“…the secret of happiness is in giving. It is the heart and soul of our spiritual life.” — In God’s Care
I love helping others, giving gifts, doing random acts of kindness, and giving to those in need. I’m a helper at heart.
While giving is great, I’ve learned that there are situations in which it causes more damage than good.
With the exception of supervising at work or with young children, when I try to manage, direct or control someone else’s affairs, without being asked to do so, that behavior is harmful to both of us.
In the past, I’ve used the excuse of “being helpful” to justify this behavior. The truth is, “helping” gives me a sense of superiority by having the answer or knowing the “right” way someone else should do something. Attempting to get others to do things my way only gives me the illusion of control and safety, while others rebel against my dominance and righteousness. My goal is to love and be loved – but this behavior actually does the opposite — it pushes people away.
And rescuing others from the consequences of their actions, in the name of “being of service o” deprives them of the ability to understand the harm they’ve done, learn from it, and grow into a more responsible, happier person. My unsolicited help deprives them of that opportunity.
Likewise, when I give to others at the expense of taking care of myself, depriving me of those things that make me feel comfortable and safe, I’m bound to be hurt.
Right giving creates love for me and others. It comes from a genuine desire to do what’s best for others, only when it’s appropriate for me to help, when I’m welcomed to do so, and provided that I am concurrently taking care of myself spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Today I will give to others when it’s truly in everyone’s best interest. ILML!