Giving to others can be one of the most fulfilling experiences in life, or it can be one of the most draining. What makes the difference?
The difference has to do with WHY you are giving to others.
More from YourTango: The Goals of Controlling Behavior In Relationships
Giving From A Full Heart
When we give from a full heart, we are giving because we are so filled up with love that it is overflowing, and we receive great joy in giving to others.
We are not giving to get anything back because we don’t need anything back. We don’t need anything back because we have taken 100% responsibility for loving ourselves — for thinking the loving thoughts and taking the loving actions that make us feel worthy, lovable, peaceful and joyful within.
When I am giving from a full heart I don’t need others to give me approval for giving. The giving is its own reward, as long as I am certain that my giving is loving to myself and others. My fulfillment is not dependent upon others’ approval, but on how I feel about myself. I am receiving fulfillment from being the kind of person I value.
When I am taking loving care of myself, I’m not available to being used or drained by others. If I feel that others are latching on to me like a vampire and trying to suck the life out of me, then I lovingly disengage, as it is my responsibility to be loving to myself — and it is not loving to myself to allow myself to be used and drained. It is loving to me to fulfill myself through giving to others, as long as this feels good inside. If it doesn’t feel good, then it isn’t loving — either to me or to others. Giving to others who just want to take is enabling them to continue to avoid responsibility for themselves. It is not loving to me or them to support them in being needy victims.
It is loving to me to give to others who utilize what I give them to heal, learn and grow. It is incredibly fulfilling to help others who genuinely want to help themselves, but it is draining to give to others who have no intention of helping themselves. If you are giving from a full heart but you feel drained in the giving, this is telling you that you are enabling someone rather than being loving to yourself and to them.
Giving From An Empty Heart
More from YourTango: Soul Connections
When you are not taking responsibility for your own self-worth, inner peace and joy, then there is likely an emptiness within you. When you give from an empty place, you may feel drained rather than fulfilled in the giving.
You might want to see if you identify with either of these reasons for giving to others: