1. Freely transfer the posession of (something) to (someone); hand over to.
I had this all wrong. Until now. It doesn’t mean I haven’t been generous. It doesn’t mean I haven’t busted my ass to raise awareness and money. I’ve advocated. I’ve hustled. I’ve partnered in the name of greater good. I’ve given so much time. I’ve given the shirt off of my body and the jewelry off of my neck. The hat off of my head even!
But, I let a few giving processes this year drain me. I thought that other humans and organizations had deflated me. I was giving and trying so hard to do my part; hoping for others to see my vision. Wanting to be the inspiration that made change happen. Some really didn’t see my vision, and many weren’t inspired enough to change. In one instance, I allowed myself to be used because I truly wanted to “help”. Wah. I was tired and running on an empty gas tank, neglecting my own inspiration. I began hearing some negative chatter creep in. I had some highly critical thoughts about others.
That’s a signal that it’s time for some healthy self-reflection and soul searching.
I know it starts with me, stays with me, and ends with me. I never stop looking for answers, and continue to try to be a better human in spite of challenges and negative feelings. So what was driving the negativity and the ultimate draining?
My expectations. My own drive and vision. My ego.
The most important word in the definition of give is “freely”. We are FREE to give or, conversely, not give. I preach freedom. I try to live it every day. Oh ya, it’s my choice!
If we give time, maybe it’s taking time away from other priorities and needs. That can feel draining and leave us frazzled if we aren’t able to find the right balance. It can also lead to resentment if we attach expectations to the give. “He should”, “they should”, etc. If our ego is involved, we fail to remeber the power of our freedom. We are instead seeking something in return. That’s not giving.
Giving money/resources to somebody else means that we don’t get to keep or spend for ourselves. But we’re free to choose to give it or not. Attaching expectations to the money or expecting accolades, pats on the back, or recognition has the potential to leave us highly disappointed. Again, that’s ego. “Where’s the love?”
Sheesh…there are so many ways to do it and SO MANY feelings/emotions that go along with each give process or experience. What I’ve learned and continue to learn about my efforts in awareness, advocacy, fundraising, and giving, is that I have to believe that my give matters; no matter how big or small. But mostly, I have to really care about the cause. I must believe in the mission and the people behind it.
I didn’t think I started happiesbetter for praise, recognition, or accolades. I certainly didn’t start the company with the goal of getting rich. I founded this organization as a vehicle for advocacy and to be part of a larger goodness. I began because of my NEED to empower people to own their mental wellbeing through choices. I work because I need to stay connected to the resources and inspiration that have saved my life. I give because I have the privilige to do so and a soul that heals with every moment of giving (sans ego). Sharing a positive message and connecting it to healing, growth, mental strength, and education is what lights my fire.
2017 is winding down and I have a big project launching in 2018. We are making some organizational changes that I’m beyond excited about. I have re-lit my own fire. The world will be a better place because of happiesbetter and that’s how I have to see it. I give you my honest thanks for good vibes and hope you continue to support our community and our giving.