There is plenty to read these days about manifesting what we want in life, making money online, beating the lottery, getting a big this and an expensive that - I've read them, sometimes even been seduced by them, but these pitches activate the 'getting' mindset when what manifests peace in us, is the giving mind. We may have a laundry list of stuff we say we want, but most of us deep down, want to feel peaceful, fulfilled and purposeful.
I want fulfillment, but what am I willing to give for what I want?
We often idolize musicians and actors, but forget that they gave up security, the almighty steady paycheck, in order to be in those careers. Many had to give up pleasing a parent who wanted them to be something "practical". In the past I had peers say, "oh, you're so lucky because you got out of the classroom and don't have to do lesson plans and curriculum maps" and I answered, "and all you have to do is be willing to work on a grant or in to consulting that doesn't guarantee your employment from year to year."
Take giving down to a personal level. What if you are in an argument and just can't seem to get your point across? The discussion becomes heated as you both try harder and get louder in an attempt to convince the other of your point of view. I want this to be resolved, but what am I willing to give?
> Try giving the person you are arguing with "the benefit of the doubt" - this is a gift because we are taught that giving them a "benefit" means you're giving in or giving up, but that is NOT what is occurring when you make this choice. Giving a benefit is a choice of addition, not subtraction.
> You can give "I don't know what I don't know". Perhaps there is something here I am not aware of, have never experienced or can't understand because I don't have the experiences of the other person. Do we ever have the identical experiences of another? I work with people from a different culture and socioeconomic background than mine; at times, it's essential that I give them this perspective or I'll wind up sounding condescending and disengaged from their reality. It's tough to communicate from there.
> You can give "What would this issue feel like if I walked in their shoes?" This is going from I don't know to maybe I can try to understand a bit more if I step on their side for a few minutes. This may increase empathy, which is a gift.
> You can also always choose to give LIGHT. This can be challenging to choose, because when light is the most needed is when the situation or opponent is at their darkest. What changes the dark? Not more dark - only turning on a Light. If you find yourself in the presence of someone who is "going to the dark side", getting personal, ugly or demeaning, you only have two choices:
1) choose to leave: the gift of retreat, which many consider weakness, allows everyone involved to live to argue (or understand) another day, gather our dignity, and can save you from dropping into the same demeaning behavior (the subtraction mindset which creates guilt in yourself - never a gift).
2) shine a LIGHT: resist every urge to drop into the darkness of the argument, share only positive thoughts and solutions, see a light around whoever is trying to darken your day or win at any cost and know that it is not personal - they are expressing the dark thoughts in themselves, regardless of how much they try to make it about you.
If you can't hold on to light thoughts, which I readily admit can be difficult, go back to 1) . . . try another day if this pattern repeats with the same person and you're willing to keep engaging until it improves. (Not willing? Walk away and do no harm.)
What do you really want? What are you willing to give to make it happen?
Healthy Giving improves life. Giving takes a healing mindset, purposeful action and love to dominate our decisions and actions. Giving works in the mindsets of addition and multiplication, avoiding subtracting or dividing to get what we want.
Happy GIVING ~