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Are You Over Giving?

Healing with Love
By Shannon Peck


Loving people tend to give so generously to others that they often over give. By over giving, they are so focused on giving to others that they rob themselves of importantopportunities to love themselves. Do you do this? Chances are, if you’re a woman and you haven’t investigated your giving habits, you are very likely over giving to others. Men, you may be doing it too. What do you think? Are you an over giver? If so, what about loving and giving to yourself! By addressing this question, please notice your response. Is it, “Ah, yes! I want to love and give to myself!” Or, is it, “Isn’t that selfish? I don’t want to be selfish!” Actually... loving yourself means that you drop your inner critic’s judgments. It is impossible to both judge and love at the same time. It’s like walking forwards and backwards at the same time. It can’t be done. Learning to set boundaries means you find your ability to say no, even if it risks disappointing someone or losing their love. How much do they really love you anyway? Your ability to say “No” is packed with power, especially when you then turn inward to give to yourself instead! Now that you’ve turned inward and are focusing on yourself, what do you do? Ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” There will likely be a wide range of feelings, both positive and negative. Tuning into your own feelings means you can love yourself. This is healthy empathy. As you tune in to your feelings often throughout the day, you’ll notice how often they change! Through this observation, you will come into a greater understanding of yourself. And you can become more intimately knowledgeable about yourself, even offer yourself nurturing, empathy, and compassion through the day. Let’s talk about how to nurture yourself. What do you need right now? You may need to eat some food because you are hungry. Or get out of the house more and play. Meet up with friends. Or just relax. Your needs have as wide a range as your feelings. Get to know your needs each day and see how inventive you can be in meeting your own needs. It feels wonderful! Another way to nurture yourself is to ask, “What do I really want?” You may want to reconsider your job, lover, neighborhood, city, or just the brand of milk you buy! When you tune in, offer yourself improvements to live and feel better. Obviously, if you are over giving to others, you’ll never get around to these essential questions or ways of connecting with yourself. Instead, you’ll ignore yourself and fail to know yourself. As a result, your feelings are likely to become bottled up. Without self examination and loving acknowledgment, feelings can even turn into physical problems. Practicing self inquiry is an important way of staying in balance. When you over give, you risk getting out of balance with eating, rest, your needs, your wants, your dreams, and even in your body. Staying tuned in to yourself means you are checking in and giving generously to yourself. Then, you can take that very well loved self into all your relationships without losing yourself. Instead, you will be bringing forth the richness of giving yourself an important role of loving yourself and being sure you are receiving the love you deserve. Sometimes, when you have not checked in with yourself, it is easy to end up abandoning yourself and sacrificing your own needs in order to give to another person. For example, you might miss out on meeting your own need to be doing something else such as fulfilling your promise to yourself to take time in the garden, pay your bills, give yourself time to meditate, or to simply stop listening to your friend complaining endlessly. When you stop over giving, you can politely interrupt when someone else is over complaining and be aware of the trap of trying to fix your friend. Now that’s richly giving to you! Naturally, there are times you will want to listen to and empathize with your friend’s complaints, but you get to choose if this is the right time for you. Are you feeling any stronger now? Are you ready to change your habit of over giving? Are you ready for the love you deserve? Loving yourself and others, without over giving, takes your life to a new dimension of healthy living where you will experience the love you deserve.

Shannon Peck is a spiritual healer and teacher of love and healing. She is the author of “Love Heals: How to Heal Everything with Love” and co-author, with Dr. Scott Peck, of several books on love & relationships. She is also Co-founder of The Love Center. To read Shannon’s “Healing with Love” blog, visit www.ShannonPeck.com

© copyright 2009 by Shannon Peck