Have you ever given in some fashion only to find yourself questioning why you bothered? Does the response or lack of response from the receiver affect how you feel? What about the saying, “it is better to give than to receive”?
What is giving? According to my Random House Webster’s Dictionary, giving is defined as presenting voluntarily and without expecting compensation. Therefore, giving in any other manner is a facade. Any attachment, intentional or unintentional, means our action is now conditional.
We think we are giving. In fact, we more than likely intended to give. Yet are we only fulfilling the first half of the definition? For example, have you ever commented, “I did “X” because I wanted to, but a little expression of appreciation would be nice?” Or, “I wasn’t expecting anything in return, but…?” These are cases of attaching conditions.
So, there is conditional giving, then there is giving according to the definition, shall we say pure of heart giving?
Giving with expectations is often determined by someone’s response or lack of response. And when we look at the outcome of a situation to assess the impact of our giving we are off track. Sometimes we are conscious of an ulterior motive and yet many times we are unaware.
Pure of heart giving, however, is without strings attached. This type of giving lacks any attachment to the response or outcome. It is solely for the sake of giving. When we give from the heart we experience inner joy, fulfillment; a sense of expansion. We are indifferent to anything beyond the act of giving. Thus, “it is better to give than to receive” – because in giving, we actually are recipients!
Of course giving can be more than monetary or tangible items. Some of the most precious gifts fall outside of either of these categories. Consider the power of a smile, a compliment, or a reassuring word. What about lending a helping hand?
The next time you give, pause and notice your thoughts, your feelings. Do you feel a sense of joy and fulfillment or are you looking for something, anything else? Does the outcome affect how you now feel about giving? Would you give again under the same circumstances? When you think or share the experience do you have any negative thoughts, feelings or comments?
In addition, consider the following:
- How do I feel when someone gives to me conditionally?
- How do I feel giving with strings attached?
- What would it take to give pure of heart?
- What could I think, say or do differently to give from the heart?