Image by Michael Bußmann
A spiritual teacher told me of two students who were seeking the one place left in a small-group week-long seminar.
"One student was very wealthy, yet he tried to bargain for a half-price payment of $500," the teacher told me. "The other student had only $20."
"So which one did you take?" I asked.
"We accepted the student who offered $20."
"Why is that?" I asked.
"Because she offered everything," the teacher answered.
It is not so important how much we give; it is how we give that counts. If you have a lot, but offer a little, you have given little. If you have a little, but give it all, you have given much. Our actions are real not for their outer form, but for our energy and intentions behind the actions.
Things Are Valueless; Love Is Valuable
A Course in Miracles asks us to affirm, "I will not value what is valueless." Things are valueless in and of themselves. The love we give in association with things, or by itself, is ultimately valuable.
The story is told of a poet who went to see a doctor. The poet said, "I have all kinds of terrible symptoms. I am unhappy and uncomfortable, my hair and my arms and legs are as if tortured."
The doctor answered, "Is it not true that you have not yet given out your latest poetic composition?"
"That is true," said the poet.
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"Very well," said the physician. "Be good enough to recite."
He did so, and at the doctor’s order, said his lines again and again. Then the doctor said, "Stand up, for you are now cured. What you had inside had affected your outside. Now that it is released, you are well again."
Are You Giving Just a Part of Yourself?
In your work, your friendships, and relationships, are you giving just a part of yourself, or are you giving all of yourself? Are you sharing from the depths of your soul, or are you accommodating? Are you doing what you came here to do, or are you doing what is expected of you? When you go to sleep at night, have you lived a day in accord with your vision, or have you worshiped at the altar of fear? Are you giving wholly of your true self, or partly of a false self?
Recently I met a famous teacher who is very busy. He has many students and media people tugging at him, and he is able to meet with individuals for just a few moments or minutes. When I spoke to him, however, he was really with me. He looked me squarely in the eye, gave me his full attention, and listened and responded clearly and lovingly to exactly what I was saying. Though I spoke to him only briefly, I felt very loved and very fulfilled. Even in a few moments, he gave me everything.
Kahlil Gibran affirmed:
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love. . .
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself...
To wake at dawn with a winged heart "
and give thanks for another day of loving...
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
and a song of praise upon your lips.
101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, Volume 2
by John Grey, Jack Canfield, Richard Carlson, Bob Proctor, Alan Cohen, and more. Edited by David Riklan.
Each essay is three to four pages, just the right length to be stimulating . . . but not so long as to require a long sit. Many people will find that reading one of these essays in the morning can help set up a more successful day.
About The Author
Alan Cohen is the author of many inspirational books including A Course in Miracles Made Easy and his new illuminating guide, The Master Keys of Healing. Become a certified holistic life coach through Alan’s life-changing training program beginning in September 2021. For information on this program and Alan’s books, videos, audios, online courses, retreats, and other inspirational events and materials, visit AlanCohen.com