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The Dark Side of Spirituality and “Giving”

The Dark Side of Giving: Before You Give, Make Sure You Are Doing It for the Right Reasons

Mark PostMasculine Erika AwakeningIs it really all love and light? Today we explore the “dark side” of giving. Sometimes if you read the Facebook posts of the spiritual community, you’d think so. But come on … there is a dark side of the spiritual community that you may have noticed. And it’s only when we bring it into the light of conscious awareness that it’s going to get healed. This dark side is what I call “spiritual BS.” It happens when we pretend that all is good and light, but we are not really there yet. We have not integrated our dark sides, and perhaps we think it’s possible to ignore the dark side. It’s not. The dark side must be honestly acknowledged and integrated if we are to be healed.

One of the hallmarks of my Holistic Belief Reprogramming system is its practicality. Yes, we draw frequently on A Course in Miracles. But we are not going to stay on the surface of the pithy aphorisms. We are going to apply A Course in Miracles until we get real, practical results in the physical world. That is how we bring Heaven to Earth.

The area of giving and receiving is one that is fraught with the sickly imprints of ego consciousness. Some people think they can escape from the ego by becoming self-sacrificing “givers” who are all about helping others “at their own expense.” Some people are still stuck in a model of “giving to get.” Some people simply have not learned how to be assertive about their own needs, so they go along with giving in situations that are not actually aligned. No matter what form this misaligned giving takes, it predictably leads to resentment, guilt, hurt feelings, and broken relationships. It does not lead to the liberation promised by A Course in Miracles.

Over the past few weeks, a couple of situations arose in my life that highlighted the need for today’s article. In both situations, someone had been giving to me (and I to them in my own way), without any express agreement that more would be expected from the situation. In both situations, the other person involved suddenly out of the blue appeared to have expectations of me that I was not at all prepared to meet. In one of the situations, I had explicitly and repeatedly told the other person that I was not going to be delivering on the expectations. And in the other situation, to be honest, I was totally blindsided by what this person expected from me. Her request came out of left field and appeared to me to have no grounding whatsoever in our relationship. When she then pretty much cut off the relationship because she did not get what she wanted, which was not something I was ever prepared to give from the get-go, it further exacerbated the sense of separation and disconnection. Both situations were entirely preventable had the other person involved followed the advice I am about to give here. Indeed, your whole life will change for the better if you follow the advice I’m about to give here.

One of many life-changing principles that I teach in my EFT tapping videos and my private coaching sessions is how to give and receive in an aligned way that feels good before, during, and after the exchange. I teach a way of giving and receiving that leads to balanced relationships and eliminates the possibility of disappointment and resentment. It does, however, require that both parties be honest with themselves and each other. If I explicitly tell someone that I am not prepared to give him what he wants from me, and he insists on continuing to hope and expect a certain result anyway, then that is his responsibility. And he seriously needs to work on his inner game.

For the sake of a practical, workable solution, let’s keep things very simple. There are two ways you can give in your life that will eliminate the possibility of guilt, resentment, or disappointment. And they are as follows:

1. Pure Giving

This is when you give a true gift expecting nothing in return. This is what I did last night with a fellow hotel guest here when I gave her a free Holistic Belief Reprogramming mini-session. She may or may not opt to take further paid coaching with me at some point. But whether she does or not, this session was truly free. I gave it because it felt good and aligned to give it, and I will not be angry or resentful if it never turns into income for me. That is pure giving.

If we are truly honest about pure giving, we are always doing it for our own reasons. As Marshall Rosenberg, founder of non-violent communication, has explained, we all have a basic human need for contribution. Sometimes when I see someone who needs my help, I just feel called to help. And I feel good about it before, during, and after. I don’t need something back to feel good about it. That is pure giving.

You can also give a lot with trust that the Universe (rather than the specific other person you are giving to) is going to give back to you even more than you gave. This can also be workable and not give rise to resentment and hurt feelings.

What is NOT pure giving is pretending to be doing pure giving by, for example, giving a “free” session – and then being disappointed or annoyed later because the other person did not give anything back. Or did not give back in a specific expected way. Similarly, this is what is happening when a man gives to a woman with secret hopes that he’s going to get love and sex back from her. That is bullshit giving. It’s not giving at all. It’s “giving to get,” and it’s a mainstay of ego consciousness. It destroys relationships. I recommend that you eliminate this practice entirely from your life.

2. Giving in An Agreed Exchange

The second form of giving that works is giving where there is an express or clear implied agreement about what will be given in return. I practice this form of giving every single day in my business. This second form of giving can create wonderful win/win outcomes for everyone involved, but it requires a level of self-honesty and assertiveness that as yet most people have not developed.

I learned this skill by necessity after the first year of blogging had left me with a popular blog but no financial support. I got tired of giving and not getting back what I needed. So I learned how to negotiate balanced exchanges. I learned how to pay careful attention to my own emotions so that I would avoid over-giving and never get into the land of resentment and anger anymore with my audience. This skill is one of the most valuable skills that I now have and teach. It is this skill that will transform your life and your business completely.

When you master the second skill, you will find that the level of mutual respect in your relationships rises substantially. Everyone appreciates clear expectations and a spirit of win/win.

To learn these skills, sign up for personal coaching sessions with me at http://tapsmarter.com/coaching.

Okay, I’ve got to go … I’ve negotiated a win/win massage where I am paying money in exchange for receiving a wonderful service … everyone wins and no resentment :)

Love,

Erika Awakening, High Priestess of Miracles here at TAPsmarter

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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Comments

  1. Ymmot says:

    Quote: “Sometimes when I see someone who needs my help, I just feel called to help. And I feel good about it before, during, and after. I don’t need something back to feel good about it. That is pure giving.” – sorry, but I beg to differ… getting a ‘good feeling’ from helping out another person is just as much a form of payment as any material returns or ‘compensation’ would be, just often a more hypocritical one as it allows the giver to pretend they haven’t received anything at all in return and to pose as an altruistic person. “Pure giving”, I insist, is only taking place when you well and truly neither expect nor get ANYTHING in return, not even a feelgood high. Is it truly that noble to help someone that you should feel like a Saint for doing it? This is one of my pet peeves, actually: isn’t it the ultimate proof of the egocentric and heartless nature of today’s ‘consumer society’ that people should consider it a heroic deed to help someone else, as opposed to that being simply the natural thing to do – you know, because it’s like ‘right’, as opposed to profitable (in whatever way you want to define profit)?

    • Hi Ymmot, I hear that you are concerned about the values expressed in the post. May I ask you a question then.

      How exactly do you suppose that you will give the gift of happiness, without first having it yourself and receiving it in everything you do?

  2. Sharon says:

    Yeah, giving with expectations is bad, and planning to give in hopes of getting is bad too. It should always be selfless. That’s one of the things I’ve been studying as I delve deeper into the Catholic Faith. The Monks and Nuns are so selfless yet so happy, content and sure of their actions, and if more “Christians” did things without expectations other than doing the right thing, maybe this world be a little more loving and less greedy

  3. Machine Elves says:

    The closer a person can operate from a place of “pure giving”, the closer (s)he can operate from a place of unconditional love.

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