Week 12: When did giving become a performance to be judged?

Well, it’s the holidays, isn’t it? The season of giving and receiving. The season when giving and receiving bring up memories, hidden and unresolved feelings, angst that we don’t fully understand– in short what Mark J calls “the old blueprint”.

That old blueprint hit me square in the chest this morning when I was getting ready to make a trip to a school where I had been teaching my painting workshops to a group of middle school boys in their after school program. When I first began reading the Law of giving several weeks ago, I immediately focused on the two gentlemen who run the after school program and are there to assist me when I do the workshops. “Bring a gift to them,” Subby said. And each time I read the Law, the image repeated. Each time I taught, I focused on the compliment I would give to each of these teachers; yet it did not quite fulfill my feelings of what the Law was asking of me.

So as I had to return the students last assignment, I had decided to include a gift for each of the two teachers. As I was wrapping the gifts, I became aware of a tension I had not felt in weeks. And as I paused to listen in, the old dialogues were cacophonous! “Was it a good enough gift? Was it too much of a gift? Was it too little? Might they be offended? What will they think? Is it appropriate? …” and on and on it went.

I had to go to my sit. Thank goodness for these patterns that we have been building and establishing over these weeks. As I sank deeper and deeper into the Silence, welcoming the return of harmony within, I could clearly see, the addiction to self criticism, self doubt, and the pain and adrenalin rush associated with both. I had no clear memory of a childhood event; but could easily imagine one, having come to the United States at the age of eleven, so many customs and social cues would have been unknown to me, especially with the initial language barrier. So I could easily envision the initial catalyst of this old blueprint.

And only through the grace of UniversalMind, and the habits of this program, could I sit still and love them. Love the addiction, love the blueprint: realize that there was an I who was loving them both. Realize that the I who I really am, is NOT the blueprint or the addiction. And lovingly invite these sources of pain to leave. Lovingly learn, and practice learning, opening my hand and letting go.

Now perhaps I can step into my true nature of giving first, and giving to everyone I meet…now that I no longer need to create a judge, jury and courtroom that passes judgment on how good a giver I am , or how appropriate my gift is, nor how worthy am I to be alive based on the worth of whether the gift meets the approval of the receiver. Perhaps as I practice over the next several weeks, to give with no thought of the outcome in terms of the reaction of the receiver, I can fully step into the who I truly am: a free giver of love to everyone I meet, with no hesitation between the inspiration of what to give to whom, and the action.