Does True Charity Have To Involve Sacrifice?

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by Melody Fletcher on January 13, 2013

 

Coaching Call #031 is out today. The Topic of today’s call is: She Had An Affair. Now What?

This client had an affair and has been living in torture ever since. Taking morality and judgment out of the equation (because they’re not helpful to healing), we dissected how and why affairs happen (and how this particular one did), why divorce (if applicable) isn’t the end of the world, and how to figure out what to do next. Note: this may be a difficult call to listen to if you’ve been cheated on and are still in the anger phase, because I render no judgment against cheating. If, however, you’re ready to understand the real, underlying reasons that people have affairs, then by all means, listen in.

Click to see the full call summary.

 

Awesome Hazel wants to know: “I recently heard this quote by Jack London: “A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.”

To me this implies that we should deprive ourselves of material luxuries in order to help those less fortunate. But that to me seems a very miserable way of living, to be entirely self -sacrificing, surely it’s best to have a balance? Is it ever ok to splash out on luxuries?”

I thought that this was a good time to answer this question. You know, right after I’ve returned from my annual spa vacation, and everything… Is it ever ok to splash out on luxuries? Yes, my dear Awesome Hazel. You bet your sweet ass it is. That’s right boys and girls, it’s going to be another one of those posts. I’m feeling rather ornery of late, so, those of you who enjoy my snarkier side, you’re welcome.

Jack London was wrong, unless…

I don’t want to crap all over Jack London. So, given that I haven’t read any of his books, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe, just maybe, he was making a commentary on the meaning that society had bestowed upon the word “charity”, and frankly, how messed up that was. Or, you know, he was just wrong. Take your pick. Either way, his writings would’ve been more reflective of his own time than ours, and given the speed at which we are evolving (holy schmoly!), it stands to reason that we should just go ahead and dissect everything from our new, current perspective.

Let’s have a look at charity, shall we?

Do we really want to be charitable?

First of all, what exactly is charity? Well, to most people, it means giving some of what you have to someone who has less than you, helping the less fortunate, and helping those who can’t help themselves. For many, just as Jack was reflecting, there’s an element of sacrifice, of suffering for others that goes hand in hand with the helping. In fact, there are still those who believe that the greater our own pain in giving, the more virtuous the gift.

Allow me to respond to that little nugget of “wisdom”: Oh my freaking Gawd, what a bunch of bullshit! *cough* *cough*

When we look at the basis of “charity”, we find the assumption that there are those who need our help. This, and I realize this is going to be a controversial statement, and don’t worry, I will explain myself, is never the case.

We are all infinitely powerful beings, each on our own path and each in control of our own reality. Charity, in the sense that many think of it, is not necessary and not helpful. When we look at someone and notice only their suffering, when we diminish them by thinking that they don’t have the power to help themselves, it not only gives more energy to their pain, therefore increasing it, but it also hurts us. Pity doesn’t feel good. Thinking of someone as broken doesn’t feel good. Looking down upon others doesn’t feel good (unless you’re in a really low place yourself). And, if it doesn’t feel good, then we know that it’s not aligned with our souls, with Who We Really Are, or with Who They (the ones we’re “helping”) Really Are.

Giving from a place of pain is detrimental

So, there we are, looking at someone and focusing on their pain, their poverty, their suffering, and declaring them powerless. We hurt for them. We feel guilty that we have more than they do. And so, we give them something. We give them so much that it hurts us. We’ve been taught that true sacrifice, giving more than we can afford, giving more than we’re comfortable with, is virtuous (i.e. will get us into heaven, or given all the crap we did in our early twenties, at least keep us out of hell). Of course, since this doesn’t feel good, most of us don’t do it very often. We may begrudgingly give a lump of money once a year, actually resenting the idea that we “have to” give, that we’re basically being guilted into giving, and giving more than we’d really like to. But that’s it. The rest of the year, we justify not helping those we think we should (and maybe even those we are inspired to help) by remembering the pain of the sum we already parted with.

When we give from a place of pain, when we give because we think we have to, when we give more than we want to, basically, when we give in any way that doesn’t feel good to us, we are actually perpetuating the energy of what we don’t want.

