Giving of Yourself
Have you ever noticed that some of the happiest times in your life were when you were the most open to it? Often in life we experience circumstances that leave us feeling sad, alone and vulnerable. Literally we may turn away from others to protect ourselves from further pain. We shield ourselves from the pain and we shut down.
It is easy to spot someone who is going through difficult times by their body language. They shuffle along, they have lost the spring in their step, their body is sunken and their head is lowered in deep, dark thoughts. Their eyes have lost that sparkle and their energy is lacking – you could say that they are feeling lack lustre.
It is in these times that we especially need to be open to the giving of others, to their support and comfort. Life has many lessons for us to learn and every person’s path is different. However, the greatest thing that life gives us is wisdom through experience. It is when we are open to giving of ourselves that we truly are open to learning the lessons that life is teaching us. It may seem difficult to open up your heart and give the love you have inside after a break up. It may feel easier to want to crawl into a ball and hide yourself from the world. But those are the time to remember that you are a gift to the world and by staying open and giving you can create joy in your life as others are able to enjoy the special person that you are. If we are able to let go of the past and stay open we are able to feel connected to others, yourself and the world and that feeling of sadness and loneliness disappears.
Remember to always give of yourself, to always stay open even in the most trying of circumstances. And if you feel that you can’t open up again fully to the world, if you feel you are caught up in your thoughts, release yourself from them for a while and volunteer. Volunteering at your local soup kitchen or for a worthy cause is a great way to take an action to give of yourself when you feel you can’t shift your thoughts. The act of giving of your time can have a powerful way to see how connected you really are to the world even at a time when you may feel the most disconnected.
Always be open to the world, live with an open heart and mind, and life has a way of attracting and connecting you to the happiness that has always been inside of you. Sometimes it takes for us to look outside of ourselves, to give of ourselves of others, to witness the light inside of ourselves that is reflecting in the eyes of others.
When I first read this poem that I will share with you by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī it had a real effect on my life and the way I lived it. To me it symbolises living and giving with an open heart, of letting go and living life with passion and foregoing fear. I hope that you too may experience the magic contained in these words:
Conventional opinion is the ruin of our souls,
something borrowed which we mistake as our own.
Ignorance is better than this; clutch at madness instead.
Always run from what seems to benefit your self:
sip the poison and spill the water of life.
Revile those who flatter you;
lend both interest and principle to the poor.
Let security go and be at home amid dangers.
Leave your good name behind and accept disgrace.
I have lived with cautious thinking;
now I’ll make myself mad.
[ II, 2327 – 32 ]