'Tis the season for giving, but an interesting question to consider is: why do we give?
As children, we were often urged to give in order to show others that we love them, or to appear unselfish, or because it was "the nice thing to do." As adults, we sometimes give so we will receive a tax deduction. But no matter our age, this kind of giving has strings attached.
When we give a gift, expecting to receive something in return, we always subconsciously measure the real response we get in terms of our expectations. More often than not, this comparison leaves us feeling stressed or unappreciated. As a result, we lose sight of the gift and focus instead on our hurt feelings. But this is not the true spirit, the true intention, of giving.
Giving should be a joy, not a stress.
The following is a passage written by The Mother. It speaks of Love, but its message applies equally well to Giving:
At first one loves only when one is loved.
Next, one loves spontaneously, but one wants to be
loved in return.
Then one loves even if one is not loved, but one still
wants one's love to be accepted.
And finally one loves purely and simply, without any
other need or joy than that of loving.
~ The Mother
True giving comes from the heart, not from obligation or attachment or any expectation of receiving something in return. After all, the real gift is not the object itself, but the feeling of love and oneness shared by the giver and receiver.
The real gift is Love.
True giving energizes us, opens our hearts, brings us joy and happiness. These are the gifts that bring real, lasting satisfaction and happiness to both giver and receiver. These are the gifts that we remember long after the physical objects are gone from our lives.
This holiday season, may you give and receive with love, and may you experience the pure, simple joy of truly giving!