by John Ashbrook
Once again, we find ourselves in the midst of the season of giving. The feeling of giving is so wonderful, it imparts us with a sense of goodness and strength and caring like nothing else in life. The beauty of this is that we can always give more and feel even better! There are so many ways to give. Giving is a way to show our love. We give patience and understanding, support and protection, advice and guidance, and of course, we do favors for and help others to succeed, we give gifts and financial security. The ways in which one can indulge themselves in the fantastic act of giving are infinite, but there is a form of giving that is so empowering, so awesome, fulfilling and wholesome that it simply outshines everything else. It is too often overlooked in its simplicity, yet no one would deny its profundity. In one way or another, all forms of giving do represent it to one degree or another, but in its purest aspects, it is nothing short of spiritual magic.
Over the years many people have told me that they had taken great pride in their capacity to give, but at times they had felt drained and even lonely. A kind of emptiness had taken over their lives and they were perplexed by this because they felt that they were good people and did not expect that their willingness to give would leave them in such a state. Some of these people were unwilling to open themselves up to receiving and this accounted for their predicament; but what about the others who seemed to have a balance of giving and receiving in their lives? Why were they feeling less than satisfied and even empty in some cases? I always asked these people the same question: Do you give of yourself? Many told me that they weren’t sure what I meant by the question. What is it to give of yourself?
Giving to yourself, in its purest and most rewarding form is the sincere sharing of your God-given individuality with another person. There is nothing more loving, more giving, than looking into the infinite depths of your soul, discovering the incredible beauty that resides there and then deliberately and enthusiastically expressing it into the world. This requires real courage and the trusting faith to risk giving to life. Of course, there is the danger of rejection, but all rejection is ultimately self-rejection. If you reject the little inner voice that urges you to reach out and express your special beauty, then it is you who rejects you.
This self-rejection will cause you to attract others who do the very same thing – reject their own inner urgings to reach out. They reject their own beauty, so they are bound to reject yours. The less you reject your natural and right feelings to give of yourself in some small but genuine way, the less you will find yourself rejected by others; and even if it does occur it will not bother you because the rejection is not in you. It is not yours. Your willingness to reach out and reveal your inner beauty to another human being is the highest and most honest form of giving. When people engage each other in this truly loving dynamic, their mutual growth and total fulfillment is guaranteed.
Positive self-esteem always comes from reaching out, giving what you can freely, at that moment, without resistance. Perhaps it is only a sincere smile and a kind word, but it is powerful because it is real, it will grow. It will never drain you. You will never feel empty or lonely because you are listening to your own feelings, not ignoring them, and therefore you will not be ignored. Your inner state of love and harmony is reflected into the world and you will attract the same to you. You will find yourself surrounded by the love that you feel inside, by people who too, live in a state of inner connectedness.
Giving of yourself is an evolving dynamic, so be patient with yourself as you develop your willingness to share your inner beauty with others. This patient attitude fosters a loosening up of the tightness within your soul. Little by little you will discover more and more of your infinite personal beauty and find the confidence to express it freely, openly, honestly. This dynamic perpetuates itself and eventually dissolves all the fears and erroneous, distorted beliefs that have held hostage the magnificent beauty of your divine reality. You show your beauty and others show you theirs.
There is nothing more interesting and inspiring than a person who continually expresses their inner beauty. Genuine giving of yourself never requires a reason or occasion; it simply occurs naturally, it flows, unencumbered, from within. It touches deeply and delights those who receive it and gently coaxes them to reciprocate. They can’t resist its honesty.
If you really believe in and want to see the inherent beauty and goodness in everyone, start by believing in your own. Display it every day, in every way that you can conceive of. You don’t have to force it out; instead, let its gentle, persuasive power flow from within. Over time, the gift of simply sharing your inner beauty with someone has a more tangible, precious and lasting effect than any other earthly treasure.