March 20, 2015

etiquette, part 5 - our reaction to 'ungratefulness'

our giving is affected and reflected by the hurt held in our hearts.  there isn't much we can do to make someone else appreciate the effort, or feel grateful, for a gift we give them.  but, we can control our thoughts and actions in our responses.  we can make excuses and give sympathy/empathy, wondering if that person is having a really bad go of things.  we can choose not to give anything for awhile and let it cause a wedge between us.  we can even choose to call these people out on their inability to follow social mores.

we have lots of choices.  but, just because we can do these things, does it mean we should?  we may feel completely justified.  the problem is, when we do this, our soul pays the price.

we are made to love.  
we are meant to give.  

when we allow other people's actions to make the decision for us not to give, a piece of our heart is broken and taken away.  what i've learned in my own life, is that when i choose to give anyway, i'm happier.  i'm freer, and i possess a better soul.  i have a softer, kinder spirit ready to put more good back into the world.  instead of putting my confidence in the reactions of another person, i choose to give approval of myself.

how?

i'd like to offer a different approach.  one that digs below the surface and forces us to see ourselves and our insecurities as they are.  our reaction is a reflection of our deepest hurts, brewing inside and coming to the surface.  if we aren't careful, these hurts will overflow our lives and effect our entire being in unhealthy ways.

remember, you are not giving to get a thank you.  while it is a great form of appreciation and a nice way to boost your own self, the most joy is actually found in the act of giving itself.  give without expectation and give because it soothes your soul.  don't give to reinforce how wonderful you are!

there are a few people in my life that never seem to give me much, even though i feel i've gone above and beyond what is expected.  i have a few people that tend to send birthday and christmas gifts months later, or not at all. i have folks that rarely send a thank you card, or even an email as acknowledgement of receipt.  does it hurt?  sure, it does.  and, the more time i invested in finding the right gift, the more hurt it causes.  does it chap my hide?  absolutely.  and sometimes, i want to send a nasty-gram.  i even used to withhold giving anything in the future until i heard something from them.

but then i realized my heart hurt even worse after that.  once i freed myself from the expectation to receive in return, there was unicorn cat magic that sprinkled on my head. i became a true giver, an unconditional giver, a forgiver.

when our primary goal is to spread joy, we no longer consume ourselves with what we get in return.  ironically, this is when we experience the most joy in giving - the pure satisfaction of doing something nice for someone else, for no other reason than to be nice and cherish that individual.  this kind of gift sends the message we value them and we want to continue to be an encouragement in their life.

if we can spread this philosophy, i believe we can start to see a change in those to whom we give.  they will not feel pressured to return the favor, or to always keep it 'even'.  they will not feel guilty for getting your thank you card out late, or not at all.  they will not worry if they can't afford a gift for you at the time.  instead, they will feel loved in the moment, knowing someone cares for them.  isn't that the point of this life, to love and be loved?

the perfect attitude to hold as we shop for our gifts - #Give2Love and #Love2Give.  make a difference by letting your life shine as a thank you card to the One who gave you life.




gifts can make a difference.  i shared my gift memoir with you last month; you can read it HERE if you missed it. next week, i would like to share another story with you that exemplifies this difference in our lives.  happy gifting my friends.  remember, #GiveTheGoodLife