“Tell everyone you know: My life is sacred, and so is my Presence. For you to be in my life nowadays, you have to earn this right. And it’s no longer easy.” ~ Luminita D. Saviuc
For as long as I can remember, I have been a generous giver. I gave my time, my presence, my energy, my gifts, my money, my things and all of me to the whole world.
I gave it all away without ever questioning whether there was any wisdom, or discernment in my giving. And whether the people who were always there to take away my gifts were actually worthy of receiving what I had to give.
I never stopped to question my motive.
I just gave and gave and gave, until I reached a point where I became so empty and depleted – not necessarily from giving, but from giving, and not receiving – that the thought of giving made me sick to my stomach.
On Breaking the Exhausting Cycle of Over-Giving
“And now you ask in your heart, ‘How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?’ Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower, But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee. For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life, And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love, And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy. ” ~ Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
We are taught to believe that giving is a sign of nobility; that we should do our best to give as much as we possibly can; that we should strive to be kind, generous, and loving to those around us. And although I agree with this with all my heart, I also believe that we need to learn about the importance and the power of receiving.
We have to learn to be excellent receivers – of the good, the bad, and the ugly – because if we don’t, if we’re always the ones giving and never receiving, we will reach a point of imbalance and exhaustion where we will begin to feel violated, abused, and oh, so angry and upset – with ourselves and all those people who ‘too advantage’ of our generous giving. Failing to realize that it wasn’t our giving that was the problem, but giving and not receiving.
Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower, but it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life, and to the flower a bee is a messenger of love, and to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
Yes! The giving and the receiving is a need and an ecstasy. One without the other is not pleasure, but pain.
“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.” ~ Brené Brown
There has to be a balance between giving and receiving. And boundaries have to be set. But you cannot expect these boundaries to be set by those around you.
You are the one who has to draw this line and set these boundaries. Because no mater how cruel it may seem; no matter how hurtful and unfair, most people are ‘handicapped’ when it comes to this concept of reciprocity. Most people love to get without ever giving anything in return. And I call that: thievery.
Making Space for Receiving
“I’ve learned there are givers and takers in this life. I’ve slowly let the takers go and I’ve had it for the better. God bless them, when they learn to play by the rules they are welcomed back, but my heart is worth protecting.” ~ Donald Miller
It’s true. There are givers and takers in this life. And if you have been a giver, chances are that you have been surrounded only by takers. But you cannot blame them, or yourself. For that would only drag you deeper and deeper into a sea of agony, anger, helplessness and despair.
What you want to do is make a conscious effort to look at your life and all the places where you overextend yourself and decide to no longer do so.
You’ll want to stop the giving for a while – no matter how painful and impossible it may seem – so that you can allow for healing to be received.
You’ll want to step back from everything and everyone that is demanding so much of you and giving absolutely nothing in return, so that you can learn to see yourself, no longer through the distorted vision of others, but through your own healed and loving eyes.
You’ll want to start saying ‘no’ to this unhealthy game of ‘look at me I am a good person’ and start being ‘selfish’ for the first time in your life.
You’ll want to tell everyone you know: My life is sacred, and so is my Presence. For you to be in my life nowadays, you have to earn this right. And it’s no longer easy.
Is that going to be easy?
Of course not! For it will trigger you in ways you might not want to be triggered. But it’s necessary to stop the bleeding and start the healing process.
Because yes, all this giving and never receiving comes from a wounded place; it comes from a place of lack of love, worth and awareness of the truth of who you are.
And if you can be brave enough to look at that – without judgment, hatred or condemnation – and heal the parts of you that are in great need of healing, you will no longer give yourself away, as if who you are, what you know, what you have and what you do, has no real value, and no worth. And you will demand the world to treat you with the same level of love and respect that you yourself have learned to treat yourself and the world.