We have a habit of combining giving and receiving together as a single act. If someone is giving, then someone else must be receiving. Based on this, there is no way for one person to give without another person receiving. However, giving is one thing and receiving is something else completely. Both are independent of one another. We have all experienced giving without receiving. For example, when we give our attention to someone who doesn’t receive it. Or, when we give a gift that someone clearly doesn’t want or care about which is quickly set aside meaninglessly. The person may not be malicious about it, but there was no receiving involved. Another mode in this realm, which we will discuss today, is taking. There’s nothing pretty about taking, but it does provide an opportunity for us to work on ourselves when we are forced to interact closely and regularly with a Taker.
Giving with Meaning
We typically identify with whichever mode is more natural for us. For me, I am most easily a Giver. It’s important to note that the material aspects of giving have no value on the cosmic calculator. Value is based on how much intention and love is behind the giving. For example, a rich man might pull up to a homeless person, reach in his pocket, pull out a crisp $100 bill and give it to them right before he drives off. However, if that rich man felt nothing behind it and forgot about, then there is no cosmic energy there. This is not giving. This is simply transferring material energy because money is energy.
On the other hand, if a man who was also homeless came up to the same homeless person and offered only attention and friendship, items that cost no money…this is giving. The good news is, we don’t need money or materials to be extraordinary Givers. The best gifts we can give are the gifts of our own attention, affection, appreciation and love. They cost no money and have a major impact. The only thing holding us back from being great Givers is US. We all have what it takes to be great Givers! Pretty exciting!
Of course, giving that involves materials is not worthless. Many people give money, food, stuffed animals, clothing, etc. every day. What matters is what’s behind the giving. If you give with pure intent, care and love, then there is cosmic energy present. This is very much Giving in a meaningful and positive way.
Receiving is Tough
Receiving is the most difficult item on the list. Truly being a gracious and humble Receiver does not come naturally to most of us…especially me. My natural reaction when someone tries to give me something is to not allow it. If a colleague tries to buy my lunch, I always protest and attempt to buy the meal myself. If someone brings me a gift or sends me something special for helping them out, I immediately plead with them that I have everything I need and they should keep it or give to someone else in greater need. When Christmas rolls around, I tell everybody not to buy me a present. I am naturally comfortable in the role of Giver and uncomfortable in the role of Receiver.
Amazingly, for all of my life, I was unable to see what was really happening. I was denying people the opportunity to be a Giver in the way that I myself enjoy being a Giver. I was clogging the cosmic energy that was genuinely being passed in my direction. What a huge difference this made when I realized it. Now, no matter what, I go out of my way to graciously receive any gift that is given, even if I don’t need it or have any use for it. It’s not about the gift itself but the intention, attention, and love that the gift represents. Embrace THAT aspect and every gift will be meaningful 🙂
Of course, being a good Receiver is very different from being a Taker. We all know at least one Taker in our lives. This is the person who doesn’t necessarily receive well, though they might, but is always looking to take. The problem with Takers arise often, but especially when they are closely connected with a Giver. There is only so much one person can give, but you can always take more. Sometimes these situations cause Givers to question whether or not they should change their ways. Givers will often create boundaries to their giving after an encounter with a Taker. This is not the right way. Takers will continue to take because it is what has worked for them in this life. We are all doing the best we can with the consciousness we have in the current moment.
How do we deal with Takers?
The solution for Takers is greater awareness of their actions, as the solution is for all problems for all of us. Changing who we are in an attempt to change who they are is not the solution. People will take advantage of you if you’re a Giver, but that’s not on you. That’s on them.
If you’re a good Receiver, then you’ll notice more people’s generosity as more and more people will become Givers around you. Dealing with Takers, however, can seem like a no-win situation. Fortunately, every Taker has a Giver inside them. So how do we help them bring this Giver inside to the forefront? By being the change we wish to see in the world as Ghandi so eloquently put it. Just like with children, we should always lead by example. It may take a long time, but if we can show someone the true joy of giving as we genuinely express it, there is no way they will be able to avoid the effects of such positive energy transfer.
Happy Meditating. I really hope it helps. Namaste 🙂