Sunday, April 20, 2014

Self-Love: The Act of Giving is a Complete Act, No Matter How it is Received

 “Generosity brings happiness at every stage of its expression. We experience joy in forming the intention to be generous. We experience joy in the actual act of giving something. And we experience joy in remembering the fact that we have given.”
― Gautama Buddha

This is a post about self-love, which was very important for me to develop in order to reach my current weight and fitness level.

I think that most of us place too much doubt and blame on ourselves when we try our very best to give to others, but the reaction to our brave attempt of giving is surprisingly dismal. 

In my office work, I write each document as persuasively as I can. I spend the time to make excellent arguments and put every ounce of myself into it. Then I send it out to be judged.

When I send my document out, I must mentally let it go. I've done all I can in my writing that is in my control to do, but how it is received is not up to me. So I must be okay with doing my best regarding my part of the process. No matter the result, my action of writing is fully complete in and of itself. This type of thinking, regardless of whether my ideas are received well or poorly, has helped me a great deal.

I cannot force anyone to accept my ideas. The receiving aspect is not up to me, and I have no control over it. But the giving aspect, that is all me, so I try to be very proud of what ideas and arguments I give to others with my very best intent behind them. The giving aspect of my ideas is a complete act in and of itself. The result is another complete act in and of itself that is not about me.

In our daily lives, when we give to others, our act of giving is a complete act in and of itself. We should not blame ourselves if it is not received how we intended, because how it is received is not up to us. Our act of giving is a complete act. Each act of giving is filled with all of our good wishes for that person, which can never be wrong. Never! When doing a good act, we should view it as as a complete act, no matter how it is received. We can learn to be happy in the act itself, versus the result we may or may not get. 

If the person on the receiving end acts like our giving act is nothing or not much, despite our best effort to give, that is about them, not us. We may be misunderstanding them, or there are various reasons why people act as they do. However, we should not take the blame or shame for their reactions.

It is our intent behind our act that matters most. And you know this--by having a certain friend who constantly says the wrong thing, but she has a heart of gold. And we also know that by fakey friends who always say the right things, but somehow make us feel bad about ourselves.

Part of self-love is to take responsibility for our own actions, but also to not take blame for others' actions. We are doomed to feelings of failure if we are only results-orientated, because we are not in control of many aspects of the results. I see too many people beat themselves up for results that are out of their control. And that is sad to me, which is why I write this post.

I want none of you, my friends, to be disappointed in yourself for things out of your control, because that is unfair to you and it makes you needlessly disappointed in yourself. Further, it is destructive to your spirit of giving, which you need to keep healthy to have joy in your life.

To practice self-love: What we can do is our own best, with good intent attached to that. And for those very reasons of doing our best and having good intent, we can love our own selves for that in a very happy way regardless of results.

What do *you* think? This line of thought has helped me feel better over many difficult situations. And I hope it helps you too.

Have a Wonderful Day!

:-) Marion


  1. Great post, Marion!

    I had to learn that all I can do is my best but that there are outcomes that I can't control. And it's no use if I beat myself up over them...

    1. Hi Andrea, This took me until I was in my late 30's to learn! I hope we can spare someone from as much frustration as I had. :-)

  2. Hi Marion

    Sorry – I’ve not been around too much lately, but I’ve had a few days off sorting out some family health issues. As the saying goes sometimes real life intervenes …but all is going well now.

    Wow, I've certainly come back to a great post ...good reading ...thank you.

    All the best Jan

    1. Hi Jan, Thanks! I've been away quite a bit myself, this year, with life interventions too. :-)

  3. something that has really helped me is to think of it like we are all wearing glasses. These glasses are made up of all the experiences, thoughts, feelings, ideas that we have ever had. They impact the entire way we view the world and our experiences. This means that everybody is evaluating things through their own set of lenses. They don't always see things the way I do, and they don't always see me the way I would like for them to see me. This is the same of myself. Realizing that has made me much more accepting of myself and of others.

    1. Hi Leslie, Yes, great analogy! Also, we may be positively impacting a person even if they don't tell us. Some of the most important moments of my life happened when teachers told me things, but there were reasons why I didn't tell them the significance of their words. So we don't know which acts and words have meaning and which don't. :-)

  4. thats's soooooooooo true. several years ago I learned that very lesson from Spirit. I bought John Edwards first book and started to read it when a HUGE panic set in that I wouldn't be done in time (my book done in time for???) I was literally reading at red lights and most of the night I had to work so I was reading between customers I had just finished and I felt like someone took my head and turned it to the left. there was a lady pumping gas who had just lost her son to a drowning while visiting family in SC so she never got to say goodbye. I KNEW the book was for her so I walked out and gave it to her. now of course I REALLY wanted to help her get some relief from the pain/grief and I NEVER saw her again. my lesson was to do my part and TRUST that Spirit could handle the rest.

    1. Hi Timothy, Wow, such an interesting story! As a teenager, I felt inclined to write an anonymous card and poem to a girl whose brother had died, and she mentioned a thank you to the anonymous person in the newspaper! We need to impulsively use our giving nature like how you describe, Timothy! There is a mystery about using it that way. We never know how much impact we will have, maybe not much, but also maybe so much. :-)

  5. Awesome post! I can only hope that I am doing my best. Some days are better than others!!

  6. Great post Marion. And timely for me as well. I've just been feeling sad, disappointed and very loser'ish about an issue not related to fitness and your post reminded me that those feelings of failure are destructive. I did my best and now I have to let it go.

  7. Hi Marion, this is a great post, I think I will need to keep coming back to remind myself of the points in this list :)


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