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Gifts From The Heart August 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Humor, Mindfulness.

alice26thSometimes people talk about the “good” they’ve done to inspire others to do good.

Other people seem to be trying to prove that they are good people by telling others about their good deeds.

It’s like they want applause and accolades for past performances.

Bravo!  Bravo!

Which makes me question whether their initial motivation was to help others or to be perceived as helpful by others.

Cheshire_Cat_TennielAnd, then, there are those that keep an active scorecard of what they did for us and when.

So they can remind us that we “owe” them a favor.

A tit for a tat, if you will.

I don’t see life that way.

Gifts from the heart don’t come with strings attached.

Recipients are not obligated to reciprocate.

When we stop striving to “be someone,” we are free of the Ego’s incessant desire for accolades, applause, and attention from those around us.

We no longer act out of the desire for approval, constantly looking around to see who’s watching.

If we do something kind for others and the act is not acknowledged, we are just as pleased as we would be if the act were applauded.

We make choices and decisions based on the firm footing of the Essential Self, rather than on the shaky ground of the False Self.

We no longer give with the expectation of reciprocity since we do not give to get.

We give to give.

Aah . . . that’s better!

When we let go of attachments and expectations, Spirit frees us to evolve, change and grow, from tiny ripples of peace and acceptance, to tidal waves of love and compassion.

How refreshing the whinny of a pack horse fully unloaded! ~ Classic Haiku

Related post:  She Let Go (Yoga with Maheshwari)


1. Val Boyko - August 8, 2014

Love this Nancy! You got the wheels going this morning!
Understanding ego and its role can be a hard lesson to get, especially when we are young … Its all about what others see and think about us and preserving an image of ourselves.
Giving is always a good thing because it does have a positive impact … and I believe that letting go of ego and giving as an unconditional act of loving kindness changes the world.
I remember the first time I donated something anonymously …. my ego was so confused and resistant! Its freeing to let go of the hold of our ego over us.
Val x

nrhatch - August 8, 2014

Yes! Ego wants the plaque on the wall, the name in the program, the external recognition.

When we stop striving to feed Ego’s insatiable appetite for attention and acknowledgment, we see a clearer path unfolding before us.

Unconditional giving is always a good thing. However, if people give to others with the expectation of reciprocity, they are using “giving” as a vehicle to manipulate others. Ack!

Val Boyko - August 8, 2014

I hear your Nancy. It takes a level of conscious awareness to get to this place…. I have noticed a lot of well meaning ignorance more than conscious manipulation around me.

Val x

nrhatch - August 8, 2014

Agreed. Sometimes we act with a “secret agenda” that remains hidden, even from us.

2. suzicate - August 8, 2014

Bravo! Love doesn’t keep score…when deeds are from the heart, a return favor is not expected nor is the deed mentioned again.

nrhatch - August 8, 2014

Yes! We give because it makes us feel good . . . not because we are planning to ambush the recipient down the road with unstated expectations.

3. Silver in the Barn - August 8, 2014

Great points, all. Scorekeepers are deadly to healthy relationships which are never 50/50. I know somebody who does this and it is just so….trying. My analysis is that it stems from a deep insecurity. I am reluctant to receive anything from her because I know the clock will start ticking in her mind for the eventual reciprocity.

nrhatch - August 8, 2014

Yes! I recoil from accepting gifts from certain someones b/c I know they will “call in the marker” at some point. They are NOT giving to give . . . they are doing it to manipulate me with guilt.

ACK!!! 😛

There is an ebb and flow in unconditional relationships. BFF does kind things for me. And vice versa. But there is NO scorecard. And no expectation of reciprocity.

Ooh . . . I wonder if there is a huge Karmic Scorecard? 😯

4. livelytwist - August 8, 2014

There are the ‘politics’ and ‘economics’ of giving. Reminds me of the times I went to church and saw the names of the families that donated particular pews engraved on the pew. Maybe it was to spur others? 🙂
Good food for thought.

nrhatch - August 8, 2014

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt ~> the church insisted on engraving their names . . . to spur others to donate.

