To give is to receive. You’ve heard it before—perhaps to the point of it becoming a cliche. But how can it be true? It makes no sense. If I give something to you then I know longer have it. And if you give something to me then you no longer have it. In form, the idea of giving and receiving being equal makes no sense. It’s impossible! In spirit however, it’s absolutely possible.

It’s Christmas! It’s the season of giving, so let’s practice. Let’s practice giving in a manner where we simultaneously receive. We’ll call this true giving. And to understand how it works, let’s examine what it means to falsely give. We falsely give when there are “strings” or expectations attached to the gift. False giving reinforces false self. It originates with the notion that I must get something in return—even if it’s indirectly related and comes years down the road. To even the slightest degree, the false self depends on external gratification and recompense. If I expect anything in return for the things I give, then I am endorsing inner lack and emptiness which, as hard as we try, can never be satisfied. It takes effort to uphold these inner feelings of guilt and fear, which often become the primary motivators of giving, thereby increasing inner pain instead of healing.


True giving has no strings attached. True giving has no agenda because it is an expression of Love. How do we know love to be true? It increases as we give it away. Do we not reap what we sow? As I project fear, fear is what I get in return (in my heart and mind). As I extend love, it increases within. This is why, all real love is an expression of self-love.

True giving is a practice. Start with the small stuff and generalize it to the “bigger stuff.” Because there are no degrees to true love, there are no degrees to giving. “Large or small,” the simplest gestures of kindness can be used to heal, grow and join with the love that is your true Nature.

It’s the season of giving, but why not make it a year-round practice? Make it part of your day, make it a meditation. True self-love is a gift to yourself. And in spirit, what you give to yourself, you give to all. 

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