  • We are feeding poverty by focusing upon poverty. Even when we give some money, if it’s done from a place of focus on poverty instead of joy, it doesn’t truly help.
  • When allow ourselves to be guilted into giving, and giving more than we want to, we come to resent the very idea of giving. Not only do we then give less overall, but we may very well ignore any intuitive impulse we have to help (which would then be joyful) out of rebellion against having been manipulated into doing so in a way that didn’t feel good.
  • Being looked at as broken and helpless and being dealt with from that perspective feels awful. People who are in poverty are not uplifted by those who see them as powerless. True upliftment and help come from a place of alignment.

There are many, many examples of people helping others out of good intentions, but without inspiration, where the outcome was anything but what they had intended. I’m certain that most of you have experienced this in your own lives – you went to offer some helpful advice to someone knowing you were right, and all they did was get annoyed with you.

On a larger scale, whole communities were given aid, only to end up worse after a few years of being “helped” than they were before.

Inspired Giving

When we align with Who We Really Are, and set the intention to help others (which many of us are born with, so it’s a STRONG intention), we will be inspired to do so. This kind of giving, however, is very, very different.

  • If feels good. Always. There’s no guilt that you have more than them.
  • Inspired giving is never done from a place of pain. It doesn’t happen because we see the other person as powerless. It just feels joyful to share what we have in that moment with that particular person.
  • We don’t feel like we HAVE TO give. We just really, really want to.
  • We don’t give more than feels good. We give exactly what feels good. Often, though, that ends up being more than we would’ve given out of guilt.
  • The amount we give doesn’t hurt us. In fact, quite often, we end up receiving money in an amount equivalent to or even greater than what we gave. This is why a lot of people think that tithing brings them money. It does, but not because they gave. It was because of the alignment.
  • We always give in the right way – we are inspired to offer what will truly make a change, not what we think would help. There’s usually a huge difference between those two.

It’s not actually about giving

Inspired giving isn’t about giving at all. It’s about allowing someone else to manifest through us. That’s why the money or possessions we give don’t hurt us – we either get the value back, or had extra to begin with. It doesn’t feel like sacrifice, because it’s not. It’s just energy flowing through us to another human being. That kind of action, inspired action, benefits us. It leads us closer to what we really want, and at the same time, allows the recipient of our kindness to manifest something they really want. Inspired giving always leads to a positive manifestation – it will truly benefit the recipient, AND, it will always benefit the giver. Inspired action always leads to a win-win.

This is not charity. There is no need and there is no sacrifice. It’s just two (or more) souls coming together, being willing to play with each other. One has a desire to help (truly helping others is really, really fun. Helping from a place of misalignment is frustrating as hell), and one has a desire to be helped (not a NEED. A desire.)

So, I shouldn’t give money to the homeless?

Nope, not if you’re not inspired to. But, if you have a true desire to help others, you may well find yourself being inspired to help more than you’ve ever done before, once you take the guilt and manipulation out the equation. In fact, the Universe will knock itself out bringing you opportunities to truly help.

The belief that giving has to be painful is a false one. It contradicts the energy of joyful, truly helpful giving. So, when you release that perspective, you open up the energy flow and allow the manifestation of true, joyful giving to occur. Imagine that.

And then, you may not be inspired to give a dollar. You may be inspired to organize the neighborhood and find a true, permanent solution to homelessness, or stray dogs, or kids with no playgrounds, or whatever cause you’re passionate about. You’ll be inspired to fine others who share your vision and vibration. This is when a few people move mountains and often accomplish something that seemed impossible until that point. This is when whole communities change and benefit. Inspired help changes people. It changes communities. It changes the recipients and the givers. Inspired help has the power to change the world.

Depriving ourselves of luxuries doesn’t help the world. Depriving ourselves of joy of any kind is detrimental to us and everyone who shares our reality. Splurge on anything that makes you feel truly good, which may well include giving to others as well as yourself.

Rewriting Jack London’s quote

Having said all that, I’d like to dissect Jack London’s quote. So, you have a hungry dog, a hungry person and one bone. Ok, the quote had two scenarios, one where the person was hungry and one where he wasn’t, but considering that you’d be a total douchebag to not give a hungry puppy a bone when you don’t even want it, I’ll stick with the part of the quote that deals with charity, shall I?

Option 1: You eat the bone. The dog starves to death. You feel really bad.

Option 2: You share the bone. There’s not much meat on the bone, so both of you are still hungry. But now you don’t feel so guilty. You both starve to death, but presumably you get to go to heaven.

Option 3: You eat the bone. The dog doesn’t starve to death. Because dogs eat poop, y’all. In fact, the chances that the dog will find something to eat in the street that you wouldn’t touch with a surgical glove are pretty damn high.

