How often, when you give a gift, do you say “I don’t want anything in return”? But do you really mean it?
When we give a gift it is easy to stand by the belief that in giving it we do not expect anything in return but what if that person didn’t acknowledge the gift? What if they put it to one side unopened? How would you feel? I would suggest you would be annoyed at their rudeness and lack of gratitude.
When we try to help someone by offering support or guidance how do we feel if this offer of support or guidance is ignored? This would often be met with a feeling of frustration that they have chosen to stay stuck or receive help from someone else.
In the end, when our help has been repeatedly rejected we become jaded. We tell ourselves that our help is never valued. This can often lead us to either losing faith in ourselves or the belief that somehow we are surrounded by lesser or unkind people.
How do we stop ourselves becoming jaded?
When we try to help the people around us we often become attached to the outcome of the offer of support. We don’t expect a return in the form of money or favours but we do want to feel that our support is valued. We may get frustrated with our friends for their lack of gratitude, complaining that they are stuck and don’t want to change but the real problem lays firmly with us.
As the Buddha said “The root of suffering is attachment”. So when we are attached to our friends taking our advice are we really giving unconditionally?
This is one of the greatest challenges for the healer or carer; to let go of the outcome of our actions. We must give our care and compassion and then let go. If they take our advice, that is wonderful. If they don’t, that is fine too. We have done all we can do, the best thing to do is let it go. This doesn’t mean you don’t care about the person or that you no longer want them to be happy. It means you are accepting that they have to make their own choices in their journey. Maybe they aren’t ready to make the changes you suggest, or maybe they completely disagree but are polite enough to not make it an issue.
Next time you offer support or advice, whether solicited or not, give it with love and then release yourself from the need for the advice to be taken. YOu will find it makes trying to help people so much easier and you will find you have more to give, not less.