When we are hurt we can go through a variety of unexpressed or expressed emotions, especially if the person has passed on..... The longer we leave them untapped, untouched and unexpressed the deeper our pain and more difficult it becomes. How then do we let go so we can forgive?
I estimate approximately 500,000 people have heard about the 29 Gifts project by now, with all the media attention we've gotten and viral activity I've been able to track in very rudimentary ways. I wonder what percentage of people *wanted* to say yes, but couldn't because of their scarcity mindset?
So often we live in a place of scarcity (particularly financial scarcity) and allow that to be an excuse for not giving. This only perpetuates our sense of inadequacy, and encourages us to focus on what we do not have, or can not do, which locks us into a self-limiting cycle. It's easy to forget that by giving, we remind ourselves of the abundance in our lives. It is time we take notice of the blessings in our lives, and to build ourselves up with esteemable acts that are gifts to those around us.
Annie--one of my best SF friends who used to allow me to boss her around at an ad agency where we used to work together--once taught me a good lesson about perfectionism. She spent a day at a fancy time management seminar because I suggested improving her time management skills in her quarterly job performance review. When she came back to the office the next day, I asked her, "What's the most useful thing you learned yesterday?" Annie's reply to me was: "Perfectionists never get anything done. You need to let me make more mistakes."
Mbali warned me in the beginning of the project to watch out for the tendency to overgive and I think in the past few weeks I have fallen into this pattern. "Giving does not mean giving so much that you feel depleted or deprive yourself of the things you need for basic survival," warned Mbali. "In fact overgiving, is a red flag that you are operating from the energy of scarcity rather than abundance."
How do we retain a calm center when all the structures we have centered our lives around appear to be falling away? Jobs and careers are disappearing as whole industries collapse; banks have and will continue to fail; fortunes and nest eggs have fallen; many people have lost or will lose their most valuable asset—their homes. In many areas of the country, new houses stand empty and shopping districts look like ghost towns.
A calling requires a response. About thirty years ago I was called to learn to meditate, and after a two-year search, found a school that taught a visualization-based form of meditation intended to wake up one's intuitive ability. At the time I had no idea how answering this urge would change my life.
I was in a relationship without intimacy or trust. We had sex once in a while, were polite with each other, but the thrill had gone. Moving to a new and better house did nothing to reduce my nagging anxiety or fatigue. As the saying goes, we “pulled a geographical” by changing location, but moved our unfinished business and denial in with the food and furniture.
I have been giving a gift a day since March 19, 2008. When I began this daily giving ritual I was in a very dark place in my life. I was very sick, struggling with a major Multiple Sclerosis flare. I was broke because I was unable to work due to my condition. I was isolated from my friends and family because I was an angry, resentful woman and stopped reaching out to others.
Today I was at the corner store buying a bottle of water. I was standing in line behind a woman who reeked of alcohol and there was a long line of impatient people behind me. The woman at the front of the line was obviously in alcohol withdrawal and was showing the beginning signs of DTs. Her hands were shaking like leaves blowing in a hefty wind.
Giving is reciprocal and self-balancing. As you give more, you experience a psychic shift that heightens your awareness of the many things you receive. The giving part is easy, the receiving can be more difficult and more uncomfortable. We're programmed to see receiving as a sign of weakness. Overcoming that preconceived notion can take more effort than you'd think, but there's a payoff.
Sometimes, when the news all seems to be bad, when the bank account is running low, when our emotional stores are feeling empty, it is more difficult to feel generous. We find ourselves in a state of scarcity, clutching desperately to what we have, holding it closer and struggling with the concept of giving anything away. In the present economy, many people are stuck in this cycle of scarcity and fear. These are the times when giving can be most important, and can have the greatest positive influence on our state of mind.
Are you still holding on to that 1980s breakup CD? A childhood teddybear? We often hold on to items that have sentimental value, or continue habits we form in reaction to our past.Whether they are material objects or behavioral patterns, they anchor us to our past and waste the energy we could be channeling into realizing our dreams.