Filling your tank
Giving to others. What a nice, and extremely complex, ability we have! Giving is as different as you and me; it’s so personal, intimate, and requires willingness and understanding. So how to consider true giving to others during the season where we work longer hours, rearrange schedules, host recitals and share days, and essentially do the hustle?
I would love to tell you that this is easy (or easier than giving to yourself), but I don’t think that’s quite the right angle. Instead of thinking about how much we’re giving specifically for the season, or how much we’re budgeting, or how much we’re planning on giving, etc., how about we consider the gifts we’re already offering to others? About how we can create meaningful space in our wild season to offer something special to our people. I’m not talking about the types of gifts we can purchase from a store or make by hand (for certainly any and all gift is special). I’m talking about the gifts of self we can offer. Those gifts look like love, sacrifice, and commitment among others, and come with the shimmer of desire for connection between human beings.
But the tank we reserve for giving comes precariously close to drying up. Maybe during this season, or maybe on a regular basis (everyone is different!), and the only way to truly offer someone a gift is by making space for the special relationship that a gift creates between you and the recipient. By filling up your giving tank, you are able to offer some of that to others. Sounds a little like self care, but it’s still a little different. This is the creation of connection, manifested in the act of true giving from one person to another. If you have not made space to be present for the act of giving, then the gift becomes part of the holiday shopping list that’s been checked off.
Is there anything wrong with that? NO. 100 times no. Because sometimes the things we have to offer are limited to a shopping list. Sometimes the things we have to offer don’t even make it to a shopping list because we can’t afford it (and apply any definition of “afford” to that statement you want!). And that’s part of the beauty of giving, right? Because you’ve identified the ways you already give, you can turn your perspective and see what you have available to offer to someone else. That’s a beautiful thing!
So how do you make time to give? In my last post about giving to yourself, I mentioned dedicated, intentional time. Perhaps you can apply that same concept here, or maybe that doesn’t work for you. I think by observing your giving, and determining how you are able to continue to give to others, you’ll be able to find the physical, emotional, and chronological space you need to fill the desire to give with the best you have.
Yours in creative joy,
Steward, The Music Therapy Marketplace