Have you ever had the experience of doing a generous act, like giving a present or a compliment only to have it 'shut down' by the recipient? Or have you been on the receiving end of a kind generous gesture and refused to graciously accept it, with a 'shut down' response like, 'you shouldn't have' or 'that is most unnecessary'? Out of ignorance I have certainly done this many times.
Recently, I was reminded how yucky it can feel when someone is unable to freely receive a gift. I had this great idea for a gift for a friend,and was so excited when I was the winning silent auction bidder! I gave it to them and they said "Oh, you shouldn't have done that, I can't accept it! I felt deflated, and recalled the many times I had 'shut down' another's generosity. Being unable to freely receive the generosity of others robs them of the opportunity to feel great about being generous. It also denies me the chance to be grateful. Both generosity and gratitude are simple ways we can create a happy self image and positive state of mind. Gratitude is an instant pick me up, when we are feeling down. It really helps when I can let go of judgment, of myself and others, around generosity - both as a giver and receiver. Now I understand how it feels to 'shut down' someones kindness and generosity I will do my best to remember not to do so and not to judge others who do this too. We are all doing the best with what we know at the time.
I think I am tempted to fall into this unhelpful habit of 'shutting down' another's generosity because I feel embarrassed or unworthy. I remember one time when I was feeling lousy, and a friend kindly bought me flowers to cheer me up - I saId "no I don't deserve them' as I gave them back to her!' Feeling inferior or unworthy is just the other side of the pride coin. Both are about comparing ourselves to others. pride feeling better than others and inferiority feeling worse than them. Both pride or feeling better than others, and feeling inferior or unworthy, are unhelpful and unkind and destroy our peace of mind and confidence, as well as deny others the opportunity to feel good about being generous.
There is a difference between humility and feeling inferior. Inferiority is when we put ourselves down. Humility on the other hand is the absence of pride or feeling better than others, it is not about feeling worse than others. Humility involves not taking yourself too seriously, being able to laugh warmheartedly when we make mistakes, and also to freely accept the generosity of others with gratitude. As we explored above, being unable to freely give and receive robs ourselves and others of feeling good!
Another thing I find helpful to remember when it comes to generosity is to give without expectation. Often when we give we have the expectation of receiving thanks or something in return. Like everything we do, our intention behind our actions is what counts. While it is always nice to receive and to give thanks, it is best for our own minds if we can have the intention to give freely without expectation of thanks or some pay back.
The pom-melbourne website is revamped! Yay and much thanks to the generosity of Sam, Tara Alice, Tenzin Lekdron, Sashi and all of you.
Happy Easter to you all.
And once again thank you all for your continued support, friendship and generosity.
Kind Regards and Best Wishes