Give as if you won't get anything in return
If you knew that your actions were not going to receive any recognition, would you still do them? No one would say “Thank you” or know it was you who did it. No one would change their actions or even be grateful for what you have done. Would you still give of your time, effort, or resources? The earth gives to us every day without expectations from us. The universe guides us without managing our choices or getting in the way of our mistakes. Rarely do we thank the earth, the sun, the moon, the universe for all it does for us. Yet it still provides, every day.
However, our egos require recognition of our efforts and of the things we do for others. Without it we lose motivation and gain resentment. Think about it, we can’t even smile at each other without a smile in return. Often times in our relationships we will give to another, with expectations that they will do something in return, that is to our liking. Contracts for in our heads like “I took care of you while you were sick, so you will be there for me when I need you.” Or “I let you slide on a debt but now you won’t loan me $20 for lunch?” Or “I helped you get back on your feet and now you are screwing up again, you should be doing better!”
If you think about it, our gifts with expectations are really not gifts. They backfire on us if we accept them, so then some of us learn to reject anything anyone gives us because we know it will come with strings, and we don’t want that.
Insightful Inspiration of the Week
What are you giving someone else with expectations that they will do something in return? Try asking yourself, “Am I willing to give this, even if they don’t do anything with it?” Try giving things without expectations of anything in return. No strings attached. Become aware of how often your motive for doing something for someone else, is for something in return. See if you can just give this week without expecting anything back.
As always, feel free to share your thoughts.