The Downside Of GivingNov 27, 2022
Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner -Lao Tzu
You may read the title and be apprehensive about reading onward. That is okay. I want you to pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and reactions throughout this writing. There are pros and cons to everything, even giving. This is not a rant to dissuade you from giving; it is to show you that there are ways giving can become detrimental to your life.
You may feel resistance and say, “What could be the downside of giving?” There are several downsides, actually. Said differently, there are certain traps of perception around giving that, if you fall into them, will make your generosity fade or halt altogether. These traps taint giving by making you feel negative emotion around the subject.
The first and most obvious is giving to people who don’t deserve it. Not that everyone doesn’t deserve love; however, there are plenty of people in this world who want to suffer. There are people who enjoy horror movies. If you don’t believe there are villains in this world who have been corrupted by their egos, then most likely, you are surrounded by them and don’t even notice. It is like telling a fish they are in water.
If you give one of these horror movie fans your time and energy, it will be like giving love to a black hole. It will never be enough, and all it will do is drain you. These people are commonly known as energy vampires. The ones that make you feel ashamed, frustrated, depressed, or downright mad for no reason in particular. This is just how they operate. Making you feel not good enough so they can manipulate you into doing what they want to prove yourself.
Giving to these people is like giving your blood to a leach. Have too many of these people in your life, and pretty soon, your body will be ready to die. When you recognize this type of person in your life, the question you have to ask yourself is, “Why is it okay to love this person but not love myself first?” When you ask that question, it shifts your focus to loving yourself. If you did truly love yourself or were in the beginning stages of practicing self-love, you couldn’t allow your energy to be depleted by another individual’s drama. This is because you would recognize that it is everyone’s personal responsibility to fill the void of love inside. You cannot do it for them.
The next way giving becomes problematic is with gratitude in return. Giving a gift, even if that gift is time, energy, focus, or a listening ear, has to be reciprocated with gratitude for the giver to feel positive about the exchange. Now there are specific instances where gratitude is not possible to give, like a first responder helping someone who is unconscious. Other than those types of situations, when gratitude is not given in response to someone giving of themselves, immediately there is resentment due to the lack of energy exchange.
No one wants to give to people who are ungrateful. Unless, of course, you enjoy suffering. Then by all means, continue to give to the ungrateful. When this happens, it is always because of self-sabotage. The people pleaser or doormat is high on their delusion that the ungrateful energy vampire is just going to wake up one day and become loving and grateful. You literally self-sabotage your own happiness by giving to the ungrateful.
Other’s Opinion Of You
When you evolve with other people, there are some traps to watch out for. Everyone is evolving in their own way at their own pace. To think you know where someone should be on their path of evolution will only cause suffering. You don’t know what is best for anyone.
The same thing happens in reverse when you catch up with a friend who is doing really well for themselves in your eyes, and you start to compare where you are to them. Then you think to yourself, “I’m not doing enough. They are killing it, and I’m going to be left behind.” Then all the negative emotions start to erupt within you because you have just triggered your not good enough story. Only compare your life to someone else’s if you want to suffer.
Then we have the old reliable other people’s opinion of you. What is fascinating about this is the idea of perception versus behavior. What I mean is that when you believe people have a good perception of you, what happens is that you assume they will treat you positively based on the good perception they have of you. However, that is not necessarily the case.
So often, what people do is attempt to paint themselves in a positive light in the perceptions of the people closest to them. They do this under the false assumption that people will treat them better if they think highly of them. But that is not what happens in life, is it?
No one stops to think about the villain or the horror movie fan that loves to suffer. They want misery and pain, not peace and love. So when an energy vampire has a high perception of someone, they will tear that person down to make themselves feel better. Hence all the trolls online hiding behind their insecurities. That is the only reason anyone would tear anyone else down. You have to perceive yourself as less than or below someone to tear them down to your level. You have to perceive someone above you to want to knock them off “their pedestal.” Except, your ego puts them on that pedestal to make you feel not good enough about yourself.
You believe making other people like you will make them treat you well. But making a villain like you will make them want to hurt you for threatening their horror movie. People who want darkness will push away or block out the light. They will destroy loving relationships and the people who promote them.
The point is that other people’s perception of you is tainted based on their own past experiences as well as what they came to this plain of existence to accomplish in life. Everyone’s opinion of you is biased in some way. Therefore, attempting to sway someone to like you is folly. Simply pay attention to how others treat you. Have very clear boundaries that remove toxic behavior from your life. If you don’t, you will be giving energy to people whose intentions run counter to your own.
Big-hearted people want to love everyone. If that worked, this world would be very different. You must let those who want to suffer and spread misery have life their way, but just away from you. This is exactly what boundaries are for. It is for you to maintain your world as one that has peace and love. Not for you to save the entire world. That is not your job. Clean up your world and watch as the rest of the world changes before your eyes.
As you remove toxic people from your life, you free up space and emotional energy for positive, healthy relationships -Anne Brown
Your Heart’s Opinion Of You
Other people’s opinion of you doesn’t matter at all. Only their treatment of you matters. Trying to get people to like you is a fool’s errand. There are plenty of people that will be amazing compatriots on your life journey if you keep looking for them. Your tribe is out there when you let go of trying to impress people who otherwise don’t want you around.
This is why the only opinion of you that ultimately matters is your heart’s opinion of you. When you take the time to strengthen your connection to your heart and listen to what it has to say, other people’s perceptions become less valuable to you. Giving energy, attention, and focus to the places that can reciprocate it will be more than just self-love and self-soothing; it will be paramount to your sanity moving forward.
Meditation is a great tool for aligning with your heart’s wisdom. The next time you meditate, put your conscious awareness on your heart as long as you can. Feel the heartbeat. Feel the energy within your chest. When you come back to the present moment after catching your mind wandering, put your awareness back on your heart. Keep it there as the foundation for your meditation. Give it time and see what happens.
Your heart will tell you who is appropriate to give to and who is not. When you ask it questions, it will respond, given enough time and practice with it. It may be difficult at first to follow the heart’s instructions, but always remember, if you are not following your heart, what exactly are you following?
Giving anonymously is best when it comes to charity. Awarding people for giving is a true ego trap and quite an obvious one as well. Why do you need to be seen giving? You are making it about you and not about generosity. You don’t need the gratitude exchange from a charity, so don’t fool yourself into believing you need credit for giving. You don’t. No one does. What you are giving was given to you; never forget that. You are simply a link in the chain of evolution.
So now you see the traps of giving. Giving to villains or horror movie fans will only cause suffering. Giving any attention or energy to people who treat you poorly might as well be an invitation to hell. Only go play with those people if you like horror movies too and want your life to be one. Being generous just to be seen as being generous is the act of a narcissist. Giving to yourself and giving to the people your heart wants to will be like watering a garden with seeds that you want to see sprout and grow. Weed out all else.
To give of yourself is kindness. To give to yourself is wisdom. Letting your heart open and give itself to those it deems worthy is heaven -The Lucky One