Before You Give Your Life Away
Kiss Your Life! before you give it away
Kiss it with a respect that reaches deep into your personal history.
Understand that your life must be reverenced before it can be shared. You revere your life when you eat all the chocolate you crave, when the wind blows in your face and the shoreline tickles your toes.
You revere your life when you have traveled enough to satisfy your sense of adventure, dated enough to know you can love, cried enough to be human, work enough to feel accomplished and healed enough to be free from the shame of cultural expectations.
After kissing your life reverently you can give it away without losing your identity because you know how essential your identity is. And what a marvelous discovery that is!
Kiss Your Life... 365 Reasons to Love Who You Are
By: Ann Mody Lewis, Ph.D.
Reason: 240 Page: 258
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
-St. Francis of Assisi
In every spiritual tradition the power of self-abandonment to achieve a greater good is a sign of personal growth. It is an ideal that is coupled with a truth, that we need one another. This ideal is so powerful that many of us fear being needed too much. How do we balance the invitation to give with our instincts of self-preservation? What does our fear of giving say about our personal growth?
The Giver is a person of power, according to Saint Francis, but where does that power come from?
The irony of giving is: Givers must find the power to give within themselves.
Self-discovery empowers us to be Givers.
If the Giver is deprived of self-discovery, that begins the moment they are born and proceeds throughout childhood, giving may feel like an intrusion, confusion, interruption and depletion. When the Giver is not grounded in their own fullness the blessedness of giving is compromised. Without knowledge of their own needs the Giver may lose their purpose. Rather than producing a great love, their giving creates a depressed heart.
The optimism of the Giver, even during moments of discouragements, is always regenerated when they have a Self that is known. They find peace in their identity, comfort in their friends and reconciliation in their spirituality. From their sense of self the Giver is realistic enough to know that all love begins with self-love. The profound truth that we are the font of our own power to give can make the promise of Saint Francis come true...it is in giving that we receive.
Bette Midler sang so beautifully in The Rose about the power of the Giver:
I say love, it is a flower
And you, it’s only seed
It's the heart, afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It's the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It's the one who won't be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul, afraid of dying
That never learns to live
Taking care of yourself may not be the selfish act everyone accuses you of but rather, the refueling of your giving power!
This month's discussion will attempt to shift your thinking and clarify your feelings about giving. Topics will include: Where does the power of giving begin? When does giving become too much? How does giving empower the Giver? Why are women supposed to be givers and men takers? Why is it important for the giver to take care of them self?
Let's all contribute to this profound discussion so giving becomes the way we live.