Giving generously and freely, something that nourishes my being through full alignment with my soul’s nature and I love dearly, has often been turned into a pathway to harm in my experience.

Years back, I have been guided to step away from generosity and taught to painstakingly observe, witness, and analyze the dynamics of giving and receiving in my relationships.
Learning to differentiate between healthy flow of generosity and the ‘faux generosity’ of over-giving, and to notice when and why the first is turned into the latter. Realized how draining and withering lack of reciprocity, and giving to the wrong people, are for my heart and being, and to become aware of the high cost incurred to my body-mind by experiencing and healing this. Reflected on the heartrending devastation experienced in the emotional realm when giving from an open heart to an imbalance in giving, attention, awareness, care, or love.
Learned to hold myself accountable for that pain I caused myself while being compassionate with the parts that replay this pattern. Practiced releasing the ‘other’ from the blame my protectors and wounded parts would put on them by expanding their perceptions and leading them to embrace accountability.

After all that work, energy, and love flowed into this ongoing process of understanding and integration I still find myself slipping back into this distorted pattern of hurting myself by inviting misaligned people into my experience and replaying old scripts with their ‘generous’ help.
I cannot express how much it tires me to find myself in these repetitions, how much energy is spent on going through the whole process with gentleness and care for subtleties. And yet, what else is there to do but to work towards integration and liberation?

Thus, I find myself contemplating, once again, how to teach the parts of me, who give generously without keeping an eye on reciprocity and equality, to be more discerning and moderate their giving. How do I ensure that powerful feelings and the overflow of love and affection do not manage to disrupt awareness and alertness to the replay of old patterns?
Maybe it is also about accepting the humanness of forgetting and awakening in-midst of a replay, and embracing it as a humbling experience and reminder to stay aware and alert?

It is still challenging to engage with above mentioned helpers in this pattern in the aftermath of awakening to the pattern, to protect them from the immensity of anger and rejection triggered, from expressions of the deep-rooted dislike for the stingy and miserly in perfectly honed daggers in word form, and any other impulse to make them feel the pain their actions translate into for me.
The parts in me that hate them are powerful and sly and I still haven’t mastered our dance, finding myself taken in by their rationalizations and emotions more often than I like. I have a lot of growing to do in this…

Which is why I choose to step back from engaging in any deep or intimate way with those, with whom I find myself in patterns of giving and withholding, emotional openness and unavailability – if they cannot or will not step up and work with me in diffusing the activation and emotional charge.

Here is an interesting thing my reflections have made me become aware of: Those who have the skills and emotional intelligence to move between states, self reflect, and retain access to meta perceptions and exchanges on relating, are only rarely in this dynamic with me. And if they are it plays out in a different and more mellow way (regardless of the intensity of emotions or heated exchanges), as we can talk about it from different dimensional perceptive points (identified/detached, mine/theirs, human/consciousness) and open to unknown possibilities, negotiate compassionately to have our needs met, and navigate the challenge with humor and playfulness.
These are my people with whom I can fail better, grow, and thrive.

Now how to teach my parts to direct their healthy generosity and affections towards my kin, decline invitations to over-give, and be more discerning and reserved towards those who cannot meet me on an even playing field of consciousness that is on the level that serves our wellbeing.

Work in messy but gratitude-inspiring process…

Photography by Caroline Tran
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