For the month of October we are studying the book called “Giving, the Sacred Art,” by Lauren Tyler Wright. I really love the tag line of this book: Creating a Lifestyle of Generosity. See giving isn’t just about the giving, nor is it about activating the law of attraction, nor is it about giving because it makes you feel good. It goes much deeper than that. I believe giving to be a lifestyle choice. I think having a lifestyle of generosity is a wonderful way to live.
I’d like to insert a word of caution here. Giving with the wrong motives creates all sorts of havoc. If you give, and place expectations on what the receiver does with your gift, it creates a sort of toxic codependency that harms and limits both giver and receiver. Or, if you give to control another’s behavior, it sets up the same toxicity.
Even giving to activate the law of attraction has a tendency to block the flow. For example, many people say, “I give so I can receive.” Well, what if the receiving doesn’t come in the form you had planned, or if it doesn’t come in the time frame you had set? Do you then complain to God, or your minister or practitioner, saying, “I give and give and give and get nothing in return! This doesn’t work!” You are right, it doesn’t work like that.
Instead, consider that giving, as Wright says, can create a transformation in your life that will relieve stress, help you connect to other people and open up encounters with the Sacred. Or, as Ernest Holmes says in the Science of Mind textbook, “Man must become more if he wishes to draw a greater good into his life.”
Creating a lifestyle of generosity means becoming a generous person. It means being generous not only with your financial assets, but also with your time and attention. It means being open. Consider this rather simple example: an open person meets someone new, and is ready with a smile and a willingness to engage in conversation. The open person makes eye contact, might give a hug (with permission) and be genuinely interested in this new person they just met. What happens? A new friendship is born. Then imagine if another person, who wasn’t quite so open, met someone new. They might simply say, “nice to meet you,” and then stand in silence, or walk away. No new friendship, and the not so open person just set up some very firm limits in her life! I know, because I used to be like that second person: not so open. It took a lot of work to get to openness and generosity. I’m happy to say I’ve made a lot of progress in that area.
So, if you have some limitation in your life, whether it is financial, or in the area of relationships or health, you may want to consider the invitation to explore creating a lifestyle of generosity with us.