Giving Only Matters If You Put Love into It
Giving is an act of faith whose only true test is love. It’s an act of affection that comes from the heart and spreads with eyes closed. The amount of affection carried implicitly in the act of giving is the measure of its strength. Moreover, giving just to give can be easy, but giving willingly and sincerely isn’t so easy.
So it’s not just what you’re capable of giving to others or what you receive from them, it’s also the love that you invest or collect with each action. It seems contradictory, but in order to be able to fill the soul, it’s necessary to share some of the emotional intensity carried within it.
Giving can fill you up just as much as receiving
The concept of receiving something from someone seems to imply adding, while giving implies subtracting. This might sometimes be the case, but more often than not, this law does not ring true. People forget that the act of giving can fuel you just as much as, or even more than, receiving.
“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.”
It’s true that both are important. In fact, giving for the mere pleasure of doing something from the heart is just as valuable as receiving the same from someone else. Both involve a dynamic that should generate happiness and personal satisfaction.
When we receive, we gain something, but when we give we can gain even more. In the past, the Greeks believed that emotional intelligence resided in the heart. For this reason, what matters is the love that you put into what you give or the emotion that you feel when you receive, not the superficial act of giving or receiving.
The heart obtains the fuel and energy to beat thanks to the balance between giving and receiving.
When giving to someone else is also giving to yourself
Along the same lines, it’s fair to say that talking about giving and receiving from the heart translates into giving to ourselves and knowing what others want to get us. That’s what personal relationships are really all about; a little emotional piece of yourself takes flight every time you give sincerely, and an essential part of the other person makes itself at home within you when you open yourself up to receiving it.
It means nothing when you give without affection. Doing someone a favor for your own benefit isn’t friendly, and thinking of the other person out of obligation is fleeting. But when you put love into whatever you’re doing, everything changes.
So if you put emotion into what you give, you’ll be enriching the gift. You’ll be removing your masks, opening the doors to the most vulnerable parts of yourself, and letting the purest part of yourself show.
“Nobody is more generous than he who gives to himself.”
-P. Luís Carlos Aparicio Mesones-
That is the most valuable part of giving, and it leaves the most lasting effect on the people around you. If somebody has ever done something for you from the heart, you know how actions like these can burn into your memory. Honest, emotional actions are locked in a little box that contains the memories, objects, people, and ideas that have real value in our lives.
When you give with love, you get something back
You might be thinking that you give more than you receive, and that this is unfair. In fact, I’m almost certain that you’ve probably gotten tired of not seeing other people respond in the same way as you. The disappointment you feel when you perceive this has less to do with not receiving, and more to do with feeling like you might not matter that much to them.
But I’m telling you, when you give with love, sooner or later you get something back, however small it might seem to you.
But you have to be observant. Look out for the people who take advantage of you and don’t stop asking for things, and from there, filter your giving actions in a healthier way. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be more likely to recognize a simple smile of gratitude, words of affection, or a small gesture that’s intended to make you happy.
“You possess only what you give. You don’t own yourself except for when you give yourself. True service demands sacrifice.”
It can be difficult to spot such sincerity, but not impossible. You can’t live in society if you don’t believe in reciprocity, in the kindness of human beings, or in mutual gratitude. We all deserve the love that we’re able to give in order to maintain a healthy self-esteem.
Images courtesy of Pascal Campion