I know a secret about the universe. Actually, it’s not really a secret. It’s an answer to a lie, one that we tell ourselves, one that we’ve dialed in to. This lie manifests in different ways – that we’re not pretty, that we deserved that promotion more, that everyone else is married but me, that everyone else is ‘getting it’ but me, that we can’t afford something, that if we don’t hurry there won’t be any left for us. It’s a pretty magnificent lie that knows how to mask itself as the truth. But really? The lie is simply us saying ‘no’ to ourselves. We tell ourselves that who we are and what we have are not enough. And we go through life feeling like we have to deplete ourselves in order to give, since we will run out of whatever it is. Like it’s a sacrifice. As if we need to deny ourselves something, or give parts of ourselves away that we don’t give back. It’s that voice in our head that says it is simply not possible to give without giving something UP.
While I don’t consider myself an expert, as a practicing Buddhist for eight years now, one of the biggest discoveries I made was learning that giving has nothing to do with sacrificing. It goes much deeper than that martyring ‘tis merrier to give than to receive’ concept that people parrot back to each other. And it is an answer to a lie that who we are and what we have are never enough. What opened my world was understanding that there is always enough, for everyone. And in fact – there is so much abundance in life that you could never give all of it away even if you tried! What’s more, the more you give, the brighter your own light shines not only for those you give to, but for your own path as well.
I felt like someone handed me the keys to the universe and said ‘the world is your oyster, now go and have fun!’ The more I give out of my own sincerity, the more I really become present with someone I am giving something to (anything – time, monetary, support, whatever it is) – the more absolute joy I feel. In the end, even though on the surface, it’s me giving to them? They are actually giving to me, the kind of giving that doesn’t deplete anyone. Truly, abundance is everywhere. We all have everything we need. We actually have everything we need, and more. The not-so-secret of the universe is that the simple act of giving from your heart brightens the way for everyone.