Giving Heals Us Too

Last week I wrote on how giving thanks heals us. This week I’m covering a similar topic.

Yesterday was Giving Tuesday. This is the first time I’ve heard of it, even though it was started back in 2012 by the United Nations Foundation to combat the commercialization of the season. It occurs right on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Giving Tuesday. I like it.

I think it’s essential for hurting women to give because it heals us. But I also think it’s equally essential for us to keep it in balance. Here’s why.

I knew a woman who was pretty self-centered. She was hurting, I got that, but the way she dealt with her pain was to take (and take) from others. It was essential for her to find the joy of giving back. Why? Because she was basing her happiness on the lie that life would accommodate her like this (I mean, when does life ever consistently give us what we want?), so she was constantly let down and frustrated. What’s worse, she was ruining her relationships in the process. As she began giving, her fears decreased because she developed a new source of joy, and her relationships stabilized. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

But I knew another woman who already gave and gave… and she was exhausted. I can imagine she felt the weight on her shoulders double when hearing, “You need to give more.” But I could also hear her relax when I added, “You need to give to yourself. Aim some of that caregiving toward yourself: rest before you get tired; be truly refreshed so you can give well; be filled so others can benefit from your overflow.” It was a difficult transition to make, but she did. And the more she put her own name on the list of people she gave to, the more her life stabilized. And it was a beautiful thing to watch.

Now, I’m assuming if you’re on this website, you’re more like the second lady. So this Holiday Season put yourself on your list of people to give to. Write out what you’d like to receive–what you need the most–and follow through.

And with these gifts, disregard the old, “Do not open until Christmas.” Nope, with these gifts open them early and open them often.

Happy Giving (and Healing) Season!