Are you a born giver? Tired of giving and getting nothing in return? Always jumping to contribute to others – whether it’s your time or your money or respect or love or admiration? But does giving all the time leave you feeling depleted? It is quite natural to feel this way as giver, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Even though giving is in your nature, you should be able to give without feeling like your life has been sucked out of you. You can do this in a healthy way by living with a deeper awareness of yourself and others. It may seem like an easier option to just live like a blind bat but then you are living your life at the mercy of your past, patterns and those around you and then wonder ‘what went wrong?’
Here are steps on how you can live with happiness and contentment with your giving nature and set healthy boundaries for yourself:
1. Start with observing
Giving doesn’t happen without taking
The world works in a yin and yang fashion. If there is female, there is male. If there is light, there is darkness. If there is giving, there has to be a taking. Either from you or others or both.
You can move towards balancing giving and taking by first paying attention to your patterns, your self talk and how you are showing up. In other words, being in the present moment and just observing things for what they are, rather than jumping into coping or fighting or going into monkey mind mode.
2. Be kind to yourself in the process
Make sure to be kind and loving to yourself. If you are a over giver, observe yourself without judgement.
In the way a child lands up feeling miserable when they are constantly judged and reprimanded, you too will feel only miserable if you are not kind to yourself and your nature (usually in your own head and self talk).
Don’t judge yourself, but rather be ‘aware’ of yourself
You can learn how to truly be yourself, from a space where you are kind and considerate to yourself as you are.
3. Next, observe others
Once you have uncovering your patterns for while, you can then start noticing other people for what they truly are. We often start with this first as it’s always easier to point out other’s mistakes than your own. But this time, ask yourself with deeper awareness. A few questions that you can ask are:
- Are you giving to someone who you can never satisfy?
Is who you are giving to have your best interests in mind?
Is the people you are giving to genuinely care about you?
- Is there equal give and take in this relationship?
If you ask yourself these questions of people around you, you could be surprised(or maybe not, as your intuition or that niggling voice was probably right all along) of people’s true intentions and dealings with you.
It is very hard for people to think about other’s. As an over giver you may not understand how or why others operate this way. But you being a natural giver will attract the takers who intrinsically know you have this giving nature.
With this deeper awareness (again, not judgement) of others, you can then truly determine what boundaries to draw with whom. You can then take a call on:
- when to stop giving
- where to draw the line
- how much to give
- what to give
I hope this post will help you in not rejecting or changing but instead making the most of your giving nature. So you can harness this as a strength and channel your natural giving abilities to something that serves you and those who genuinely need your giving.
Do check out our cleansing meditation that will help you live a life of deeper awareness and mindfulness. I’ll leave with with this beautiful quote – ‘A giver’s hands are never empty.’