We all like getting things, and before I began to walk the path I am on now my motives for doing most things were focused on what I could get rather than what I could give. My mind always weighed the effort versus result, and I always had an expectation of what I wanted as the outcome. If I didn’t get what I expected I got angry, resentful or acted as a martyr for my “good efforts” going to waste. It was a selfish way to live and a way of living that left me feeling alone and empty.
When I set out on this path I was told that a part of my recovery was to give back. At the start I didn’t think I had anything to give, I was starting from scratch, learning to live life moment by moment, everything seemed so fragile and uncertain, how could give anything when I was trying to find my own way? I learned quickly that we all have something to give, even on our worst days, in fact, those days we may have the most to give, demonstrating to those around us that it’s OK to not be OK and to just do the best we can, it’s also OK to say we’re having a bad day, sometimes by just admitting it we make a connection to someone else struggling that day, or give them permission to admit their day is also challenging. It’s important to share our truth each day, whatever that may be, there is a value in all of it, to us, and those around us. But as I started to feel surer on my feet I was encouraged to give back more, and as I did I began to see why.
When we give of ourselves it takes us out of thinking of just us and puts our attention on someone else. That, many times can be a welcome break from our own head and we also learn from helping others. I always say, never apologize for reaching out for help because there is a reason your asking, for both of us. When we help someone else, even just by listening, it also helps us. It may remind us of something we should be doing for our own well-being, it may touch us in a way that brings us closer to that person, or it may demonstrate to us how far we’ve come in our own journey. When we are of service to someone else, it’s always a two-way street, both people receive something. But, going back to my self-seeking ways of the past, there is a difference in doing something for someone because you want to your can, and doing something only for the purpose of receiving something in return. When we offer to help someone in need the reward is just the act of doing it, but most times we do receive something, and it may not be what we would expect. The rewards of doing something selflessly are many, and personal to each of us, but we should always focus on the act itself and trust that the universe has placed us the position we are to help for a reason, and if we stay out of the way of that reason, it will become evident to us at the right time.
We all have something to give when someone is in need, even just our time. But when we focus on what we might get out of offering that help it takes away the good and turns it into a manipulation. Let go of your expectations of what you might get when helping someone else and focus on how your act of kindness may make that person’s day brighter, with your focus on someone else, it may just brighten your day as well. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you focus on giving rather than getting? What do you think you focus on most? Do you think you could focus on giving more? How so? Have you been disappointed or hurt when you’ve had expectations in the past? How so? Looking back should you have engaged with that person or been involved in that situation if you had expectations going in? Probably not SLAYER. We should only do something because we want to, not because of what we think we’ll get as a result. Next time you feel compelled to do something for someone else, ask yourself why, if the answer is more than just you feel you would like to, you have some soul searching to do.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you