Change, giving and receiving
By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D. -
Everything changes. Everything moves. Nothing is static. Even in death, the molecules of our bodies are in continual motion. Your body is constantly changing, exchanging air, nutrients etc. with the environment. Your energy is always interacting with the energy of others and the universe.
We have all heard the expression, “the flow of life.” When we resist that flow, we become hardened, brittle and easily broken. In order to create and maintain healthy relationships, we need to exchange energy through giving and receiving. I know many people whose only sense of personal worth is dependent on how much they give to others. They are willing to sacrifice themselves, even hurt themselves, in the effort to give to others. For these people, the flow of life is one way…always outward from them to others.
Relationships based upon this constant giving generate guilt in the receiver and resentment in the giver. If I am always giving you water, would you ever suspect I might be thirsty?
There are others who are only receivers. These are the people who are so needy or so selfish, they never give out to others and are always taking from relationships. Always getting what they want, no matter what the cost to others. Relationships based upon this single direction of energy flow, result in emptiness in the others, and guilt within the receiver.
Both chronic givers, and eternal takers suffer from psychological stagnation. Stagnation is like stopping the flow of your blood. Whenever your blood stops flowing, it begins to coagulate…to stagnate. Non-flowing blood gives no oxygen nor nutrients to the billions of cells in your body. When the flow of energy is only one way between people, relationships die.
The word “affluence,” comes from the Latin word “affluere,” which means “to flow to.” Affluence implies “to flow in abundance.” When we give and receive in harmonious relationship to one another, relationships thrive and abundance is assured.
Every healthy relationship is one of giving and taking. Giving requires a receiver. In order to receive, you need a giver. Actually giving and receiving are the same. They are merely different aspects of the flow of energy between each other and between individuals and the universe. If either person stops that flow of energy, he or she interrupts the “flow of life.”
In order to be healthy, happy and fulfilled yourself, you need to intend to create health, and happiness in the relationships you have. Your intention needs to be to create happiness in both the giver and receiver, because your own happiness, as well as the fulfillment of others, is life-supportive and sustaining. In order to create joy through giving, you need to feel joy in the act of giving. In order to create abundance, you need to feel fulfilled by receiving.
In his book, “The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success,” Deepak Chopra, MD writes: “…Practicing the law of giving is actually very simple: if you want joy, give joy to others; if you want love, learn to give love; if you want attention and appreciation, learn to give attention and appreciation; if you want material affluence, help others to become materially affluent. In fact, the easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.” Isn’t that a radical notion?! That translates: “the best way for me to succeed in life is to help others succeed in their lives.” Perhaps we need to keep this in mind when we enter the voting booth in a couple weeks.
This principle of personal success, found most easily through helping others to succeed, works equally well for individuals, couples, corporations, societies, and nations. The traditional business model operates on the principle of succeeding at the expense of others (usually the employees). An alternative model is the employee-owned business model. Nevertheless, Chopra writes, “If you want to be blessed with all the good things in life, learn to…bless everyone with all the good things in life.”
When we work toward the fulfillment of all our relationships through giving and receiving in dynamic harmony, we are actually practicing “going with the flow” of life. Do this and you experience life, in all its aspects, much more abundantly.
Dr. Thomas is a licensed psychologist, author, speaker, and life coach from Wellington, Colo.