Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Concern for the have nots

"Whatever you think people are withholding from you -- praise, appreciation, assistance, loving care, and so on -- give it to them.  You don't have it?  Just act as if you had it, and it will come.  Then, soon after you start giving, you will start receiving.  You cannot receive what you don't give.  Outflow determines inflow.  

Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you already have, but unless you allow it to flow out, you won't even know that you have it.  This includes abundance.  The law that ourflow determines inflow is expressed by Jesus in this powerful image: "Give and it will be given to you.  Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap." 

The source of all abundance is not outside you.  It is part of who you are... Both abundance and scarcity are inner states that manifest as your reality.  Jesus puts it like this: "For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." -- Eckhart Tolle, from A New Earth

And again I find myself thinking, mightn't there be situations where this is NOT true?  Aren't there relationships, jobs, situations where one person pours out and receives nothing in return?  How do we know when the fault is ours and when it is not, and time to extricate ourselves?

I haven't been in one of those situations in years, but I remember how it felt, how much of myself I poured in, and how hard it was to finally separate myself from that.  And I see how difficult situations like that are for others.  So some part of me rebels when I see this sort of "not getting enough? Give more!" advice. 

On the other hand, in both of the situations I'm remembering the root of the problem was my tendency to undervalue myself.  And the fact is, when I continued to give, it eventually became clear, even to me, that I was worth more than I was getting in return.  And it was that awareness that allowed me to extricate myself.  So perhaps this IS good advice?

Still -- some part of me worries: are we blaming the victim here?


Maureen said...

I think this might be an example of how context matters. For instance, one doesn't keep giving to one's abuser, absent intervention that produces permanent change.

Louise Gallagher said...

when I left the shelter where I worked I knew that I was no longer engaged, no longer effective nor committed to the team -- not to the agency -- but rather the people I worked with. The environment within the management did not sit well within me, and I felt lost in my 'victimhood' -- a place I dislike intensely.

In leaving, I see how sick I became -- couldn't see it then -- though I was feeling, living, breathing it everyday.

It wasn't about blaming the victim -- it was about me claiming my right to accept that space I came to where I knew -- I did not align with the values and principles of that team -- not that the values and principles were 'bad' but rather, that I was not in alignment. And out of alignment, I was not giving my best.

As Anaïs Nin wrote, “There comes a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

I was not continuing to blossom there and had to risk leaving.

I'm glad I did!

Megan said...

What we receive is not always what we want or expect. Learning to recognize and accept the answers in whatever form they take is what allows us to continue to grow.

Louise gave and gave and gave, but what she got back was not what she wanted and that gave her the impetus to move on; that may not have been the answer she wanted, but it was an answer none the less.

We all have stories where we bang our head against the wall in angst wondering why what we do doesn't produce the results we want. I used to produce the schedule for 30+ people at a busy restaurant and would literally bend over backwards to give people the time off that they wanted. What I wanted was recognition, what I got was a lot of finger pointing and whining when I wasn't able to do it. What I learned is that I cannot control everything and to try to do so is only going to make me sick. I look at that whole experience as an epiphany; and when I find myself beating my head against the wall expecting what I am not getting, I let go as I cannot control the outcome. It was a hard lesson to learn and it changed the image of who I am in my own eyes.

So yeah it is my belief that you cannot receive what you don't give, but the bigger picture is that you have to be open to allowing one or the other for anything to transpire.

Diane Walker said...

From Shambhala Warrior:

What we receive is not always what we want or expect.  Learning to recognize and accept the answers in whatever form they take is what allows us to continue to grow.   It's like the flow of a stream, it flows through the nooks and crannies and even if you toss a huge rock in its path; it changes direction and still continues to flow.  As humans we do the same thing, but the rock that we get tossed is the response to our giving or the lack of response and our interpretation of both determines how we change direction and continue to flow.