12 Feb Giving: connecting to our Roots
I remember reading an Indian proverb when I was a teenager: “All that is not given is lost.” I was intrigued, but could not work out the logic in the sentence and even thought, this is my ultra-critical brain speaking, that it might be an error or a mistranslation. I thought, surely, what you give away is lost. Probably like most people, I find certain things easier to give away than others. I can feel very generous when I give away practical advice or help but it is harder for me to give unconditional love and space to the people around me. I also generally find it easier to give to others, for example treating my loved ones with gifts instead of myself.
Giving too much to others definitely causes an imbalance and potential health issues. Even in the extreme case of being a parent, when constant giving is necessary for the child’s survival and wellbeing, self-care is actually still very vital and in the long run, more beneficial for the child. A burnt-out, depressed or resentful parent is not helpful for the child. And the same applies to all of us, if we are constantly giving, we can burn ourselves out and then have to completely stop what we are doing and contributing.
The Native American way of describing equal giving and receiving is called “Walk in Balance.” The Sacred Path card related to Giving is, “Standing People”, a very poetic Native American name for trees. In the same way that trees receive energy both from the earth through their roots, and from the sky, the air and the sun, through their branches, we also receive energy both through our feet and lower chakras and through our head and higher chakras. As trees give out oxygen and energy, we too are a type of energy converter and can naturally radiate energy to people around us.
Giving develops the Heart Chakra and emotions such as compassion, love, generosity and patience. As a spiritual teacher once said: “The Soul develops by giving not accumulating.” MCKS. We can examine all areas of our life and see if we are being generous with our money, time, knowledge and energy for example. Although more controversial in Western culture, regularly giving money to charity is a spiritual practice which is found across most religions and cultures. Making sure that money flows is energetically beneficial and giving it away can actually improve our financial situation, as we tend to receive what we give. If we want to learn, we need to teach, if we want to be loved, we need to love.
It is important to go deeper and find the inner blockages that are stopping us from giving or receiving. Removing these will be a key to finding our balance, contentment and peace.