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January 27, 2020
Word of the Week: Generosity
We need to talk about generosity.
The holiday season can bring up a lot around the concept of giving, receiving, and what it means to be a “good” person:
If someone gives me a gift, do I have to reciprocate at the exact same value?
Do I need to thank someone for their thank you note?
Do I need to donate to every cause that asks for my support?
There are so many people in need.
Am I a selfish bitch for wanting to keep some money for myself?
Is it even a gift if I don’t want it?
How is it possible that there are so many people who are less fortunate than me?
The world is unfair.
I should help more.
There can be a lot of guilt around having “more than enough,” which compels a lot of people to spend or give more than they would like. It’s like you having more is causing someone else to have less, when in reality, that’s not really how energy exchange works. It’s not so transactional.
I often see people in the personal growth space say things like “you can always be generous.” Generous with your money. Generous with your time. Or simply generous with your smile.
And while yes, I obviously believe in being kind to people and walking through the world with an open heart. However, and this is a big however, there is a time for giving and a time for receiving. You cannot be in the season of giving indefinitely. It is not sustainable.
Some days, I am so depleted and inside of my own struggle that I do not even have a smile to give. Not one smile. Does that make me a bad person? No. It might make me less “nice” but for me, authenticity trumps niceness.
Money, time, and smiles are all forms of energy. To me, generosity is about giving when you have energy to give. It’s not about always giving. If we always give, our well will run dry and we will be no good to anyone. Instead, it’s vital to take time to receive, replenish our energy, and refill our wells.
Part of self-care is learning how to save some energy for yourself. To love yourself enough to prioritize your needs. To be ok with having more than enough.
Ask Yourself: What does being a generous person mean to you? What is your relationship with giving and receiving? Are you currently in a giving season or a receiving season?
Weekly Mantra: I am allowed to have more than enough.