The art of giving goes beyond just physical gifts. When I talk about giving with the best intentions, I mean when you are doing an activity, or interacting with another person, how are you responding or giving to a person in that moment. When doing an activity with someone, are you really enjoying the moment or are you doing it out of obligation?
Are you giving out of fullness or emptiness?
To explain giving out of emptiness, let me give you an analogy.
Imagine you are pouring water from your cup or your being into to someone else. When you give out of emptiness, there is barely anything in your cup and when you give what you had away, you expect the person to replenish your supply.
Here lies the problem. When you continue to use this method as a way to fill yourself/make yourself happy, when the replenishment by others stops, you feel miserable and this ache and longing to fill it but not knowing what to do consumes you. You no longer or maybe never even had the tool or skills to replenish your own cup.
Giving out of fullness or giving with the best intent is giving something away without expecting anything in return. Notice the phrasing – giving something away. Before when you gave out of emptiness, it was a transaction. You gave money in exchange for a good. Now with giving out of fullness, you are giving a part of yourself away. You do not expect anything in return because you have learned to replenish yourself.
How do I know if I am giving out of emptiness or fullness?
Do you find yourself keeping tally against someone? Now that they have done this for me, I have to do something for them.
When you agree to go out with your friends, you put stipulations in place. Stipulations such as Ok, but I am only going to stay for one hour.
Do you find yourself going through the motions?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you are giving out of emptiness.
How do you replenish yourself?
- Learn what makes you happy
Start off by exploring and learning things that you love. Maybe you love watching movies, maybe its cooking, listening to music, taking a hike – find what makes you happy. Bonus; items that you do not need another person in order to do. The point is that by learning and exploring these things, you are developing your sense of self and filling yourself up with things you enjoy – not what others enjoy.
2. Learn the Power of saying No
Now, if any of you are a people pleasers like me, this is hard. “But I want to say yes!” you might say, “I want to help someone!”
By saying yes to everything, you start ignoring the signs of your own depletion, you give out of obligation but with no good intentions. So, when you think of it in that way, are you truly doing the other person justice in the situation? Even with the best of fake smiles, when a person senses you really are doing this out of obligation with no real sincerity behind the act, it loses its meaning in their eyes.
This transaction also effects you still. Subconsciously you realize you are giving without the best intentions in mind, your heart isn’t behind it, so there is also real no fulfillment or joy behind it.
I believe Marie Kondo is a genius. Her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and her new Netflix series “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” sparked an explosion of holding objects and evaluating them with whether they spark joy.
Do you know what is so powerful about this and what resonated with me the most?
If something does not spark joy within me, I reflect upon the object, thank it for its service and time, then let it go.
In short; Marie Kondo, ladies and gentlemen, has given us permission and validation to say no.
If I do not want to do something, if I am not giving with the best intention, if something no longer makes me happy, its okay to say no!
I repeat; It’s okay to say no!
By saying no, you are giving yourself the respect you deserve. Now I am not saying go tell your boss, hey no sorry I’m not doing this project, this doesn’t spark joy within me. Your boss will look at you, maybe laugh, and probably fire you. Don’t do that.
With the 2 methods I stated, are they going to be easy?
It’s going to be hard. Coming from a people pleaser, my knee jerk reaction is to say yes, yes, yes. Do, do, do. Go, go, go. It has taken me time. I have to stop myself before I say yes. Give myself a moment to pause and evaluate internally, Am I giving out of fullness or emptiness?
If the answer to my question is emptiness – then my answer becomes no.
You’re friends and family might be startled. They might even feel hurt. The thing though, is you have to be fair to yourself and them. By honing in to who you are and giving with the best intentions, you create value within yourself and the gifts of fullness that you give to people shine even brighter and happier than the ones you gave out of emptiness.
The Golden Gelly Nuggets
- Evaluate if you are giving out of fullness or emptiness
- Learn what makes you happy – just you and nobody else but you
- Learn the Power of saying No
- Marie Kondo is psychologically amazing
- Respect yourself and others