By Donaia De Marco
Last month we gave thanks. This month is for giving. After the grateful harvest of fall, we instinctively start spreading our prosperity around. Here in New England, everything turns bright yellow and burnt orange in autumn. We seem to get all fired up…turn to liquid (because we are so tired)…and then by Christmas, we are spilling over. The whole business makes me jolly.
Oh…we still contend with the guilt and anxiety from cutting loose and flying free. Nevertheless, we somehow slide into the unknown of unconditional love and generosity …beyond boundaries of our own making. Who knows what will happen? It's party time.
All the metaphysical writings I have read say, "Express your self." In my mind, that translates as giving of your self in every one of your transactions. And, it's so easy this time of year. When I hold a gift in my hand and it is so right for him or her and I remember how they touch my heart so…well, I make the stretch. I actualize it. It's so fine! You put some money on the table, and the gift is yours to give…as you wish!
I will say it again; "It's a jolly feeling." Makes you want to deck the halls with boughs of holly.
When you give more than you thought you could, a certain joy accompanies the transaction. A buoyancy and lightheartedness fills my chest. However, this is not always an easy feeling. I've noticed in the past how my physical body has a time with the intensity of an encounter that is divine. I quickly tighten up…it feels like a bubble is about to burst in my chest. My heart beats fast, my palms get sweaty, and my breath gets short. I usually cough myself back to normalcy.
Is it fear or excitement? Do we stick around to find out? How often have we done something to make the feeling go away? Do we ever get into good enough shape for giving?
It can be a wild thing…this giving. In their book, How Can I Help? Ram Das and Paul Gorman say that "fear is the mind's reaction against the inherent generosity of the heart. Because the heart knows no bounds to it's giving, the mind feels called upon to define limits." Have you ever been so excited that you started looking around you for something else to give? You probably got into big trouble for it. I did.
On the other hand, giving has a quiet, deep side. With no expectations of return, a vision issues forth of generosity, hands giving and receiving in a sweet, willowy exchange of love. The mind has no context for that kind of elegance. "Am I good enough? Did I brush my teeth?", we often ask in terror.
Our minds are not very comfortable with the intimacy and the intensity of an encounter with goodness and beauty, of an encounter with love…of an encounter with joy and peace. We get awkward at best and downright snappy at times. Someone or some thing moves us too much and …slam, bamm…we bolt. "No, thank you, mam."
However, in these precious moments, we can learn to breathe and relax and affirm, "I can stand it, I can take it. I think I can, I know I can." And, we do it anyway …inadvertently.
Unawares, I taught my two-year-old granddaughter, "Lovey", the phrase "It's all right." I must say it in certain musical tones because I really mean it when I tell her something is all right in our immediate environment (you know, like when it's the heating system turning on in her brand-new house). Days later, when she heard a truck go by the open window of my city apartment, she turned to me wide-eyed…and exactly intoned, "It's al'wight, Nana… schoo bus."
Well…talk about a moment…I lit up quickly, bubble and all…but somehow, instinctively, instead of jamming… I ever so gently responded, "Yes, lovey, it is al'wight." mirroring her tone and phrasing. Knowing we had touched the gist of communion, I swooned into a tone so mellow, so light, so giggly that we both had to laugh. Then we hugged simultaneously …filling up and spilling over….as they say.
May your holidays be merry. May your light be so bright. For…give unto others. Take a sip of delight.
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