Giving

     Don't be afraid of giving.
     For a while, we may need to back off from giving as we learn to discern the difference between healthy giving and caretaking, which leaves us feeling victimized and others feeling resentful.
     This is a temporary spot.
     To be healthy, to do our part in this spiritual way of life, to be part of the endless cycle of the Universe, guided by our Creator, we need to give and receive.
     Both parts are important.
     What is healthy giving?
     This is a fine-lined behavior each of us must seek to understand for ourselves.  It is giving that feels good and does not leave us feeling victimized.
     It is giving that holds the giver and the receiver in high esteem.
     It is giving based on a desire to do it rather than from a sense of guilt, pity, shame, or obligation.
     It is giving with no strings attached.  Or it is giving based on a clean, direct contact.
     Whether it is giving of our time, efforts, energy, comfort, nurturing, money, or ourselves, it is giving that we can afford.
     Giving is part of the chain of giving and receiving.  We can learn to give in healthy ways; we can learn to give in love.  We need to keep an eye on our giving, to make sure it has not crossed the line into caretaking.  But we need to learn to give in ways that work for us and others.

Today, God, guide me in my giving.  Help me give to others in healthy ways.  Help me give what feels right, what feels good, what feels clean, and what I can afford.

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