The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. –Pablo Picasso
Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have. –Jim Rohn
We only have what we give. –Isabel Allende
For it is in giving that we receive. –St. Francis of Assisi
The wise ones gently nudge us toward this truth, don’t they? Give, sweet mama, give. Give, my man, give.
Open your closed fist, your worried fist, your fearful fist–and offer some your firstborn wages, your pennies and cents, your precious time, your heartfelt words, your hugs (when we can!), your smiles, your eye-crinkles, your phone calls, your compassion, your steadfast care.
Oh that stranger at the grocery store–can you give precious attention? Or will you stay lost in thought, trying to resolve the mind’s latest crisis or worry-scenario or preoccupation? Can you offer the stories of your heart, or will fear of judgment keep you caged in silence?
How can we break free of inner chains locking us in shut-off corners, where giving dries on the vine without bursting in sweet fruit?
I’ve lost opportunities to give–once, twice, a thousand times. Perhaps apathy won the day. Sometimes fear locked the door. The inner children want for themselves: give me, give me, give me, the inner babes and toddlers cry. Without realizing that giving itself is the fair gold prize as it returns hundred fold to the empty-handed giver.
We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest. –Orison Swett Harden
We’re rich and sated from our Thanksgiving feasts. We’ve expressed gratitude over and over in the last week, looking around our pandemic joyful broken world for the many gifts that fill our harvest basket. Thank you, thank you, thank you, we say.
The other part of the word Thanksgiving: giving. It’s a reciprocal relationship, thanks and giving. They dance together. One bows, the other curtsies. One acknowledges, the other spreads the acknowledgement like fairy dust or Christmas song or shards of wave-tossed beach glass.
It doesn’t matter what we give. It’s that we give. It’s that we find ways to open our hearts and fists and brokenness. In my childhood church we receive communion, then we pass the peace. Peace be with you, and you, and you.
Quite often an unresolved ego-part of ourselves will leap in and try to claim the giving for itself. It wants reciprocity for itself. Kudos, likes, appreciation, comments, attention, gratitude, response. It concentrates on the “getting” part. It hasn’t yet learned how to give without strings. It still doesn’t know the heart’s path of giving from love–just because. That’s how the heart gives. Just because. (Let us not judge the baby ego part, but instead give it tender mercy and care. It’s still young–it’s learning to crawl toward the Holy Heart, not winning spiritual love marathons.)
Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. If we have a few extra shekels, where shall we give them? If we have no leftovers, how can we bestow our time, our words, our smiles?
We’ve already given some money to our local Shelter Home, but I am considering giving to Feeding America or another organization that provides food to nourish those who are financially suffering this winter.
Where to you like to give your time, your energy, your spirit, your money? Do you have favorite organizations or local groups? Do you tithe? Do you have any giving advice or quotes about giving that fill your spirit?
Day 44 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.