Option 4: You play with the dog for a few minutes, raising your vibration, and then someone is inspired to offer you a full meal and a bowl of dog food for your dog. Then, because you’re still vibing high, the restaurant where you’re eating offers you a job. Oh yes, this does happen.

Option 5: You call the CDC and hand over the bone, because your iPhone told you that random big old fleshy bones found in the street will most likely have come from a murder victim or something. And even though you’re hungry, you’re not willing to go all Hannibal Lecter just yet. Plus, you’re a vegetarian. Also, this isn’t the 1800′s, Jack London. People aren’t just chucking away bones anymore. In fact, many of us tend to giggle like thirteen year old boys when we talk about “eating a bone”. Mind you, we are not proud of ourselves, but you’re the one who brought it up, Jack. Just saying.

Now it’s your turn. Have you ever been manipulated or guilted into giving? How do you react to such attempts now? Have you experienced inspired giving, instead? Share your experiences in the comments!

{ 36 comments }

Philip Harris January 13, 2013 at 18:14

I don’t believe in sacrifice as a concept. If I do something for another: give my life, share my wealth; food; clothing; thoughts, etc, I do so because that is what I want to do. I do not consider that a sacrifice, commonly meaning, you give even if it means you have less. When you give willingly, you do not have less, you have more, so where’s the sacrifice?

Derrek January 13, 2013 at 19:51

This! ^

Alice January 14, 2013 at 03:58

Exactly.

Melody Fletcher January 14, 2013 at 22:55

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Philip! :)

Huge hugs,

Melody
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mary carol moran January 13, 2013 at 18:24

Hi Melody,

Wow! I get to be the first to comment today. Cool!

Thank you for an interesting post. The sticking point for me is when my giving becomes an expectation by the other person. This mostly happens with volunteering time. What starts out feeling awesome and generous and healthy, over time can become onerous. I’m interested to hear your take on this, since clearly there’s some internal resistance in me that’s getting triggered.

Hmmm… I think I’m expecting gratitude (trying to direct the outcome), which isn’t unconditional giving. Have to think about this one. Thanks!

Huge hugs! Hope you have an amazing and lovely Sunday!

Mary Carol
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mary carol moran January 13, 2013 at 18:25

Hee hee. Phil snuck in while I was writing. Hi Phil!
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Philip Harris January 13, 2013 at 19:38

Hi Mary!!!

Alice January 14, 2013 at 04:03

MC,

Sometimes gratitude is delayed. I have given and recieved help, and sometimes I was 3-4 years later before I could properlly tell that person thank you.

Sometimes people take a while to exit bad situations, and until they have that pride and feeling of stability, they may not want to face those that helped them until they are on their way, doing well and can come back with a straight back, head held high, and thank the people that helped them, in full confidence.

I’ve had people be “ungrateful” but I later found it was more embarassment. People might snatch things up, then years later, when they have more feelings of dignity, give you a proper thank you when they can.

mary carol moran January 14, 2013 at 04:22

Hi Alice,

I totally agree! This is why I said that it’s MY problem if I’m looking for gratitude. Some issue or resistance is getting triggered inside me.

Thank you for your thoughtful and clear explanation, giving dignity to the receivers of gifts. Right on!

Hugs,

MC
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Alice January 15, 2013 at 03:54

Thank you!

Hey MC & Melody this is off topic but I have been thinking this:

I have such a variety in my personality and various vibrations…that people could really line up with pretty much anything from me, except something sadistic or purposefully mean…no I can’t do it.

Alice here is really an excellent guage with what people are lining up with!!!

because I’ve gone from ruffling feathers, making people cry of happiness, laugh, like me a lot, can’t stand me, flirtations and vexations, ignore all my comments like the plague….
terrible grammar and spelling, excellent grammar and spelling… maybe as a teacher I’m sending you all these ands and commas…hee hee that’s a bit on purpose!

People get a different side of me all the time on here, and I don’t know why, I just write what pops out and I can type at lightening speed, and I don’t edit or think about it that much.

