I briefly mentioned in my last post how 2018 is my year of kindness. One of the biggest lessons I learned early this year, is there is no giving without receiving.
In December of 2017 as I was coming to the end of the “year of me” it dawned on me that I liked having a “themed” year. So as I thought about what 2018 was going to mean I tapped into the lessons I learned in 2017. The overwhelming feeling came that I wanted it to be about kindness. The new year was going to be about giving, as much as possible, to those I come into contact with. I didn’t want to limit it to my immediate circle, but expand it to anyone I come into contact with that needs a bit of kindness.
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Then, on December 13, 2017 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I can’t explain what happens when you get a diagnosis of cancer. I’m sure it’s different for everyone but this is what it was for me. Everything slowed. My doctor was speaking, I was listening, but my brain was stuck on “the biopsy showed that you have Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, breast cancer.” My husband asked questions and at some point I began to cry because, cancer. Then clarity came, not instantly, it took a few days, but it came.
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Help Rolled In
When we began to tell people about my diagnosis the offers to help rolled in. People are amazing and this only helped me to see it even more. Offers for food, babysitting, rides etc. Whatever could make our lives easier while fighting cancer, someone was there to help. What an amazing thing to be poised to give then have the floodgates open to push you to receive as well.
I was given my biggest opportunity to give by being given my biggest opportunity to receive. There is no real giving without also receiving. I know many people who want to give to others and yet, when the offer comes their way they are too proud, for whatever reason, to receive graciously. Receiving doesn’t diminish who you are it allows the kindness to flow. The action in both giving and receiving is an open hand, when one hand closes the flow is lost.
So here I was being handed the largest opportunity to receive just when I was planning to make it my biggest giving year ever! I was being taught that in order to truly give, we must also graciously receive. The feelings we get when giving or receiving are beneficial to our health!
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A Few Tips
Having shared that, let me share a few tips that may help in both giving and receiving of kindness from the world:
- Giving and receiving do not have to be proportional. You do not have to give in the exact proportion that someone has given to you. It’s nice to do, but not necessary. Giving as you can, just as someone gave as they could is still proportional.
- Giving doesn’t have to be to the person who has given to you. Paying it forward is the best way to keep the flow going. It’s also the best way NOT to feel as though you owe someone because they’ve done something nice for you, or to make them feel that they owe you when you do something nice for them. It’s not tit for tat, it’s letting kindness flow
- Give what you can. Small acts of kindness are still giving. Never feel that your giving has to be a grand gesture for all to see. Simple small gestures can go a long way to keeping the flow of kindness going. A smile, a compliment, a helping hand are all glorious acts of giving that could be saving someone’s life. Wherever you are and feel compelled to give, that’s your mission for the day.
- Give without looking to receive. Giving and receiving flow together, but don’t give with the intention of receiving. Just give. The flow of life, of the Universe is to always balance things out. So give happily and freely enjoying the feeling you get while doing it then move on never expecting anything in return. Honestly, that’s the kind of giving that will really make you feel the best!
What is all means
It meant to me was give and receive freely. What it means to you may be different. But what I hope we can all get from this is that as we look around we can see the need for loving kindness. If we allow ourselves to be open to the abundance the Universe offers and freely let it flow through us by giving we are letting kindness flow. What can be better than that?
I’m thankful every day for all the loving kindness my family is receiving while we go through this very draining time in our lives. I’m also very thankful for every opportunity I find to give of myself to others. Because, as I’ve said before, this amazing opportunity came my way just as I was planning to give, It’s giving me an opportunity to reach people I’d never know or see normally. We never know why anyone is put on our path, so let’s treat them kindly.