I love to GIVE. Period. Why? Because I love seeing people rise, achieve greatness and success. My heart is full when I give. It is one of the most beautiful things I enjoy the most about connecting with people.
HOWEVER, I was stuck in a giving cycle because I felt that I needed to GIVE unconditionally in order to GET love, be accepted and valued. Which, resulted in resentment, being burned out and feeling taken advantage of. I also never found anyone else giving to back to me with the same level of intensity and frequency. I often saw people as being selfish and withdrawn from me. So what did I do? I gave more. To everyone, every chance I got, regardless of the situation and regardless of how much I was putting myself and the relationship on the line. I gave without asking.
What I was falling to realize is that the concept of giving is an exchange of energy that has no guaranteed outcome and no limit. You can give and give endlessly and possibly see no change. I could give forever and still not see the “Love” I was looking for in return. I would never see it match the amount of energy I was putting in. That, could never exist or be a real way to measure my value.
I was giving from a place of neediest. Giving from what I didn’t have within myself. Giving without fully understanding the risks I was putting myself in. I borrowed money to lend to those who needed it “more”, I was consistently present at events, parties and fundraisers despite the exhaustion, I pushed through sleepy eyes because a friend needed to vent for hours, and never sent a call to voicemail or ignored a text message in fear of being perceived as not available. Often this wasn’t the same person. It was multiple people sometimes on the same day! There was no time for Sarah to eat in peace, sleep, watch TV, and read. I became so addicted, that I couldn’t function without that constant interaction, even if I created it. To be alone with myself was foreign and I felt guilty. I felt I was being selfish.
How else could I feel? I learned this pattern from my parents who often showered me with affection and praise when I brought home good grades. And only when I did exactly as they wanted. It was a conditional exchange of love. I knew no different. But then came a shift. I was getting sick, having nightmares consistently, I was cranky and irritable. The more I gave, the more I needed my friends. I was in a cycle of addictive behavior. I decided to stop everything, created “time off” for a few days, alone.
People started to question me, ask what was wrong, why I wasn’t posting on Facebook, if I was upset with them. Some cut me off completely since I didn’t show up for their events and parties. Some slowly started withdrawing from my life. It hurt bad, VERY BAD. After gallons of tears, and a series of nights pondering: what’s wrong with me? Why do people not like me anymore? Today, I realized a huge distinction. There’s a reason pictures of people giving most usually have someone reaching out for help and the other one giving their hand. The ones receiving, want the gift. They are ready to get it, they need it and depend on it to get them through. It’s adding value to their life and enhancing their position of where they are going since they are climbing the mountain. They are on the road to betterment and change. You are in contribution to their life. Giving when others are not ready to receive can rob them of the lessons they need to learn to gain the skills necessary for their growth, and/or can seem pushy and controlling.
I am an excellent giver, motivator, supporter. But, now I choose being in contribution to organized groups of people who want my support. To individuals who are seeking me out to share my talents and skills with them to bring them new possibilities. When in contribution, the result is clear. The outcome is easier to access and measure since its based on intentional growth.
I no longer need validation by everyone and need to trade my gifts for love. I get to be myself and create relationships with a healthy exchange of love and support without any expectations. That also includes maintaining a loving relationship with myself. Plus, the real proof of love lies among those who still are my honest friends.
I am an image coach who works with women to find their authenticity, increase their feminine appeal and become empowered. Please also feel free to comment below or on my Facebook at www.facebook.com/nuvoarts