Giving to others is so generous of spirit, character and self. Giving is loving, selfless and admirable. Giving is everything mentioned unless the scales are unbalanced because you are giving all of yourself to others.
This article is a wake-up call for those of you who give too much of yourselves. It's worth examining why you are giving so very much that it is damaging to your own wellness.
This article is also written as a love letter of encouragement to those of you who are ready and willing to take some of that love you give to others and point it inward towards yourselves. This is the very first decision towards the road to wellness as far as I am concerned.
Giving too much of yourself to others has the potential to become toxic. It is toxic to yourself as well as to those you are oh so kindly smothering with attention, gifts or word affirmation. They may bask in the glow of your generosity for awhile but sooner or later they may become resentful as they are unwilling or potentially unable to give back to you with the same amount of gusto. You might become resentful as well as you are frustrated as to why they are not giving back. So as a result, relationships are soiled because you are giving all that you have even when you do not have the reserves to. This is vice versa for those in your life who are not giving at all to anyone but themselves.
When examining why you are giving so much, the root of it might sound something like one or more of the following: You want to be loved, you want to impress, you give so much because you quietly wish someone will get the hint and give that much back to you, you are bored, you want the recognition, you hope it will make you feel better about yourself.
Are you ready to get honest with yourself? I sure was as I am one to give at the expense of my own self. I have also given to people along the way who have nothing much to give in return. So, I will go first in answering my own question. I am a giver at heart because I enjoy helping others feel loved and joyful. Giving fills me with this exuberant energy! It becomes toxic though when I began to give to the extent that I am exhausted. It becomes toxic when I choose to give to people who have nothing much to give back. It becomes toxic when I forget about giving to me. I have a habit of doing this because I want to feel that level of joy myself, that I provide for others through giving. I have wanted someone to do those things for me and there in lies the root of my endless giving. The only way to feel that joy myself, I realized, is to give it back to me vs. outward. It's the truth as with all lovely traits, balance is key.
Balance is the answer to a healthy exchange of giving and receiving love from others.
Now that we have that established that (wink, wink), let's strategize as to some lovable ways to give back to yourself:
1. Word Affirmation. All of those amazing attributes you tell others they have? Tell yourself that you have them too. Celebrate how darn fabulous you are! Thank God every morning for your healthy body, stunning smile and hilarious personality. And by the way, your gorgeous. Yep, it may feel strange but trust me, it works. Love yourself. Love who you are.
2. Pamper Yourself. Pamper yourself with a spa day, facial, manicure, pedicure - or one of those mentioned- feels sexy and grounding! Get your hair cut, colored, blown out, etc. Put effort into you with those extra dollars you have at the end of the month. You may feel guilty doing this at first but you certainly shouldn't. You deserve to be spoiled. Do not want, wish or wait for someone else to spoil you. Spoil yourself.
3. Rest. Take time to rest and bask in solitude. Get comfy and cozy in your own company. Learn to like being with you. Take yourself out to dinner, stumble upon a quaint book store and end the evening curled up in your comforter reading that book you just bought. Enjoy every moment!
4. Choose your company wisely. This suggestion might make some of you pause. Take a moment to step back and reassess who it is your spending the most time with. Make sure you are involved in a healthy relationship with your significant other. Who you spend time with is also a way of 'giving back to yourself'. I bet some of you have never thought of it quite that way until now.
Once you start sharing that love with yourself, you are going to walk with more confidence. Your relationships will change...some for the better while the toxic ones will end. You will finally be holding hands with wellness and enjoying every step of the journey. A healthy significant other will join you - I promise. It's time to give back to yourself - take the leap of faith with me!