There was a time in my life that I allowed myself to be taken advantaged of.
I gave and gave and gave until my emotional tank was on empty and my needs were neglected.
I had assigned myself the role of being a Rescue Martyr, and held this role with great pride.
You see, I was seeking approval and I became a people pleaser. I stifled my voice, ignored my needs, and continued to wear the mask of Happy Abby.
Upon deeper introspection though, I realized that this kind of giving was not coming from a wholesome, authentic place.
How did I know this?
Because I felt completely drained.
Healthy giving shouldn’t make you feel drained. It should energize you because it flows from spirit, not from ego.
If you’re a caring, empathic person like I am, it can be very easy to take on the troubles of the world, when it is not your responsibility to save everyone.
I was not Happy Abby, but I sure could pretend to the world that I was with big smiles, and saying the all the right things. Inside though? I felt invisible, and quietly resentful until one day my discomfort built up until I found the courage to say No, and set healthy boundaries for myself.
I learned to nurture myself, love myself, and fill myself up with divine love, instead of seeking love externally.
Now when I give, it comes from a healthy, whole place, without any unconscious agenda or expectation.
And when I begin to feel depleted in any way, I listen to what my inner guidance is trying to communicate with me through specific tension I may be feeling in my body.
I know what it’s like to allow a fictitious story of the past to subconsciously govern my life, patterns, and motives. And it’s hard.
I believe in the power and purity of selflessness however, it can be difficult to dismantle the ego and discern whether our giving is coming from the ego (in some subtle form of seeking validation or approval), or purely from spirit.
Compassion is a full circle that starts within, and then extends outwards.
We must learn to demonstrate compassion to ourselves first, in order to give from in a healthy, pure, whole way.
Is your giving out of alignment with your Spirit? Here are 3 signs to watch out for:
1) You feel completely drained in the body.
What an incredible vessel that we have in the body. Your body is always communicating with you. If you find yourself constantly fatigued and exhausted, your body is trying to tell you that you need to nurture yourself a little more.
2) You find yourself becoming quietly resentful.
This happens when you start pointing the finger and blaming others for not being appreciative. When the truth of the matter is that you are actually angry with yourself for not honouring your own needs and expressing it outwardly to others.
3) You find yourself feeling disappointed A LOT.
Disappointment usually occurs when some expectation has not been met. And expectations can create a lot of suffering in your life if they’re not managed. When you give without expectation, it just feels good from the heart, and you’re not attached to the outcome. This isn’t a game where you play for points, this is about the purity of giving to share kindness, and to share your joy with someone else.
There is joy in giving however, let’s make sure that we give ourselves the same compassion from a healthy, whole place.
Now over to you: Do you enjoy giving with your whole heart? Or have you found yourself burnt out from ignoring your own needs?
I’d love to hear your key takeaways, and share with the rest of the community on the blog.
Or, need advice? I’d love to hear from you!