than. You do what you can, when you can. You work hard for what you earn and you aren’t a bad person for wanting to save up some of that for yourself, your family, and your future.
So let’s stop with the self-deprecation. We DON’T deserve it.
We all have charities in which we believe…
We all do our part, and our best to help where we can.
And…should we be unable or unwilling, that is perfectly, 1,000% OKAY.
Kindness needs to start with YOU.
Being kind to others is nigh impossible if you have nothing positive to give yourself. . .
When you do find self-love, compassion, and appreciation. . .then you are like an inextinguishable candle that can light the world without losing in the process.
It’s okay if you aren’t there yet. I get reminders often that I’m being too tough on me. And I appreciate that, because it’s true. I’m so thankful and blessed, and I love to give…but I need to remember that the fuller I am, the more I have to offer.
The world needs more of it anyway – positivity is contagious, just like laughter. And who doesn’t want that?!