"For it is in giving that we receive." - Saint Francis of Assisi
If there is one solution for any personal issue, it would be this. If there is one solution for any global issue it would be this too; an attitude of giving. Instead of asking ourselves “What can I gain?” we could ask ourselves “What can I give?” Within the transition from gaining to giving, lies the key to liberation. It opens the door towards harmonious living.
There is no point of meditating or practicing any kind of spirituality if the goal is merely self-development. It would be yet another brick within the wall that prevents us to connect with Life. It would be yet another story that separates us from the other. It’s exactly this personal story and the importance we give to it that is creating all the suffering we might experience. Whether the nature of a personal issue is physical, emotional or mental, they are all rooted in the belief of separation. If you believe to be a separate drop in the ocean there is the need to ‘gain’ something out of every situation. In an attempt to feel the fullness of the ocean again you are placing yourself in a position of lack. There is a neediness that can not be fulfilled by taking, and will continue to consume whatever it can in order to still its hunger.
If a collective of people is more interested in gaining than giving, a collective imbalance arises. This is the case in our world society today. It’s because of this reason that we face economic, political, social and even health issues on a global scale today. The monetary system we are using today is in fact a manifestation of the view of separation – many people together believing they are a drop instead of an ocean. In an attempt to fill the ever-increasing gap of debt, governments became puppets of monstrous corporations that are consuming all of the natural resources and stripping off the planet from all of her natural beauty. Our consumerism has come too far. Or… far enough…
I believe we are far enough to be ready for a new paradigm and way of living, that can create a harmonious, fulfilling life for all living beings on our planet. The ‘New Earth’ can only start from within. It will be based on giving instead of taking. Its foundation is abundance instead of lack. Only if we recognise the abundance the natural world is creating for us, can we live in accordance with Her and start to truly give.
Giving is our nature. We are raised by the gifts of our parents, and as we are constantly receiving (breath, sunlight, food, love,...) from Nature we want to offer something in return to complete the cycle. If this wish is covered up by fear of scarcity we start to feel bad instantly. If we start giving again, we start to feel fulfilled, and what we believe to be an obstacle or problem often times dissolves through it. Yes, it is by giving itself that we lift the veil of separation and recognise ourselves to be an ocean instead of a drop. It is by giving itself that we forget our limiting personal story and feel connected with something way greater than us. It is by giving itself that we truly receive and find fulfilment ever deeper than what we are able to conceive.
A true gift is an act of empathy. It could be a listening ear, a musical piece, a delicious meal or a simple smile. It could be anything that one feels to be useful, enriching or supportive for the receiver of that gift. It is not that which you believe to be useful for the receiver. It is that which you empathically feel to be beneficial for that person. True giving implies forgetting your beliefs and preferences. It implies forgetting your story for a moment and tuning into something greater than you. That ‘something greater’ we could call love.
If an act of giving takes place in which you start to feel bad in some way or another, this usually indicates an expectation. It could be an expectation in the form of money, respect or recognition. Although it is beautiful to receive a ‘thank you’, this should not be the motivation and purpose of your gift. A true gift – free from expectations – is an act of gratitude. It is recognised by an instant feeling of joy and fulfilment. And thus you receive, because you are giving. Therefore giving could be considered the highest and most effective spiritual practice. 'How can I serve the happiness of the people close to me? How can I serve the wellbeing of humanity and planet earth? What are the gifts and talents I have to offer?'
If you give and live the answer to these questions you'll find happiness.