“To give and to receive are one in truth.” ~Lesson 108, A Course in Miracles
Have you ever felt exhausted or drained after helping someone? Do you feel chronically overworked and tired? Do you feel resentment after being asked for something? At one point or another, everyone had these feelings. The ability to create a balance of giving and receiving is the key to maintain healthy long-term relationships.
The process below will help you to determine if you are giving too much, and if yes, to learn how to restore the balance of energy. There are 4 questions we can ask ourselves to begin re-balancing our relationships and money issues.
My definition of giving “too much” is when a person feels depleted or hurts himself in the process of helping someone. Resentment, anger, frustration, or despair are signals that tell me that I’m not paying attention to my own needs and over-giving.
In this article, the author Elizabeth Gilbert clearly explains the difference between over-giving and generosity by saying, “…over-giving is not quite the same thing as generosity. Generosity is neither entangling nor aggressive, because the generous person doesn’t expect anything in return. The over-giver doesn’t expect anything in return either—except to be petted and feted and praised and loved unconditionally for the rest of time…”
Thus, when I ignore my own needs, I don’t have enough energy to help anyone else. Then, even offering a little bit of my energy feels like too much, simply because my fuel tank is empty. It’s a simple fact – we can’t keep giving without replenishing our own energy. Yet, we are taught that “good people” are selfless and generous. Notice that this statement doesn’t mean that good people have to sacrifice their own happiness to help others. The belief in sacrifice is simply false.
Of course, replenishing energy can mean different things to different people. We have needs at different levels of the hierarchy of needs. If one person’s needs are primarily focused on the level of basic needs, this is not going to be enough to satisfy someone else. A quick way to see what I need is to notice what I expect from other people in my life.Click To Tweet
This is very likely to be what I failed to provide for myself.
To conclude, if I have even a slightest feeling of resentment after helping someone, it can mean only one of these two things:
This leads us to the next step. We need to clarify our own needs and learn to satisfy them, so that we are not expecting anyone else to fill that void inside our heart. The latter is actually impossible, unless I tend to my own needs.
The questions that can be helpful here include:
After identifying what is important to you to feel nourished, choose one way you are going to satisfy this need on a regular basis. If your heart is asking for more creativity, how can you be more creative? If you need understanding, how can you be more understanding towards yourself? If you need more love from others, how can you give yourself more love?
If you find a few symbolic ways to satisfy your own needs and start giving yourself what you were looking for in others, you will quickly take back your power. You won’t have to look for love in all the wrong places anymore. Instead of co-dependent relationships, you can start creating healthy relationships that are based on mutual partnership and cooperation. Yes, it is actually possible!
Everything we choose to do is supporting a belief in our mind. Actions are secondary to ideas. Luckily, we can change the ideas if we see that they are outdated.
If I feel that I’m giving too much and that I’m depleted by what I’m doing, there is a chance that I allowed someone else’s voice to determine my motivation. Otherwise, I would never choose a self-destructive relationship, work environment, or friendship. If I did, I must have silenced the voice of my inner wisdom and replaced it with one of voices I heard when I was a child. Ask yourself these questions:
It is natural for human beings to share with others. True giving is a beautiful and inspired process, that brings joy both to the giver and the receiver. That is why A Course in Miracles says, “To give and to receive are one in truth.” (Lesson 108) If we try to put some limits on the beautiful process of sharing our gifts, we are attempting to restrict Life itself. Of course, it doesn’t feel good, because we are restricting ourselves.
As a result, we blame others or ourselves, but we can’t change it without changing our mindset. To remove these restrictions and start giving freely and spontaneously, like children do, we need to de-clutter our minds and process our beliefs about giving and receiving in general. As we now now from psychology, many of these ideas that we have accumulated over time go back to our formative years.
We can learn much about balance from nature. Here is one of my favorite poems that is sometimes attributed to Rumi and sometimes to Hafiz, both of whom are great poets and teachers of truth. Meditating on this poem can be a good exercise in itself.
In addition to answering the questions above, sit in a quiet place and reflect on these ideas:
If you want to change your mindset around money, relationships, and giving and receiving, it will take serious work. If you feel ready to work on this with a coach, can save a substantial amount of time. I would be happy to help you to let go of ideas, emotions, and memories that no longer serve you and activate new neuropathways.
Tanya Ince, Ph.D is an Intuitive Life Coach, Ordained Ministerial Counselor, Numerologist, TFT-Diagnostics facilitator, and trainer of Spiritual Technology methods of Zivorad Slavinski. Tanya helps her clients to achieve spiritual coherence and create the life they want from the inside out. On her blog, Tanya provides insights about personal development, practical spirituality, astrology, and numerology. Connect with Tanya on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @TanyaCoaching.