Well, for starters it feels so good, we feel so validated; we’ve done something nice to our ‘neighbours’. Giving, particularly for women, releases the feel-good hormone Oxytocin.
However, the danger is that, being so busy doing good, spreading the love, we do not really have time to stop and deal with our own issues. The temporary Oxytocin flush of ‘loving our neighbour’ can potentially backfire and deplete us even more.
There is another aspect: being so self sacrificial, denying ourselves, it’s easy to slip a little bit into a self-righteous mode of a ‘role-model’ to others who’re not quite pulling their weight as we feel they should.
It’s so convenient to hide behind all these loving activities.
Whilst love is a mandate, let’s put it in perspective, “love your neighbour as yourself.”
The “as yourself” is usually pushed under the carpet as, aren’t we too selfish and self-centred anyway? (That’s what we’re continuously told, right?!)
However, selfishness and self-centeredness usually spring out of a deep, often unrecognised need, a lack or emptiness that is unfulfilled – a dangerous void (nature abhors a vacuum and always seeks to fill it). Sometimes it’s a deep seated wound, a deep hope referred, which never was dealt with.
It is so easy to cover this up, push it aside, we don’t want to be miserable, we want to be happy, and thus pretending that our personal needs and desires don’t really matter, will be okay.
The trouble is that when we come from a space of unmet need and not having, and we ignore/deny our own needs, lack and wounds, then, when we give to others, we’re actually not giving but taking! It is a subtle form of manipulation and it brings about an expectation that is birthed out of fear and resentment – resenting that we won’t get what we expect, or hope, wish, desire that should be ours (Ha! Even when we don’t admit it to ourselves consciously).
Let’s pause the running around spreading sweet lurve for a moment and focus on ourselves. Yes, focus on ourselves first!
Where do we need to develop and grow and learn first? ….. think deeper, dig deeper, and don’t hide behind spiritual platitudes.
Find your place where you might need healing and growing to higher levels. Let this be a serious space of learning and contemplation; let’s stop and examine ourselves, uncover, or unearth areas which were pushed aside, wounds not properly healed, and spend time to be honest with ourselves.
Then, when our inner vats, our emotional reservoirs are whole with no leaks and filled, then our giving and loving comes with greater impact to change lives.