I was taught that giving is just what you do.
I was taught to share, to help out and to offer to those in need.
I like being able to offer my time, my energy and my focus. I feel that I’m an individual with lots to offer. So why wouldn’t I want to help, right?
But at what point do you start giving yourself away?
Where is the line in the sand between giving with your heart and giving everything away? At what point did we lose sight of our boundaries and our needs? When did it become OK to give without ever getting in return? Are we taught that only “good” people give and so we strive to be “good” and expect no reciprocation, because wanting is greedy?
I’ve heard it said when you do for others, you should never expect the same back in return because people never see things the same way as you so you often don’t get the same return invested.
But what if you continually get the short end of the stick or nothing at all?
In a time of wanting to be selfless, we can shrug it off as no big deal and do it ourselves. After all we are capable and fully able to help ourselves, so why not just get out there and do it ourselves, we don’t need anyone right?
When we constantly accept into our world the reality that it’s fine that we are the ones that go without, what kind of a message are we sending out there into the energetic ether? That we’re not good enough? That we shouldn’t expect a certain level of quality in our lives and relationships? That our time isn’t valuable, that we aren’t valuable? That there’s not enough to go around and we should go without?
So do you just do everything for yourself and stop relying on anyone?
Which brings us to the subject of being a martyr. If you are voluntarily sacrificing yourself, your needs and your wants, then you’re putting yourself in a place of being a martyr. And you can feel that in the middle of your being when you do it. Sacrificing yourself in this way is something you feel.
Some people are just more naturally giving, true. But, if it’s a one way relationship, it’s not really a partnership, it’s a one way street. And in that kind of scenario, eventually you pull everything away because you’re just done.
What can you do?
1) Start paying attention to the ways that you give yourself away excessively and without anything in return. Now again, I’m a giver and I love to be able to give, but, if you’re energy/resources/heart/mind/body are being bled dry for those who aren’t in appreciation of it or reciprocating, you need to pull back and refocus all that giving on YOU. This is a place of coming into the realization that you, your time and your effort are worthy. You don’t have to be better/nicer/fitter/whatever to be deserving.
2) Give to You. One thing I’ve noticed while talking with those who love to give, is that they sometimes need a lot of convincing to be able to give to themselves. Seems like it should be simple right? You love to give, why wouldn’t you give to you?
The reality is some people don’t feel worthy of receiving. We need to come into alignment with the fact that we ARE deserving of co-creative, mutually satisfying, collaborative relationships and partnerships. We have to really GET that we are worthy of these and that it really starts with ourselves.
3) Say Something. Stop suffering in silence and putting up with what you don’t want in your world. Say something honestly. Don’t be a martyr and sally forth and do it yourself without first saying hey, I needed you today and in the future if you’re unwilling or unable to follow through don’t volunteer (or however you wish to say it with an open heart and mind.)
People often feel it’s not a huge deal because we don’t say anything. When we stand up for our time or what it is that we needed done or how we authentically feel, we set the bar a little higher for how we wish to be treated. You hear all of the dialogue that happens in your life, internally and externally.
Are you going to stand up for you? Cuz you hear you if you don’t and that has an affect on what you think you should/shouldn’t put up with. It’s not about making anyone feel guilty, it’s about articulating your truth and your needs or expectations in the partnership. It can be hard at first to find our voice when speaking the truth of our needs, but in the end it’s always worth it.
4) Look at the patterns. If someone is always making excuses, having things come up or generally not being available, chances are they aren’t going to change out of the blue. The reality is when we put up with something for a long time it dictates how others think they can treat us. So if we train them to put us on the bottom of the list, that’s not going to change without a little effort on your part to change what you put up with.
Ask yourself are you always the one giving? Are there always excuses/things that pop up when you need someone/something? Do you find you’re the one that no matter what/how important you’re left holding the bag?
Yes, others need/have other stuff going on. Yes, it is up to us to handle our own stuff. But, when you ask something of someone and they agree and they flip flop, take notice. This could be a one sided situation that needs to be addressed where change or release needs to occur.
5) Do you give out of love or to get love? Giving for the joy of giving is beautiful. But often I’ve seen many who give because they think it will make them more worthy to receive love.
Givers tell themselves that if they give more time, more money, more food, more more more… then they will get the love and worthiness that they are craving.
In truth this goes back to #2. It’s all about self-love and giving to the self. It’s about knowing that no matter how much we give, we’re already deserving of love before giving anything. You don’t need to give anything, you are already worthy. Know that.
To give or not to give?
In the end, only you know how it feels in the situation and that should be your guiding compass in the moment. If you feel like your boundaries have been pressed or that you are being taken for granted, say something. Swallowing your words makes huge blockages. Better out with the truth than continually letting it clog your energy. You don’t deserve to sacrifice your own well-being and life.
I’m not saying you should pull away from everyone and never ask for anything again. But when we start to come into a place of being honest with ourselves about those we attract to us by what energy we are putting out there and what we are putting up with, we start to really see the whole picture of what’s unfolding in our life.
When we start to really value all that we are and all that we offer, we become more open to attracting those into our world that will respect our time and all that we have to bring to the table.
Because you deserve it.
C. Ara Campbell is a visionary writer, author, and founder of The Goddess Circle. She is a soul guide, cosmic channel, facilitator of The Inner Priestess Awakening Online Program, and author of The Astro Forecast. Ara is a modern day mystic dedicated to the awakening rising feminine, living embodied truth and aiding others in connecting with their medicine. Ara is an old soul that has been writing and channeling guidance from the unseen since she was young intuitively soul coaching using spiritual and natural energies. She can often be found seeking wisdom and solace in the wilds of Mother Earth. firstname.lastname@example.org