Life is... Give and Take

Another really interesting session last week with +Viktoria Duda. In the session, interestingly, we were not looking at past lives... a more standardised hypnotherapy approach to explore what people are showing up and what they are able to teach me...

When we evaluate our life and what we are doing it presents us with many opportunities to check in with what is important to us. What does success look like? Do we want to be famous? Do we want to be known for something around the world... or do we want to go about what is important and fulfill what we want whether others notice of not? ... or are we someone that creates inspiration... a source of energy and enthusiasm that encourages others to find their way in life..

A lot of reflections especially around Give and Take...

Give is seen as good very often and taking seen as bad and selfish... actually take could be substituted by receive albeit the connotations are different; one being more aggressive than the other. But in this context useful to bear in mind that take is perhaps a 'less aware' version of receiving... food for thought.

Like food, like sport... like everything in life... give and take also needs to be in balance. Too much of either can lead to issues in all sorts of ways.

People often describe themselves as perfectionists. Indeed, many wear this label as a badge of honour, and yet it can really become a millstone around our necks. Perfection doesn't exist, and in the eyes of perfectionism it is even less likely to be found. Perfectionists are their own worst critics. Even if told by countless people what they have achieved is brilliant a perfectionist can always find something to berate themselves over.

Serial givers (often labelled as 'people pleasers') have a different issue but nevertheless equally destructive. They find giving really easy. Reaping the rewards of making others happy which feeds the soul. Kindness is a wonderful thing and we can't have too much of it right? ...

Actually reflecting on this I have often heard people say... you can't just go on giving, in the end you'll kill yourself. You just can't give constantly. You can't give give give without getting anything back in return. I ask myself why not? Why can't you? If it is your choice to give. If you give through love, and you love giving, why can't you just keep giving and not worry about whether you are 'being taken advantage of, being taken for a ride'. Although many do feel 'taken for a ride' and that is another challenge not discussed here.

Let's just bring balance back into the equation... What does the 'Giver' receive? Because to have balance Givers must receive something...
  1. They receive the gift of having seen the results of their giving manifested in making a difference to the receiver
  2. They receive the gift of recognition for tireless contribution... albeit more often than not unrequested... sometimes not received... no matter. The giver doesn't give for recognition (?)
  3. A sense of self worth?
There are questions marks at the end of two of the above suggested items. Because although on the face of it they are true, perhaps they identify a deeper challenge that is not being resolved for the 'Giver'.

Items 2 and 3 above are tricky

Item 2.

I have often heard serial Givers complain that no one helps... that they, alone, are doing... is this some kind of
martyrdom on a small scale? Just a question. Is it a form of self harm? ... to reaffirm that they alone must soldier on... to what end though? ... and if the praise comes... it is often rebuked... it was nothing... it is easy for me, I'm only doing what I can... don't worry about it... Does this sound familiar? It is rife out there. I know only too well... I have also battled with this for years... the inability to receive! ... more on that later.

Item 3.

Over time the Giver becomes exhausted... they might actually become resentful, unappreciated, burnt out. Often the Giver pushes on even harder feeling like their efforts aren't good enough and they must try even harder. Often even when they are appreciated, they gloss over this as 'way less than they really deserve' and compliments, recognition, treated almost with disdain. I'm a martyr remember? ... If I lose my martyrdom... I really do have nothing... that at least I can control... self harm... no one else cares. I don't need other people to say anything. If I get used to not needing it, shut it out... then at least it won't hurt me. This doesn't sound like a sense of self worth.

By being unable to receive... the people around us actually see

  • Strong capable person
  • Doesn't need any help
  • Actually doesn't want help (martyrdom crutch would be taken away)
  • Perhaps they aren't good enough to join in with the Giver
  • That being a giver isn't that great after all... lot's of sacrifice, and they don't want to get run down like the 'Giver' is ... why would anyone want to do that?

The giver is in control of the giving

The giver knows that ultimately they are in control of their actions which is true. Such though is the pull of the 'pleasing others' that this is ultimately an illusionary power. The Power is sucked away because it only comes a reality if the giving is denied, but then this also so is the reward... a deadly embrace.

The Giver is often not great at receiving

To be able to receive (I'm not talking about taking) is not so easy. Givers are almost always out of practice with this skill. And yet by not being able to receive from those who want to give they deny those 'would be' givers the same rewards that they themselves are "enjoying" constantly.

What runs through the mind of a serial giver? (maybe not all but a few)
  • I can control what I give and what I don't. I am in control of the outcomes
  • The buck stops with me. Because I do everything and give the most, the outcomes are those that work for me
  • I am the most experienced and the do-er... therefore if I do it, then it will get done
  • No one can do it the way it needs doing. So I might as well just do it in the first place, it's easier
  • I don't upset anyone, or ask anyone to do anything. There's no conflict and it's simpler. I know I will get it sorted (in the end)
  • I have no time for anything, I'm doing everything. No one is helping. I'm tired, not eating properly, not exercising, no time for relationships... I have no time to look after my own wellbeing. I know it is wrong but if I don't keep going everything will collapse
  • What I need is some really good people around me, then I'd feel much better

Balance as always

As with most things in life it all comes down to balance. If the serial giver looks through the above lens then that is the reality which will pervade. The universe will definitely deliver because these are the thoughts constantly playing in the subconscious mind.

To receive is not a weakness nor a vulnerability. It is the delight in accepting something that another has chosen to offer to you. To receive is to say 'thank you' to someone who has given. To be grateful for the gift. Which will in turn help increase self esteem and self worth of the Giver. Is there any greater gift?

How can we change this? ... it's a massive question. What are simple tools that can help to steer us towards building a community of supportive people around us?

  • Allow people to give... provide us with support and help. Empower them to improve and develop skills
  • What about just receiving without any connection to what you have done? ... like a bunch of flowers or a small gift from a friend. It's a reward for being you.
  • Respect the gift of time from others, however small or insignificant it might be. Those that are there because they want to be... time is all we have
  • Say thank you when people do something for us (develop the habit)
  • Flex the Gratitude muscle. Become an advocate of gratitide, we can then appreciate others good points
  • Smile and be cheery (no need to be a crazy optimist swinging from the rafters constantly)
  • Be consistent... 


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