My last few prompts (writing over the holidays is so tough)… Prompt 10 comes from Kira Elliott.
I am not going to lie, I often dread the holidays because I grew with the holidays laden with heavy expectations of giving. The gifts wrapped in bright-colored paper sitting under a tree sparkling with multi colored light were tied tight with invisible cords of what I was supposed to be or do that made it almost impossible to enjoy the gifts.
Now as an adult I strive to understand there is a difference between generosity and giving. Generosity is free of obligations; it opens the heart, and creates warmth and connection between the giver and receiver. When I cultivate generosity the holidays become something I look forward to sharing with my loved ones.
Look back at the last year and consider: how did generosity open your heart? How can you cultivate generosity in the coming year?
This summer, I had a stretch of about four weeks where I specifically remember the feeling of an opened heart and how I felt using it to help people I loved. I had a friend who was extremely unhappy with work, another whose dad passed, and another whose 20-year-old cat had passed away after a battle with cancer. For some, the comfort I could add was over the phone because they were far away, and for others, it was cooking and pouring wine in my Harry Potter wine glasses. I remember feeling specifically how grateful I felt that I had the emotional capacity to be of service to others because that has not always been the case. I had just finished putting up my wedding officiating website and had booked my first client. I did not know that I was going to enjoy that work as much as I do, but I still felt zen and open and just so grateful that I was in a place where I could be supportive to people I cared so much about.
Four weeks later, I was not in the place to give the same type of open, unrestricted emotional support. In fact, I remember how dark that time was just as specifically as the good time that became before it. But that’s life. It’s about recognizing those moments and giving your all when you have it. I’m ready to do the same in 2015.
How can you express generosity when you can?