Are You Giving From A Place of Horror or Hope? Five Steps to Healing Your Way to Empowered GivingDuring times of need, many people rise to the occasion and give whatever is in their hearts. Yet, like everything, the way we give is a reflection of how we live every other aspect of our lives. Thus, even giving can become fodder for our own inner transformation. It all boils down to one simple question... are you giving from a place of fear and horror or from a place of hope and abundance?
How you give, and from where in your spirit the giving is birthed, is a reflection or a mirror of how you live your life.
When the devastating news arrived on newspapers across the world that New Orleans was under twenty feet of water in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many people - perhaps you - immediately went online with credit card in hand to donate money to help the water-soaked community. The question is, in the moments leading you to your computer, what were the deeper feelings and thoughts that drove your giving response?
Were you horrified that something so terrible could happen?
Did you feel helpless that such a tragedy could happen to you?
Were you stunned by how vulnerable the people living in Mississippi and New Orleans were and are?
Did you sense your own vulnerability?
Did you feel guilty that you are safe, happy, and well... while so many others right now, are in peril?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, recognize that at least some of your impulse to give stems from a place of fear in you. In other words, you are giving from a place of fear or horror.
Giving from a place of horror or fear is not inherently a bad thing. But it is something to observe and be aware of. Often times we express the love and care to others that we most need to give to ourselves.
Whenever you discover that you're responding from your fear, take time to focus attention and healing on the part of you that is afraid.
First, identify the fear. Look at the person or organization to which you are offering support. What is the fear that this organization brings up for you? What situation, predicament, problem, or ailment do you fear happening to you? Whether it's the fear of loosing everything, the fear of getting cancer, the fear of living in squalor, the fear of being discriminated against, or the fear of dying -- understand for yourself, which fear in you is present. On a piece of paper, write down your fear.
Second, identify the feeling. Let yourself feel your fear of having cancer, living in squalor, being oppressed, or facing death. What does that fear feel like? Identify the specific feeling. Is it rage, sadness, desperation, hopelessness, bitterness, anxiety, numbness? Write down the specific feeling that lives beneath the fear.
Third, trace back the feeling. Allow yourself to recall three other times in your life when you felt that same feeling before. Trust whatever memories from your past come to the surface first. Sometimes the incidents you recall will have little in common with the current fear, but trust that the feeling is somehow related. Write down each of the experiences and recall exactly how you felt. Notice how these three incidents from the past and are somehow emotionally connected to the fear you're experiencing now.
Fourth, understand the healing that is needed. Pick one of the three incidents from your past - preferably the one when you were the youngest. Look at that situation, and with an open heart, allow yourself to see, what you longed for at that moment in time. What did your spirit desperately want and need? Did it want safety, understanding, love, hope, attention, kindness, praise? What were you longing for? Write down whatever you notice.
Fifth, finally, give yourself healing today. Ask yourself how you could give yourself whatever you longed for in the past. If you longed for love, maybe today you could look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how wonderful you are. If you longed for hope, maybe today you could light a candle that represents hope in your living room. If you longed for attention, maybe today you could write yourself a letter of acknowledgment and praise. In other words, give to yourself today, whatever healing you longed for in the past.
As you take the action of healing, let yourself feel your relationship with your fear transform and evolve.
When you heal your own spirit in conjunction with the giving you provide to others, you open yourself to a possibility of giving from a place of hope and empowerment rather than fear and horror.
The difference between empowered giving and fear-based giving, is dramatic. Not just for you, but also for the recipient.
When you have healed yourself, you hold open the space of hope for others. Thus, you give, not only your support, but you also give the energy of empowerment, possibility, and strength. And isn't that what we'd hope to give anyway?
The author of the forthcoming book, The Power of Trust: Trust Yourself, Transform Your World, Coco Fossland is a nationally recognized expert in personal transformation, self-empowerment and self-healing. Blending a decade of technology and strategy consulting with her expertise in self-trust transformation, Coco's business is focused on supporting people passionate about creating businesses that make a difference in the world. She helps her clients fuse their higher path with their businesses, creating institutions and organizations that profoundly impact the world one person at a time. www.cocofossland.com
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