How many of you have felt stress, anger, resentment, and a range of other emotions when you felt that somebody had not given you what you thought they should have given you. Some of us have a deep-seated belief that if we have been kind or generous to another, they should be kind and generous to us. To step back from this one simple expectation can completely change our lives.
Many of us can become locked into resentment and non-forgiveness simply because others have acted in ways which, in our opinions, do not seem balanced, equitable, or fair. Instead of being able to enjoy giving, loving, and our generous spirits, we disappear into mean vision, racing minds, tense bodies, unhappy dispositions, or other reactions which can result in sickness, poverty, and loneliness.
It is important to recognize that most of us are deeply involved in the expectation that what we've given to others should virtually be recorded and put on account in their books. We then expect they will make sure that the debt is repaid in full. This is where the problem escalates -- life doesn't seem to work that way and people certainly don't either.
Have you ever thought that every act of giving can either be seen as an experience of love or one of resignation where we feel we have to give? When giving comes from love we've already received the rewards of that act. Giving is first and foremost for us -- not the person we give to. When giving is done with a resigned attitude then there isn't a great deal of joy for anybody and nobody feels richer -- all involved are left with either resentment, guilt, or anger.
Who Do You Think Owes You?
When you find yourself in a state of stress, low energy, or feeling like a victim, ask yourself who you think owes you something. You might be surprised or even amazed at who you think does owe you!
Sometimes our minds will dwell on the fact that we have given others encouragement, education, help up the ladder of success, food, clothing and shelter, money, caring, hope, lots of time, love, devotion. total service, our full resources, and even what we call the best years of our lives. At the same time our minds can be saying to us, "But where is the return?"
Possibly all of us yearn to be free, yet we are locked in by our expectations, beliefs, and fantasies about the way others should treat us. How can we be free when we are mentally measuring, thinking that what we've given hasn't been repaid, and getting more and more miserable over the unfairness of life?
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Yes, it does take bigness of spirit to step through the smallness of mind. It does take a lot of heart to keep us as free as possible of shattered dreams, and expectations, and destroyed beliefs on how things should be.
What You Put Out Comes Back... But From Where and From Whom?
Most of us have a sense that "what you put out comes back". Unfortunately, we view this truth with such narrowness that we expect a return from the people we give to. If we keep looking to where we have given to give to us, then our minds are closed to the thousands of other points from where it can come. We can be locked in total lack, whilst living in a sea of plenty.
When we can relax and let go, when we can be open to the goodness and love within us, and when we can free ourselves of the belief that any one person or group of people holds the key to our happiness and needs, then we have made one of the most vital and significant shifts open to us.
I Am Free! Nobody Owes Me Anything!
When we truly understand and accept that "nobody owes me anything", a new potential for living and a feeling of richness can emerge. We can also find ourselves standing at the threshold of the door to love in its non-emotional and purest form.
Perhaps today's the day to open a new set of books and to write off the old debts. Perhaps today is the day to start enjoying giving as never before without the need to record it in a mental ledger.
Breaking old patterns never happens overnight, but sometimes just the sheer awareness of what we are doing can bring a deep sense of hope, exciting possibilities and, most importantly, clarity as to how to find the freedom which we so deeply desire.
Reprinted with permission from
"Rainbow Network Magazine,"
P.O. Box 47553, Ponosonby, New Zealand.
This article was first printed in "Positive Perceptions,"
newsletter of the Relaxation Centre of Queensland.
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About The Author
Lionel Fifield is the co-founder and Coordinator of the Queensland Relaxation Centre. The Relaxation Centre is an unique non-denominational Charitable Institute which has provided free or low cost personal development workshops to hundreds of thousands of Australians since 1974.