I am the most excellent mirror! :-)

Melody Fletcher January 16, 2013 at 13:50

Yes you are, Alice. :)

Melody Fletcher January 14, 2013 at 23:01

Hey MC,

Yeah, I think what happens in cases like that is that you start off being inspired, but then at some point, you keep giving even when it doesn’t feel good. It becomes an obligation. And then, you get resentful. Sure, it might also include conditions, but at the heart of it is that you didn’t feel comfortable stopping. It’s like once you start, you can’t get out…

False belief! :)

Huge hugs,

Melody
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Hazel January 13, 2013 at 19:09

Hey Melody, thankyou so much for writing such a detailed response to my question! I like it :)

Alice January 14, 2013 at 04:08

It’s great isn’t it!? :-)

This is such an important topic, seeing some believe we are on this Earth to help others.

My biggest frustration is I am in no position to do so, I’m the one that could do with a hand, I ‘d love to swap places with someone in a better position, as giving doesn’t feel like sacrifice, it feels like fun.
It feels like you just made someones’ day or life better, like the world is a kinder place because of your powerful action.

It’s the best thing, when you have a group of friends, and you can shout them all for dinner, that generousity, and having the means to do so is amazing.

Or imagine just buying a wonderful, genuine homeless person a home! How great would that feel? the smile on their face, the relief, the ability to get a job now they can sleep, and a wash and store clothes!

What a happy topic to help others!!! :-)

Melody Fletcher January 16, 2013 at 13:52

You’re so very welcome Hazel! Thanks for asking such an awesome question! :)

Huge hugs,

Melody
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Ed January 13, 2013 at 20:42

Nice comments about Charity. As always, lots to think about. I think you were too hard on Jack considering the type of author he was, and the time and places he wrote about. ;) Everything else was appreciated since I was having this debate with myself yesterday, as I sat a red light and a man stood on the corner with a sign asking for help.

Alice January 14, 2013 at 04:20

It comes down to this:

a) If you are sick, poor or barely paying your own bills and living expenses your job is to help yourself.

b) If you are healthy, pay your bills with ease, cover living expenses, don’t have many issues, then there’s no reason not to help a genuine person.

In reality what I see happen often is the people in the lowest possible income bracket feeling guilt and stress and giving to the people a step down from them on the ladder.
I think this is due to empathy, as they think “that could be me one day”

Once you get very far away from that ladder, sometimes the empathy goes away, and the concept of poverty doesn’t quite sink in, because there is no fear of eviction, or unpaid medical bills. People just forget.

And the guy with the sign might not be genuine, you know because you feel inspired.

Melody Fletcher January 16, 2013 at 15:45

Hey Ed,

LOL, oh poor Jack… But I did mention that I wasn’t actually familiar with his work, so didn’t want this post to come off as a commentary on anything other than that quote, which, at the time, may have actually been quite inspiring.

If you’re not inspired to give, then giving would not be for the highest good of that person or you in that moment. We can’t intellectually know what the best course of action is, but our intuition will tell us if we listen. Sometimes, the kindest thing we can do for someone is to leave them be, even when they’re struggling. Sometimes not giving something which would end up delaying the person’s ultimate progress is the biggest gift we can give. Inspiration is such an accurate tool. :)

Huge hugs!!

Melody

KimS January 13, 2013 at 22:09

When HAVEN’T I felt guilted into giving?? I was raised to believe that I was really not … allowed to claim anything as mine, to always give give give away everything. Anytime I found myself in a situation where I had “more” than someone else, I was SUPPOSED to give my stuff (money, toys, food, clothes, you-name-it) to them IN ORDER TO BE A GOOD PERSON. If I ever refused to give, I was “bad”. (and unloveable and ugly and unworthy and going straight to hell)

Everything about me was to be always available to someone else — and other people always had first claim to everything about me.

And most of the “giving” has actually felt as if someone were “taking” from me because everytime someone mentions some lack in his life, I felt obligated to give to him! All of this crappy giving has served to reinforce feelings/beliefs of “not enough to go around”

Last month, my sister sent me a gift card to a grocery store — and as I was walking into the store, I was handed a shopping list by some high school kids who were conducting a food drive. I actually felt obligated to shop from their list! I, who had no money for groceries (hence the gift card for food!), felt obligated to use my gift card to buy food for needy families — having the gift card meant I had “more” than the needy, right? Argh!! I felt sooo guilty for NOT WANTING TO GIVE, I felt selfish and greedy. I felt resentful that I had to spend my gift on strangers when I really really wanted to spend it on myself. :( :(

Obviously, so much emotional garbage surrounding worth, deserving, having, accepting, giving, etc.

Recently, I have been practicing saying No. No to the food drive, No to the homeles guy, No to fundraiser phone calls. I have decided that I absolutely will NOT give or donate until I feel really good about doing so — I’m not going to give just to assuage guilt.

