CAN GIVING TRULY BE SELFLESS?
Article by Caitlyn Picerno
Giving Without Asking For Anything In Return…
As I sit here in the closet petting my cat who is all curled up, cozy, and purring up a storm, my guides draw attention to a lesson that has played a large role in my life as well as what I have observed in others. The lesson is, “give without asking for anything in return.” Now this lesson seems simple enough, right? However, in my experience it is loaded when it comes to applying it and how often we do. I think about how this has showed up in my life throughout the past week.
I pet my cat giving love without asking for anything in return, yet I receive his love and affection back. I give a compliment to a lady scraping her car off in the parking lot and she has a nice conversation with me. I hold the door open for an elder carrying things to their car and she smiles saying “thank you.” The list goes on since many of us do nice acts of kindness in our lives, but I still think, I may have not actually asked for something in return, but I did receive something from each interaction. I felt good about my actions, I received a “thank you,” I received a smile and pleasant conversation with a total stranger, and I received the feelings of pure love from my cat. Is that wrong? Again, the easy answer is “no!”
Is It Wrong to Receive?
I hear this conversation I had years ago with people in a class I was taking in school for my Human Services Degree ringing in my ears. The topic was if any acts are selfless. It became a bit of a heated debate between the class which seemed odd to me. The class took two approaches. One, if you did something nice and felt good about it, it could not be considered a selfless act because you receive pleasure from it and two, if you did not receive anything besides a good feeling it is selfless because we cannot control our feelings. (Quick note on not being able to control your feelings, we may not be able to control our initial feeling, but we 100% have control over how long we stay in that feeling, if we choose to change the feeling, and how we react to the situation.) I really had to think about which side I agreed with if either for a while.
Is receiving a feeling of pleasure because you were kind selfish?
To me, no it is not, but neither is receiving something on monetary value or an opportunity of any sort because of an act of kindness. We did not ask for anything and simply put love energy out into the world. Both sides of this debate seemed pointless to discuss in my opinion. Society is built on putting others down and not truly loving ourselves making us question even a simple act of kindness as being of pure intent. Why would we have to question if we are being kind and receive a benefit out of it, as long as the kind act is truly out of love, as being selfish? There is nothing wrong with being selfish if this above debate is considered being selfish.
By being kind, putting love out into the world, and receiving love energy back is simply the cycle of the Universe. The Universe, Pure Source, God, or whatever you personally refer to your higher power as, responds to the energy we emit into the world. When we make room for kindness in our lives and less room for the cycles of stress or low frequency feelings such as anger, fear, guilt, shame, jealousy, etc., we are given back the same. Opportunities that will reciprocate the love energy and high frequency vibrations will begin to appear. This is how we start building a life we truly crave with intent and practice surrendering to the Universe for the “how we will get there.” The meaning that has been attached to “being selfish” has gone too far. If we are looking at feeling certain emotions as being selfish, no being can be selfless or even human! Time to reinvent the definition of selfish!
Time To Be My Version Of Selfish!
Giving without asking for anything in return is a loaded topic obviously, but I personally believe this is the way to a much happier life for not only the giver, but also the receiver. There is nothing wrong with giving and receiving at the same time. This is the cycle of life and energy. Take a second to step back and think of where this week or even just today, you did something for someone else or even an animal and did not ask or expect anything in return. How did it feel? Breathe into that feeling and know you deserve to feel this way because the Universe is giving you your Karma! This is the feeling that is helping you receive the life you want! Be your version of selfish, not the one society has created to make us feel badly about helping others and shameful to feel good about it!