It’s in Giving That We Receive
written by Angela Bergeron
“Give more attention than you demand. Give more love than you crave. It’s in the giving we receive.
There are a few universal truths that, if you will accept, embrace, and employ them, your life will be easier. This is one of them: when you give, you receive!
Do you have a giver’s heart? Your world will expand with opportunities for growth on all levels as you genuinely seek to give to and improve the world around you.
As you pay more attention to the people around you by being honestly interested in their lives and attentively listening to them when they talk to you, they will reward you by giving the same back to you. As you genuinely love and care for others, they will be more loving in return.
Let me be up front with you though, this is not a formulaic system that works with all people all the time. There are people in this world who are not of the same mindset and will only take what you give and demand more. Whenever possible, prune those people from your life. It will also not work if you try to manipulate the system. If you are giving in order to manipulate people into giving back to you, you are often going to be disappointed.
Regardless of what other people do, adopt the mindset of giving, nurturing and adding value to the lives of those around you. The results, though often not immediate or what you might expect, will eventually come as you develop your giving skills… You will, in time, be rewarded with a beautiful life.”
–Bruce Van Horn
I have personally had someone in my life that was near and dear to my heart take absolutely everything I had to give and then some. At first I didn’t see a problem because I always want to see the best in people, so I blinded myself to the fact that I was being used and taken advantage of. Over time, I began to feel drained and empty. How in the world did I allow this to happen? Don’t I love myself enough to not allow this? Didn’t I recognize a pattern? These are just a few of the questions I began asking myself. Of course I love myself, so I refused to let this one relationship define who I am or how I give to others.
This relationship may have drained me for a moment, but it taught me so much in the long run. It taught me what giving is not. Giving shouldn’t drain you or cause you pain. Giving isn’t about deception, unfairness, or shaming. It taught me awareness and that not everyone is going to have the same heart as you, and that is ok. It taught me so many things about myself that I never want to lose. Primarily it reminded me how important it is to take care of myself first, and practice self-love.
Giving should heal, nurture, and motivate us. It’s in selfless giving that we receive.
The work in giving is to give with a pure heart. This allows us to give generously and selflessly, without the need to gain, get attention, have recognition, or expect anything in return. Life will never feel like it gives to us if all we do is take, or give for selfish gains and recognition.
Giving is one of the most amazing acts we can perform. Why? Because it is an endless circle, an action-reaction-action cycle that, once started, can only be stopped by the giver’s conscious choice. When we give, we believe we are helping someone or something else, and it’s true. We make a difference by offering time, money, or energy, to whatever cause or individual we support. Equally true (but too often unrecognized), we receive as well.
Think of the last time you did something nice for someone. You opened a door for a person. You asked, “How are you?” of a friend and then actually listened to their response. Didn’t you, just for moment, feel a little glow inside? Didn’t the “thank you” they said put a smile on your face? Didn’t you feel just a little more connected to the world at large and a little more likely to do it again, just to get your “giving fix?”
The same holds true in personal relationships with gift-giving, professing love, offering hugs and doing kind deeds. Notice the energy from which you give. Practice consciously giving simply for the joy of giving.
The energy of reciprocity is what balances our relationships. Healthy reciprocity is not just about giving and receiving, it is about doing those two things well. When we attach exhaustion or resentment to the way we give, then we are not giving in a way that truly helps or benefits anyone involved. Giving should never feel like a negative experience. Equally, when we attach guilt or shame to receiving, we are blocking our ability to receive in a way that truly nourishes us. Our ability to give is only as powerful as our ability to receive, mostly because the more we can know how to receive, the more we have to give.
On the mat, let us lead with the heart in our asana practice. Maybe begin or end in a restorative pose so students can experience the act of giving and receiving to one’s own self.
This month let us practice selfless giving. Giving from the heart with no expectations. It can be as simple as offering a few kind words and compassion to another, a smile, our integrity, our fairness, our willingness to help out. Giving shouldn’t drain you or cause you pain. It should lift you up and boost you. It should be simple and with no expectations.
what you want must be held in the same hand as what you give
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is giving that we receive, It is in
pardoning that we are pardoned, And it is in
dying that we are born to eternal life.
Here is a beautiful and amazing meditation by Louise Hay that I’ve been using a lot this year for myself and in class.
LOVING TREATMENT MEDITATION
DEEP AT THE CENTER OF MY BEING, there is an infinite web of love. I now allow this love to flow to the surface. It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very been, and radiates out from me in all directions and returns to mr multiplied.The more love I use and give, the more I have to give; the supply is endless. The use of love makes ME FEEL GOOD. It is an expression of my inner joy. I love myself; therefore, I behave and think in loving way to all people, for I know that that which I give out returns to me multiplied. Only attract loving people in my world, for they are a mirror of what I am. I love myself; therefore, I forgive and totally release the past and all past experiences, and I am free. I love myself; therefore, live totally in the now, experiencing each moment as good, and knowing that my future is bright, joyous, and secure. I am a beloved child of the universe, and the universe lovingly takes care of me now and forever more.
And so it is.
I LOVE YOU
“If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you have succeeded.” Mary Angelou
“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa
“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.” Khalil Gibran
“At the end it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” Denzel Washington
“The degree of loving is measured by the degree of giving.” Edwin Louis Cole
Giving Gifts/ offering/ ritual/ Bhagavad Gita 9:26 The most confidential knowledge …. pure intentions in giving can be as simple as offering a piece of fruit, a flower, a leaf or water. Pure offerings do not have expectations nor agenda.
“Whatever is offered to me with a PURE HEART, no matter how small, be it a leaf, a flower, piece of fruit, I will accept.”
Every single thing we do is a gift we are giving to others and should be an offering as though we were offering to God.