And I am going to practice keeping something for myself, seeing myself as worthy to have stuff — money, food, pretty clothes, etc. Everyone is worthy of abundance, even me. :)

Kat January 13, 2013 at 23:43

Kim,

I Did the same, and it works, except when it was a homeless teenager’s birthday. I gave and I felt the energy!

Alice January 14, 2013 at 03:57

Where are they now?

Not that Alice January 14, 2013 at 04:15

:-(
Don’t feel guilty. This won’t help anyone. When you are the one needing help, or under tight budget, people will understand.

If it comes to that show them a picture of your kid, and people will understand you are just being a responsible mother.

There’s nothing guilty about feeding your child. :-) Of course you are worthy.

Let some guy with a wallet so fat that they can’t close it do those things! Otherwise the blind are leading the blind.

I understand these feelings very well. I think the most generous people are often the poorest, maybe that’s why they are on the low money vibration, because of all that guilt and sharing with others.

You don’t need to feel guilty. It’s the people that have more than enough, but still don’t help, because they just stubbornly refuse to, for no good reason, they have an issue, not you.

Melody Fletcher January 16, 2013 at 15:52

Hey Kim,

Good for you for learning to say No! Keep practising that and it will get easier. And try to remember that how much you have does not determine if you should give or not. It all comes down to whether or not you’re inspired. Even rich people shouldn’t be guilted into giving. Inspiration can come at any income level, but when it does, it’s never detrimental to your financial well being. You do not have to sacrifice in order to be a good person. :)

Huge hugs and keep up the great work!
Oh and I love your Gravatar!

Melody
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andrew January 13, 2013 at 22:10

I once asked, What’s the difference between giving and receiving? I was told to either put my hands together or hold someones hand and find out which hand is giving and which hand is receiving. I discovered that there is no such thing as receiving.

Melody Fletcher January 16, 2013 at 15:53

Hey Andrew,

In that context, I’d say there’s no such thing as giving. We are always receiving. :)

Huge hugs!!

Melody
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Kat January 13, 2013 at 23:48

Another shift and perspective to shift. Option 4 is awesome. I’ve seen it happen! Well, similar to it anyway.

Melody Fletcher January 16, 2013 at 15:55

Thanks Kat! Me, too. It’s amazing how stuff lines up when we get into the right mindset. :) Oh yeah, this crap really works! LOL

Huge hugs!!

Melody
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Alice January 14, 2013 at 03:51

A very good question and great opportunity to share some information about the homeless:

Yes, I do think people should be encouraged to help the homeless, if they are not in a bad situation themselves. Scarifice is when you are in a situation where you struggle to pay your own food and bills so giving anything extra would put you in more strain.
However if you have abundance, I strongly feel people should pull that gold-covered finger out. ;-)

When I can; a good idea is train tickets, payphone cards, money and food. The best help could also be a map with directions to the nearest shelter, refuge or social worker office and then the money to call that place on a payphone.

Some facts people don’t know:

1) The homeless can’t “get a job” you need an address for a job, for legal and taxation reasons.
Also who will really employ the homeless? It will become harder the longer they are homeless.

2) If the homeless has a job or under-the-table arrangement in order to step around the legal forms you sign which require an ADDRESS to work—you don’t instantly get a house, just because you have a job.

Job doesn’t = house we have established you need an address to work. Now they have to break the law with some seedy, cash in hands job.
You are paid fortnightly or monthly depending on which country you live. If they have to go cash in hand, due to no address… how long do you think it will take to save up for bond and rent?
Who will rent to the homeless?
How long before they are robbed while saving up? Arrested?

3) They will need money to stay in a cheap motel/hotel/hostel and the train ticket to get there while they are looking for work and an apartment.
Where will they stay? Some of the cheapest may be $15-$20 per night and don’t forget they need to eat, shower and try to maintain some standard so they can eventually find work or be accepted on a lease.

6) If it is a female there is higher risk of being raped each night spent uncovered and on the street. Most likely they are asking for money to get a roof over their head.
Where will they go to get out of danger? How will they run and call police on their mobile if they are expected to sell their mobile or “iphone” by judgemental people?

7) Nice clothes, mobiles and other items is no indicator of need. They have mobile or nice clothes from the life before being homeless. (Recession, company layoffs etc)
They can’t sell their mobile as this is the safety line to get help from social worker or police while they are trying to secure a home.

