When we feel like closing our hearts, generosity can take us beyond fear and help us keep them open. Our wisdom and awareness will tell us what generosity might be in any particular situation. Knowing what the situation demands depends on generously giving ourselves enough space to see clearly, which in turn depends on not holding anything back for ourselves. The true point of generosity is to free ourselves from wanting anything. If we are free from wanting anything for ourselves -- including confirmation, peace, freedom, and enlightenment --- it is possible to give away anything we might have.
Here are some ideas about how to be generous:
Generosity is allowing yourself to feel your feelings -- even if you think they're selfish. Acting out your feelings, however, may not always be generous.
Generosity is giving yourself time to feel the space around any situation. It's inherently contained in taking a deep breath. In many cases, being silent is a form of generosity.
Generosity can be honoring your own needs first and then looking to the needs of others. It's giving yourself good food, rest, and relaxation when you need it. It is making friends with yourself. This may require accepting qualities, opinions, and actions that are beneath the standard of your internal judge.
It's very generous to become aware of your story lines and learn to jump over them. The best way to do this is to touch in with the present moment. You can do this with your senses.
- It's generous to let your children be themselves. Notice when you're trying to control them. Are you acting for their safety, education, or well-being-- or for your own convenience?
- Generosity is knowing when to let things be, without trying to "fix" them. It's knowing that truth is more satisfying than happiness.
Generosity is saying yes instead of no. This may mean activating your will and going beyond habitual patterns of addiction, depression, anger, and other negative emotions. It's being willing to open yourself to yourself.
There's generosity in not expressing every complaint. Can you see an opportunity in whatever arises?
It's generous to be satisfied with what you have.
Generosity is allowing life to flow through your being.
Above all, it's being fully involved with whatever you are doing.
- Generosity is the willingness to connect with others. It is also allowing others their opinions, without trying to change them.
One teaching says, "Generosity is the virtue that produces peace." Try it and see if you think this is true.
About the Author
More Articles By Carlos Warter, M.D., Ph.D.
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