Benefits of Giving
Giving of yourself to others not only benefits them; it also makes you
more open emotionally, more positive and more aligned with the
spiritual energies of life.
One of the best methods for encouraging emotional openness is to pay
more attention to giving to other people. We all tend to focus a lot
on ourselves — our own desires, interests and pursuits. That's
natural. If we don't pay enough attention to ourselves, it will be
hard to accomplish our important purposes in life. But sometimes we
become so self-absorbed that we don't pay enough attention to other
people. This tends to close us emotionally.
When you open to other people, you establish a bridge between
yourself and that which exists outside your private experience. You
invite the experience and the love of other people into your life.
This can help you expand and deepen your emotions.
If you work to open to other people, you'll want to balance the
attention you give yourself with the attention you give to the
people in your life. A good way to monitor yourself each day is to
use the image of a balance scale. On one side, imagine all of the
attention you've focused on yourself. See it pulling down that side
of the scale. If you don't give your attention to anybody else that
day, your scale will be way out of balance. By giving to others,
you'll bring your scale more into balance.
We all tend to pay more attention to ourselves in a typical day
than we do to other people. But this image of the scale will at
least help you see when you're totally caught up with yourself and
not giving at all to others.
You can also think in terms of energies flowing into you and out of
you. Giving your attention to yourself is a taking in of energy.
Giving to others is a going out of energy. No matter how wonderful
it is to care for yourself, if that's all you do, then you'll only
take in energy, and you'll become overstuffed or blocked. Your human
energies in your personality can temporarily become unbalanced
toward the self, and that can result in selfishness and the creation
of a gap between yourself and other people.
When you give to others, you begin the outpouring of your energies
— your energies of caring, compassion and loving. Such an outpouring
creates experiences that are very important for you. They can
broaden and expand your human expression, stimulating deeper love
and fulfillment within you. Also, other people benefit a great deal
from what you give them. Seeing them benefit from your giving can
bring great joy into your life, which will prompt deeper emotional
openings within you.
It would be quite unusual, and perhaps even impossible, for you to
live every moment of your life perfectly balanced between taking in
energies for yourself and pouring out energies to other people. It's
simply not in our human nature to be that uniform or that perfect.
Human nature is volatile and robust. It's experimental, you might
say. So to guide yourself in your balance between taking for
yourself and giving to others, you can think in terms of making
continual adjustments every day instead of trying to be perfect.
You must decide each day what you will give, to whom, when, where
and how. As you make these decisions, it's wise to balance what you
desire to give with what others need to receive. So it's always wise
to ask people, "What do you need? How can I help?"
Most people need to receive compassion, warmth, encouragement and
love from others. In almost every moment of your life, the people
around you will deeply need these gifts from you. If you're willing
to give them, not only will others benefit, but you'll be opening
emotionally through giving.
The gentle emotional openings you make when you try to care more
about others, give to them and be kind and generous to them, will
soften your own personality. When you soften, you create more
thoughts and feelings that are positive, creative and more aligned
with the true spiritual energies of life.
By becoming softer through your willingness to try to be kind,
sensitive and generous to others, you'll create a strong, positive
and beneficial reflective action back into your own personality
patterns. This will stimulate those patterns toward growth and
Now, here are two things you can do to use these insights in your
First, visualize a balance scale with the attention you've paid to
yourself today on one side, and the attention you've given to others
on the opposite side, and ask yourself if it is evenly balanced. If
not, try giving more freely to others. You'll bring joy into both
your life and theirs.
Second, make a point of asking people what they need and how you
can help them, for different people have different needs. But almost
everyone requires warmth, encouragement and love, and by giving
these gifts you'll be opening yourself emotionally and stimulating
your own spiritual growth.