Exploring Generosity

white lily on water

What does it mean to be generous with oneself in an environment built upon scarcity?

I love to give…

and to serve…

and to contribute.

In so many ways, giving gives me life and light, hope and joy, in my darkest moments.

But sometimes, giving turns from joy to responsibility to obligation.

Sometimes giving doesn’t feel free. It doesn’t make me feel free.

Instead, giving feels expected or required.

In those moments, giving feels disrespectful and exploitative.

What happens when giving takes away from that which is most precious in your life?

I am in a constant struggle with a scarcity of time, energy and resources.¬†While I’m working towards moving beyond the need to prove my worth, I am wondering when I will be able to draw the boundaries I need to bring the joy back to generosity.

When I will feel abundance and joy.

Today, as I considered all of this in therapy, I realized that part of generosity is generosity to myself.

What would it mean to give to myself?

To do things in service of the self?

To contribute to myself?

How would this be a counter-story to the notion that love of the self is selfish?

What would it be like to choose to give to myself freely? How could it offer a freedom from the obligation to give to others?

How could I give myself the respect that I need and thereby resist exploitation and disrespect from the external?

What might happen if I gave back to myself, if I reclaimed what was most precious, if I gave back the sense of obligation I’ve carried from generations back to the ancestors so that I could actually create the space I so desperately need?

I don’t know.

But, I do know the dark of side of giving begrudgingly, instead of from natural generosity. I know what it feels like to give from scarcity rather than abundance.

And it’s worth exploring the other side.

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