9) People can get into debt, have a job or have the rent increase and get evicted. It is not as hard as people think to be homeless.

10) Not all homeless are unemployed or mentally ill. They just may not be able to pay their rents anymore or have unexpected medical expenses come up, made redundant at work…things can just go wrong to the best of us.
Once they lose that house…It’s pretty much game over… It’s near impossible to get work again without an address.

11) In the case they are mentally ill or sick in some way the above steps won’t even be possible. They will not have the capacity to explain their need for money to get a train ticket or transport to a hospital, shelter or motel stay.
They will not know how to find social workers or someone to assist them into emergency accommodation.

12) The best chance they have is a safe refuge or hospital with a social worker advocating for them to get into the workplace or treatment for any condition they have

Melody Fletcher January 16, 2013 at 16:02

Hey Alice,

Thanks for the insight into the homeless. I got to know quite a few homeless people when I lived in San Francisco. You’re right, it’s much easier to become homeless than people think and very hard to get out of once there.

But, I just want to point out that this post was not about recognizing the need for help. It was geared towards those who recognize the needs of others to the point where it hurts them, so they don’t really need MORE reason to help.

Also, how much money you have should have no bearing on whether or not someone has the right to guilt you into giving. A rich person giving in the wrong way can do a lot of damage. For me, it comes down to inspired giving. There’s no obligation here. People manifest the help they are ready for. But we can influence those who are struggling by focusing on their power and then making ourselves available to lend a hand when inspired to. There’s more power in that way of helping others than in anything else we can do.

Huge hugs,

Melody
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Alice January 17, 2013 at 14:45

You are welcome.

I knew what the blog was about, just use pretty much any opportunity to hack on that homeless rant of mine. Those facts are so unknown. The amount of times I’ve heard people assume they are lazy…It’s just annoying, so I aim to paint over that ignorance every chance I get.

I don’t think anyone here is ignorant, but you never know, there are still some spiritual people that think those people are just lazy.

Worst offenders are ironically people who were once poor; because they think if they made it, any one can. But it’s a bit more complicated than that.
As they couch curfed or went to live back home–the homeless didn’t have any friends, and in some cases they were orphan–so no family to help out. Or their parent was in a nursing home…you can’t stay there…

There’s a valid reason 99% of the time if we just take the time to ask. :-)

All wonderful. I like this helpful stuff.

Jessica January 14, 2013 at 09:14

Hi Melody:

Great website and post! There is something called “Idiot Compassion” (I read about it through my study of Buddhism (but it’s really common sense)), that is, for example, when you see a homeless person and you give all of your money and possessions to him/her, which then leaves you/your family homeless – that’s idiotic, much like when you fly, you have to put your oxygen mask on first and then help others – in my opinion, giving works the same way – you have to provide for yourself/family first and then if feel called and are able to do so (without resentment), give to others. I have to take care of my basic needs first and then will give if I feel called and I’m able to.

Funny though, tonight after I was leaving my yoga class, I saw a homeless man partially hidden in an outdoor garage of an office building and since it’s been very cold here in So. California (30′s at night), I bought him dinner and dropped it off to him along with extra money for breakfast in the morning – it was inspired and I really had no agenda other than to provide him w/a hot meal to eat. On the flip side, there is a man that walks around my neighborhood asking for money (mostly in the summer) and I never give him money, because when I listen to my body when he’s around I tense up and my stomach turns because I just don’t trust something about him and I then resent him for asking. Similar thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago as I was going into a grocery store – a man approached me saying he was homeless and would I buy him food – I tensed up and my stomach turned – not sure if it’s because it happened when I was going in to buy food and then felt “guilted” (i.e. manipulated) into giving, but I did not do give him anything. However, tonight when I saw the homeless man, I had no such physical reaction, nor did I have any physical reaction but positivity & joy when I brought him the food. He was so surprised by my gesture and he wished me all the prosperity in the world and lots of babies, which made me laugh.

I also volunteer at a homeless shelter on the weekends as well and I knew that the food I gave to the man tonight might have been his only meal of the day because that’s the reality of homelessness. About 2-3 years ago, I felt an inspired call to help the homeless and I feel that the universe sent me a FEW signals (before I took action) that this is where I was needed to volunteer. The thing is that I’m finding that my volunteering with the homeless has more about my further awakening and connecting to spirituality/Source/universe/myself and is teaching me to let go of my own fears and judgments of others and for me to develop real empathy and connection to others. Afterall, we are all equals in the eyes of the universe. Needless to say, there is a reason that the universe sent me messages to work with the homeless and I listened.

