Your gift of giving. Yes it is a gift and a precious one at that.

First, Give yourself the gift of being you. Do little things for yourself that give your heart joy today.

Next, give of your time. If there is discomfort with the idea of giving of your time, then consider this.

Sometimes, for reasons only you know, the meaning of giving has become confused or synonymous with abuse. Someone abused your generosity and it caused pain and discomfort in your soul. Thus you associate the pain of that or those situation(s) to the idea of giving.

Be wise in giving. I am not suggesting wholesale giving, that would be unwise. Use your judgement, extend and clarify your boundaries when you offer your time and service. Nor, am I am suggesting that you give to the point of exhausting your emotional reserves. You know when giving recharges you and when it drains you. Discern your level of comfort with giving. Give to that extent and no more. You have the right to state your boundaries.

Distinguish in your mind, as best as you can, between the events that you associate with giving that were fun and pleasurable. This may help you move forward. Listen to music as you go through this exercise. I offer this suggestion because music helps me here.

Third, if you feel that you are not able to receive. Something inexplicable in your heart rises up when you try to receive. Let us say for example someone pays you a compliment. Instead of just saying “thank you.” The mind races to figure out the person’s motive. Or you depreciate the compliment in your response in some way. “This old thing, I’ve had it for years.” A compliment no matter the “intent” is a gift of appreciation. Consider it in that spirit.

So find creative ways to give little slices of joy to yourself and to others as you go. Because “the same hands that gives is the same one that receives.”