Ingredients to Create a Blissful Life #19: Giving

You know what amazes me? How my life seems to take me to the places I’m going to write about almost every week. I like to think that’s some sort of confirmation that I’m on the right track. Interesting…

This week’s Ingredient to Create a Blissful Life is: Giving

Whether you believe in karma or you don’t, I’m sure we can all agree that giving something to someone who needs it makes you feel pretty good. I remember very distinctly a day when my husband and I were on our way home and pulled off the highway to go through the Tim Horton’s drive thru. As we pulled into the parking lot, we saw a young man with a dog holding a sign that was asking for help to get home. As we pulled up to place our order, I told him to slow down when we were leaving because I wanted to give this young man a few dollars. He thought I was crazy, but I handed him the money because the boy was on his side of the car. He opened his window and when he handed him the money, we realized it was a young teenage girl. As we were driving away he talked about how good it made him feel and how if any of our kids were far from home and in need of help, we hoped someone would help them.

Here’s the thing. We can get so wrapped up in our own stuff that it’s easy to forget how blessed we are. If you live in North America, let’s be honest. Most of us have it far easier than millions of other people on the planet. We live in a very rich society where things are very available, but it’s easy to forget that because things have always been so available. Interesting. And we really like to hold onto things, don’t we?

So what happens when we give something away? Well, aside from feeling great because you know you’ve helped someone, there seems to be a universal law that comes into play. What you give away, you receive and usually much more than you gave. I don’t know what the technical term might be, but I’ve seen it happen again and again. When we operate from a space of lack and worry, we never have enough, but when we operate from generosity and abundance, it somehow creates more and more. It’s almost as though we’re given more so we have more to give.

Now, I would never suggest that you give away your mortgage money, and I believe that we need to listen to our instincts. I give to the causes or to the people I feel a “call” to help. It’s as though something taps me on the shoulder and says, “This one”. And I’ve learned to listen. I give when I feel like it will be a contribution. And I’ve gotta tell you, it really feels good.

If you’re a giver, I haven’t told you anything that you don’t already know. If not, let me challenge you to try it and see how you feel. You could start small by paying for the coffee for the guy behind you in the drive thru lane. I promise, you’ll make his day and you might just inspire him to do something kind for someone else. Imagine what this world could be if everyone went around practicing random acts of kindness. Or you could go bigger and make a donation to a cause that feels light for you. Then see whether you don’t feel as great as my husband did when we helped the young lady who was trying to get home. Or don’t. After all, who would want that right?

As always… What do you choose?

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