Charity, what is it? Well most of us think about the picture above as our first definition especially at this time of year. So many worthy groups asking for money to help with every kind of support need you can imagine. We feel the big G if we pass those men and women standing out in the cold ringing those bells for many reasons. Guilt, yes that is the word I am talking about, because let's face it we feel obligated to be good people and give, we feel bad for those souls in the cold, we can't pass without giving or putting our heads down. But why do we feel this way? Isn't charity supposed to make us feel good?
A group of friends and I had this discussion recently and it came to my attention that so many of us do not know the real meaning of Charity and/ or we have a distorted and sometimes painful experience with how it was defined in our minds. We think of this time of year with dread because of the gifts and the charities that we truly want to give, but we haven't the funds to do it all. We stress over not forgetting to give to everyone in our lives a gift. We feel strained by all the giving and guilt that come with making everything beautiful and perfect for everyone. There's that big G again. But through our discussion I had a few realizations that made me feel the other big G, Good, and I wish to share these thoughts with you.
The definition of Charity - the voluntary giving of help to those in need, a deed done out of loving kindness. Loving kindness, not guilt, obligation, expectation or judgement. So if we remove the idea that we must do to be loved back, to be a good person, or out of obligation, we remove the Guilt and leave room for the Good.
So many know the saying that Charity begins at home, but where is home? I believe it is right in your own hearts and is the well we call our souls. A friend said to me "I can not give what I do not have." This was like a spark to me, I can not give what I do not have. It hit me that if we do not start in our own hearts with Charity and give that Charity to ourselves, we can not give it to others in a loving free way. Giving to yourself first is the first step in Charity and love, fill your well up with love for yourself. Remove all fear of judgement, obligation, and recognition. You can give so much more when you begin in your own house. The big G of good has no room for guilt.
Remember also that you can only give what you have means so many other things. We do not need to give the gift of things to show our loving kindness to others. Time is precious and also a gift most of can give and truly wish to receive. Give your time to a family member, a friend, a lonely stranger. Giving your time is the ultimate way to show love. It makes people feel important in your life. It is a very loving gift, one in which we receive as well. Giving time can be volunteering to the charity group you can not give cash to, it can be making a hot cup of coffee and bringing it to the souls outside in the cold ringing the bells. It can be so many things we can do for others in small loving acts, be creative and do all your charity out of love for your soul, not out of fear for your worth, and the Big G will be no longer for guilt.
I believe you all to be loving kind souls and my wish for you is to love this season again and to fill your hearts with the giving and receiving it deserves. I wish you many wonderful moment of Charity to remember and smile at long after the season is over for the season of giving is on going.
Love to you all,
I am an artist/small business owner and I wanted to share with you the struggles we face in this business and an inside view of what we are really thinking sometimes in our crazy, creative minds. As well as the usual stuff, ie newsletters and updates.