I forgive you, western toilet.
One of my recent pet peeves is the term "giving back". I have also never been enthralled by the concept of volunteering or giving charity to the "poor". These concepts are based under the idea that you have more than someone else and now you are "helping" them by giving your services for free. Nothing is really free. Energy is always being exchanged and you can choose to be ignorant to that or benefit greatly from that exchange. What people may not have monetarily, they have in talent, insight, joy, wisdom, and intellect. Furthermore. you don't have to be happy, talented, insightful, emotionally balanced, or spiritually aware to be monetarily wealthy. All it takes is you knowing you are abundant in something. That "something" can be anything. Even thinking you are abundant in poverty can bring lots of money to you. Ask a drug dealer. Ask a loan shark.
So what does this have to do with forgiveness and "giving back"? Looks like this will be lengthy but take this ride with me. I knew my next post would be about forgiveness because it kept on coming up in my Reiki sessions but I wasn't sure about my approach. Well this past week I was shown the way in countless ways but especially in two special car rides. The first ride I spoke with a woman who could clearly see the value in the kind of work I do and she expressed her desire to do more than what she was doing. She felt she had achieved so much in her life and that now she wanted to "give back". Immediately, I cringed when I heard the term. If I had two words to describe what I'm doing, it would be "love reveling". The love in me meets the love in you and we revel in its magic (some call that "healing"). Back to her...She volunteers to help children who have been taken from their homes in cases of abuse or suspected abuse. I am very protective of children so I listened to her like any protective mother would, very carefully. I could sense that she really had good intentions for the work she was doing with the children but I also noticed that these kids were considered "low-income". During our conversation I pointed out that similar things are happening in "affluent" homes as well but these things just don't get reported. And because they are seen as "affluent" we assume they don't need anything we have. When we see people as "less fortunate", we think that what we have is what they need. We have been conditioned to see certain people and conditions as "less fortunate" and others as "affluent". That is exactly how a missionary can go into a country with full confidence and work to dismantle a group of people's beliefs and way of life under the premise that they are doing something "good" and "needed". I think the concept of connecting with children in those situations is beautiful but the idea that one is "giving back" brings the taste of vomit to my tongue. Some would say it is a matter of semantics but we also know that words have power. A few words can traumatize someone for years. I have been taught and can personally attest to its validity, that to forgive means to "give forward". When you forgive you are giving forward to a greater vision of what's possible. You are no longer dwelling in the past, holding onto dead weight. You have given yourself a greater picture to love and be in. So if that is forgiveness, why would you need to "give back"? If you are in such a great place in your life, why decorate a dead weight?
I briefly mentioned a missionary earlier. Would you be surprised if I told you my second car ride was with a Jehovah Witness missionary? I was. She captivated me with stories of her travels and since I love to travel and live with the people as well, I listened very carefully. While in parts of East Africa, a place I've yet to go, she helped to build schools and offer "education" to the people there. She saw the challenges they were faced with and saw true hunger and sacrifice. Of course she also went to areas that were very developed and were like any other city but we talked about the "third world" a lot. When she spoke, I could feel how confident she felt about the work she did there and how good it felt for her to "give back". I could tell she felt good that she was able to see men learn trades and even some being hired for future work. It all sounded great. After she told me about all about what the people learned from the missionaries and volunteers I asked her what she learned from the people. She told me she observed that they were very happy, intelligent, didn't complain, and were jovial regardless of their environment. This was a fantastic observation but I noticed that she didn't answer my question. She was able to tell me how great the well was constructed and the beauty of the water it held but not its taste, its feel, its origin or how it worked. People are so obsessed about being happy, smarter, and younger and there she was at the well and just looked at it. What was she "giving back" to, when she was at the well of exactly what this western world is in feverish pursuit of? Why didn't she ask the keeper of the well for a sip? Where was her cup, bucket, or bathtub? The mindset of "giving back" can dramatically block ones ability to see the wealth of knowledge that stands before them. The humongous continent of Africa is filled with wealth in its people and its land. But history tells us that people didn't invade Africa because they wanted to "give back" to the people. They came because it is a endless source of natural resources and wealth that they wanted control over. Somehow the wealth of its people became relegated to a spectacle and not worthy of the humility, respect, and love it takes to be a student.
I don't judge her in the slightest. In fact both women were full of love in their hearts and I felt it strongly and I definitely recognize their work as valuable. They both had qualities that I studied and learned from in our limited time together. I felt their worth in my experience. I shared the wisdom I have gained through doing my work, and I knew I wasn't "giving back" as I shared it. If anything I was giving to the greater vision I hold about what is possible in my interactions with them. I have shared before that I only deal with fellow presidents, queens, kings, emperors, and empresses when I connect with people. Because of this I can't "give back"; I live in an entirely new world because I gave a greater vision to myself. What if when we interacted with people that have been labeled as "less fortunate" or "poor", we chose to see their wealth? What if we sat at each others feet and became students of each other? How greater could we all be if we greeted each other with love in our hearts instead of pity? What if we didn't waste our time judging people, places or things as good or bad and instead sought for understanding? This is the vision I am giving to. This is how I have forgiven.
To conclude, I am not saying that to share your time and energy with someone in a "volunteer" capacity is "bad" but what I am suggesting is to recognize it as an energy exchange. I am suggesting that you forgo the notion of charity and realize you are giving yourself the chance to grow exponentially when you can see someone else's growth potential. I am suggesting that if you are attracted to a certain group of people, recognize like attracts like and that you are with your equals. If you then choose the see the wealth in someone you are sharing with, what will be returned to you is even greater wealth, and possibly a new friend. I suggest that you understand that what works for you, may not work for someone else and conversely what works for them, may be heavenly for you. What if you encouraged and supported them to make their own magic in the way that feels good to them? What if they did the same for you? Finally I am suggesting that you seek to learn and love than judge and change. You are neither "giving back" or "paying it forward", you are sharing in a greater vision. That is what forgiveness is to me.
For more on forgiveness go to ----->Part 2