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Member: Bring4th_Steve
Location: Gainesville, Virginia, US
Gender: Male
Interests: My main interests are humor and striving to make decisions and actions that lead to a life of unconditional Love.

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Do you test yourself?
Published by Bring4th_Steve on January 2, 2009 4:22pm.  Category: General

How often do you look at the events that make up your day?  Do you spend a few minutes every morning or evening reflecting on each gift and experience that went into the making of your day?


bringthexchangemoneyjpg.jpgI tend to analyze things as they happen, mentally ditching anything that seems trivial, and musing at the synchronicities or feelings of joy that sometimes pop into my day.  One of the experiences that I tend to wrestle with the most is one where I suspect my higher-self is testing me.  I feel this specifically when I pass a panhandler, a homeless person, or someone who seems less fortunate than I am (which is a huge judgment in itself, by the way!  I have learned that there are many seemingly "less fortunate" people who live more in joy from day-to-day than I could ever hope to attain!).


Nonetheless, I have conditioned myself since childhood to resist or avoid giving out the little money that I had to those who asked for donations.  Dodging those childhood bullets didn't last for long, as I soon found out working in Washington DC.  These days, I'm actually more surprised to "not" be solicited by a panderer than I am to encounter one.


So why is it that I have such a hard time giving away the one dollar that has no chance of camping out in my wallet, anyway? And why do I feel like I don't trust the guy who claims he is saving up his change for a meal, instead of spending it on a nip of vodka that will keep him warm for an hour during these cold winter days? Should I not care whether the story is convincing or not?


Have any of you had these types of conditioned responses, or even continue to have them now? Have you thought about why you feel like this? Or have you moved into a state of compassion and trust, no matter how each situation presents itself?


It was only after I began thinking about my conflicted feelings of wanting to hold onto my money that I realized there's no point in doing so.  Especially the more that I encountered the concept of "you only get what you give," and "what you give, you get in return, seven-fold." I then realized that I've been reading these words in different contexts throughout my life.  I can remember reading it in the Bible, and I remember reading it in some Wiccan material.  I heard it again while studying for a Reiki Master certificate, and it even reached me through that cheezy tune by The New Radicals, called... You guessed it! "You Get What You Give".




As I started to put the pieces together, the concept of "giving to get" started to take hold in my life.  I decided to try giving away what I had, within a reasonble limit, of course. And so it began.  If I bought a banana for myself at the hot dog stand, I bought two and gave one to someone should the opportunity likely arise.  When I ventured outside for lunch, I often reached into my wallet ahead of time just to have a dollar on hand instead of launching into the bad habit of patting myself down in front of someone in need, saying "Nope! Sorry, no change..."


After forcing myself to do this for a few months, I started to feel good about it!  I even found myself hinting to my colleagues after a panhandling encounter that it's so important to give in order to get back.  But wait... All this giving.. Was I really getting back?  I don't know, really, and it almost didn't seem to matter to me anymore.  More importantly, I soon learned how to enjoy giving, and found a small joy in making someone else happy by satisfying their request for help, despite whatever facade might be draped over the request. To me, I felt comfort in making the action, to answering the call.


It's a very interesting feeling to be put on the spot and asked to give of yourself, especially when you don't have a lot, either. But I believe that's for a reason--catalyst to help me really feel the pinch, to see if I can still find joy in what most people in my shoes would register as pain.  So I am thankful for every opportunity, and am now a little more receptive to encountering those moments where I'm being tested to take the higher road or to give of myself when the asker may be in a better financial position than I am!


Find those moments that hurt you or challenge your old crusty thinking, and see if you can dig out some joy somewhere in that new moment of change. It really has an impact!

   3 Comments    Add a comment


What you are addressing is the programming from exposure to the mundane. The voice in your head that has been reinforced everyday since birth of how things should be. But as you have struggled with your choice to give or not to give you have come to the crux of our lot in life on this planet, step forth as the fool of the Tarot and possibly gain some polarization or stick to the mind of the masses. Free will is as good as it gets regardless of the result of your act.

Example: On the Tuesday before Christmas,2008 I walked outside to indulge my smoking habit and witnessed one of those people whose job it is to go around and help keep the streets and sidewalks cleaned up - we were in an alley.
She had her scooper and broom and was about to sweep into her scooper a designer addition of human excrement that a person who lives on the street had deposited right in the middle of our alley smoking area. Normally all she sweeps up are cigarette butts. She is no stranger to us and we do appreciate her coming off the main street and tidying up our smoking area once and awhile. Seeing her there was like seeing Mother Tereasa living her beliefs and acting them out.
My heart went out to her and I reached in my billfold and gave her some money as Love from my heart. She said she didn't want it but I insisted, as a Christmas gift - and she accepted the money. It was spontaneous, without thought just an outpouring of Love from my heart...something more than a thank you. It was private just her and I and now us.

My belief I would like to share with you and your readers is to respond in Love with your giving regardless if it be cash, a smile or looking others straight in the eyes and saying to yourself I Love You. It is of RA. It is what I have learned as the Law is One. Thinking and knowing in the world of Oneness will make every man a brother and every women a sister where it counts - in your mind and heart.
Bringing 4th with you Steve!

 Reply to this comment

Mirico, what a great comment! And you're right.. The exchange doesn't always have to take the form of money, but in this particular case, money was the catalyst in my situation to really sit up and notice. It definitely has helped me to pay more attention to people and try to give genuine responses to them, even during times when I am totally disinterested.

Thanks again for your input!!

 Reply to this comment

Your entry reminded me of something that occurred to me after revisiting the house I first remember living in when I was a boy. I was with my wife and I was amazed at how small the house was. I almost passed it despite it being extremely memorable, and one of very few on a short street. My dad was renting it from the neighbor at the time. And now I live in a much larger house by comparison. Funny thing is, I never remember once thinking I lived in a small house. No one mentioned it, so it never entered my mind until later, when I'd grown up, and was exposed to the cultural idea of how big a house should be, etc. I know I was much shorter at the time, and everything was larger in perspective, but with 3 kids in that little house, it was a wonder to me how I never thought of it as small. I think it is helpful to realize how large a part belief and perspective play in our experience.

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