Have you ever thought about the love you “give away,” and what that really means?
Do you notice that you are often doing things for others – and feel like the scale is always tipped in their favor, never in yours? Or have you just operated on automatic pilot, going through the behaviors of caring for others without thinking about it?
What if I were to tell you that you’re actually giving away your love with each act of care…no matter how mundane the task, and no matter how resentfully, begrudgingly or unconsciously you are doing it?
Perhaps you feel every minute of that giving as a sacrifice of time, effort and/or patience on your part that feels like it takes something out of you. If so, that doesn’t make you a bad person – it just means you’re feeling stressed by the situation. It also doesn’t mean you’re not giving love, because you are.
Every act of caring is a blessing to the recipient, a gift of love. The ones that don’t feel like love are just wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper – disguised in the day-to-day ordinariness of life. It doesn’t matter what the wrapper is…it’s still love.
Even when you do this giving as part of a role that you play in relationship to someone else, when you see what you do for them as just a series of tasks, or a set of responsibilities on your plate – whether you chose that role or “had no choice” – you are still bestowing gifts and giving away your love.
And even if you are giving in the context of being a professional caregiver (and it’s very important for those of you who are to hear this point!), you are nevertheless giving some of your love, and something of yourself to the recipients.
What effect does giving it away have on you?
The way our human physiology and psychology work, there is something inescapably human and generous that happens when we do even the simplest of task or favor for another person. By giving that bit of ourselves to another, we also contribute something to ourselves. Like a bank account, a deposit gets made into our “connected to the human family” emotional resource reserve.
The recipient feels it (even if they’re acting grumpy and incorrigible!), and – even better – it registers in your body, mind and heart. It’s a silent, subtle thing – like a checkmark in the “Credits” side of a financial ledger, if we don’t pay attention to it we can easily miss it. But it’s there.
To magnify the positive impact on yourself of that deposit in your human connection account, I highly encourage you to notice the checkmarks in your daily ledger, and to give yourself the gift of conscious credit whenever you do something for another person. Acknowledge yourself for having done something that is inescapably generous, even if – or should I say, especially when – you’re not aware of feeling particularly loving and caring while you were doing it.
Are you really giving it away?
By far the most powerful thing to keep in mind is that you are at absolutely no risk of running out of your supply of love. This love is infinite – the more you give it away, the more you have available to give – including to yourself! And the more you give away, the more you give to yourself, exponentially increasing the love you are receiving – you only have to acknowledge it, and allow it into your consciousness, to feel its full effect.
So here is my Top Self-Care Tip for Today:
- Adopt a mindset that the more you give, however grudgingly, the more you are also earning your own love, from and for yourself.
- See how much more you can give away, or how much more conscious you can be while giving away what you do each day, and really take notice of the love coming back to you, from you.
- Feel the increased energy, resilience, compassion and peace it gives to you, even if you only have a few seconds to enjoy it.
- Remind yourself of that extra love you’ve earned whenever possible, and as often as possible.
And know that you deserve every bit of it.