The church doesn’t care if we ARE good people, as long as we act as if we were, thereby creating the appearance thereof . . . for which the church will claim full credit where credit’s due.

5. NancyTex - August 8, 2014

Giving just to give, not with the expectation to GET kudos. How refreshing!

nrhatch - August 8, 2014

Giving anonymously, without telling anyone about our good deed, allows us to keep all those delicious feelings inside.

In time, we become positively buoyant! Like a Tigger! :mrgreen:

6. Pix Under the Oaks - August 8, 2014

Gifts from the heart.. the best gifts.

nrhatch - August 8, 2014

Like that fence gate CH installed for you . . . I didn’t see a single string dangling from it. 😎

7. Jill Weatherholt - August 8, 2014

This is great, Nancy! Doing something good for someone just to make yourself look good tells me you’re insecure. I know someone who does everything for everyone and makes sure you know, but she won’t do anything for her own mother.
This reminds me of someone who goes to church every Sunday and makes sure everyone knows, but the rest of the week, they’re gossiping, not respecting others, etc.

nrhatch - August 8, 2014

Yes! Scorekeepers are so busy keeping track of who owes them what, they don’t have time for random acts of kindness. 😎

And they do have something in common with hypocrites who place outward appearance ahead of inward progress.

8. ericjbaker - August 8, 2014

The cynic might say that all acts of altruism have selfish motivations, even if the motivation is to “feel good about yourself.” Humans (and all the other animals) are wired toward selfishness. That’s how we survive.

I’m not saying I’m a cynic. No ma’am.


nrhatch - August 8, 2014

That’s just it . . .

We all want happiness. That “selfish” desire guides ALL our actions. We are compassionate towards others because it makes us happy. But it also makes “them” happy. It’s a Win~Win!

9. Eric Tonningsen - August 8, 2014

“Gifts from the heart don’t come with strings attached.” That’s all that really needs to be said. Remembered. And practiced.

Thanks, Nancy. I owe you one. 🙂

nrhatch - August 8, 2014

Haha! I’ll put it on your tab. 😎

10. elizabeth2560 - August 8, 2014

This is a great post which I have book-marked to come back to it. I agree with what you say – totally. However, there is one situation where that does not fit. What happens if acts are done out of love with the aim of giving for givings sake, without expectation of acknowledgement, approval or applause; and those acts are trashed or rubbished by the recipient over and over? In other words that rather no acknowledgement, any effort on the part of the giver is made out to be of no importance, of selfish intent, useless or (worse) damaging. If that happens continually it becomes difficult for the giver to remain on the firm footing of the ‘essential self’, the essential self can become eroded.

nrhatch - August 8, 2014

You’ve described a rather toxic relationship ~ like one that exists between a victim of domestic violence and her abuser.

Getting out of toxic relationships is Step One. Finding firm footing (elsewhere) comes later.

11. Barbara - August 8, 2014

That’s why it feels so good when we give from the heart with no expectation of return.

nrhatch - August 8, 2014

I always liked giving Secret Santa gifts . . . where there was no chance of the recipient feeling obligated to reciprocate.

12. jannatwrites - August 9, 2014

This is great! We’re going through this with our older son right now- he often brings up something he did when he wants the person to do something for him (usually our younger son.) We try to explain that giving and sharing should be without strings attached, but so far, our words are falling on stubborn ears 🙂

nrhatch - August 9, 2014

Thanks, Janna. It’s a valuable lesson to learn, and your son’s got the right teachers. Good luck!

13. Three Well Beings - August 11, 2014

I’ve really been thinking more and more about the “be yourself” freedom. I just spent the weekend with my 80 year old aunt, someone I deeply love and appreciate but only see once a year. She is to me the epitome of this message. Independent thought and action rolls off her tongue and exudes joy out her pores. She’s my living example and I’m just so fortunate to have her! Although I’m reading this post a few days later, for me it was the perfect timing. Have a super week, Nancy!

nrhatch - August 11, 2014

My great aunt Edie (born today!) lived to be 94. Like your aunt, she always had a twinkle in her eye and a kind word to share. She’s still my hero!

Enjoy your week too, Debra.

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