I read this article a few weeks ago about being generous in marriages and then about being supportive of other women invested in their success. Both articles got me thinking about giving and generosity in all relationships. And I’ve come to realize that being generous is at the core of all good relationships. Forget great communication, unconditional love, and good boundary setting. Being generous is where it’s at!
And when I say being generous, I mean the kind of giving where you really don’t expect anything back. A huge part of learning how to do that is to let go of how you expect things will go. And letting that go will help you react to situations with patience, kindness, understanding, and forgiveness.
Over the long term, I’ve found that when I’m being generous, my life feels fuller. Not busy, crazy, or harried–but fuller. Being this way has opened up my emotional and mental bandwidth because I rarely think about what I’m losing or not getting back in return. And as a result, I have more time to commit to things I care about–like writing this post, designing stuff, making art, and loving and caring for my peops. And this energizes me more, and makes me even more generous to an even wider circle of people including strangers. And this generosity to strangers has helped me have some of the most amazing life experiences I’ve had–including a drive in a convertible on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, an invitation to visit someone’s home in Turin, and rock climbing partners who have become dear friends.
So give it a try.
Start giving without thinking what’s in it for me? Or I can’t believe they did that to me despite how generous I am! If you’re thinking these things, you’re not being generous. If someone has a different opinion than you, seek to understand it. If you can’t, let them be and respect their opinion, even if it’s not the same as yours. If someone yells at you, seek to understand why and then forgive them immediately. If you think someone is disrespecting you, remember that you can be careless sometimes too and let it go.
Be generous without reservation, and let go of what you think you deserve or what you think should happen.
Just for a week. See how you feel at the end of it.