In addition, I work with plant medicine and as I have been dealing feelings about my “privilege shame” (which just leads to disconnection from self and others) as well as feeling guilty about what I spend my money on (nothing illegal or bad), I received a message that it is my money that I earn, so it’s really my choice on how I choose to spend it and I shouldn’t feel guilty about it, nor should I feel the need to defend myself in my choices. However, I need to temper that with the universal belief that everything good comes out of love and everything bad comes out of fear, so I work towards making good choices out of love when I do spend my money.

Infinite blessings,

Jessica

Alice January 15, 2013 at 03:48

Infinite Blessings Jessica!!!!!!

What a beautiful story. I really understand where you are coming from.

Some people give me that knot too… The guy that didn’t expect anything…wow that was a great story! Thank you for sharing!

Melody Fletcher January 16, 2013 at 17:39

Hey Jessica,

Thanks so much for sharing this story! Yay!

There’s a man who stand outside the grocery store I go to. He’s always there, asking for money. The funny thing is, that twice now, I intended to give him money when I exited the store, but both times he’s left by the time I got out. Even though I wanted to give (I wasn’t hugely inspired, I just though, oh what the hell), he wasn’t a match to it and had left. I don’t know if he’s homeless or just needy, and I don’t think he’s scamming or anything. But he clearly wasn’t ready to be helped by me. So now, I just say hi to him when I see him. I don’t think a lot of people do that and I know that being acknowledged as a human being, being greeted with kindness instead of fear or judgment, can be just as meaningful as being given a Euro.

Thanks again for sharing your message here.

Huge hugs!!

Melody
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patricia January 15, 2013 at 07:05

I volunteered at many of my first work experiences because I needed to show folks what I could do – I did not have a track record in my career. Then 3 times in a row, I was let go and they started paying someone to do the job I was doing – real wages. I often was fundraising my salary and doing the job. Then I went through a long period where none of these folks would write a letter or recommendation.

Now – well I have no one to write one for me – not even at the Rotary club!

I have recently decided to give to no charity at all, just to pay off my child’s medical bills. It feels better…I squeeze money out of the budget every month and live on $2,000 less than the average family does. I feel better…
…but sometimes I would like some money for a trip or massage or going out for dinner or to attend a conference…I get free books for a review from publishers which feels like going to a conference sometimes and I read free ebooks on line….I put on my best clothes and was taken out to dinner in November and December and it did not feel like charity, but rather a great time.
I am an extremely generous person; lately more a quiet recluse.
I do not like that my children had to get me necessities for the holidays…I did feed them well….but I sure would like a turn on switch for a few of life’s luxuries more often/

It is lovely to be heard, seen, and appreciated
I talk to all the homeless around the lake on my morning walk. I help them sort out if they need the time, or call the free clinic services and get them help, and I think the best gift I give is talking to them and not being afraid of them….they appreciate me also

I am working at giving up my Ordination these days…I can not afford to belong and they do not even know I exist after 33 years…it’s just a piece of expensive paper

Melody Fletcher January 16, 2013 at 17:44

Hi Patricia,

Take care of yourself. You deserve it. It’s great that you’re making better feeling choices. Even the small decisions add up, when they take you in the direction of Who You Really Are.

And thanks for reiterating that often offering people interaction can be just as valuable, if not more so, than giving money. Time, kindness, respect, lack of fear, and connection are invaluable. Giving the gift of a high vibration is priceless.

Keep up the great work and keep honoring yourself. And that includes getting a lot more selfish. As Jessica pointed out, if you don’t put on the oxygen mask first, you can’t help anyone else. That kind of selfishness is mandatory for long term survival as well as beneficial to all. When you truly take care of the one, you truly take care of the whole and vice versa. :)

Huge hugs!

Melody

Alice January 17, 2013 at 14:50

Oh yeah. We (humans) generally get left with the vetran nurses, social workers, welfare workers, doctors etc
The worn out ones, that are often grumpy.

Why?

Becausec the ones best at that job are so soft-hearted they forget their oxygen mask. They stay in that job 4 years max. Then they aren’t there and everyone misses them. They burn out like the brightest of stars.

*sigh*

They are too beautiful for the world. :-) Like the tale of Van Gogh.

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