We’re taught to mistrust sharing because we’re afraid to share too much, become drained, be a doormat, or be used. We’re afraid to share because then we don’t have enough. As children we’re taught more values and social concepts about getting, winning and having than we ever are about how to share. Because of this, giving and sharing is something that most of us need to learn.
I know I did! And that’s why I drew this cartoon.
The fact is, the more we share – the more we and others succeed. It doesn’t matter what the “sharing” is about … it could be our words, our honesty, our vulnerability, our resources, our time, our hearts, our minds, our food, our money. When we give what we have to others, that value – whatever it is, increases and expands. We get better at it too.
Remember that really bad day you had when you shared your hostility and bad feelings with others and then things just got worse when people mirrored that back or responded with snark and pretty soon everyone was a swirling typhoon of bad feelings? Yes, this really holds true of everything. Good thing there’s an unlimited supply of energy and choices about how to use it.
Did I say unlimited supply? YES! Many years ago I worked in a field that exposed me to people who were ill, injured and often crabby. I helped them, but at the end of the day I found myself drained and worn to the nubs and half dead. I didn’t even want to talk to my friends or family. It was then that I learned a valuable lesson: there’s an unlimited supply of energy if you you hold the intention to SHARE.
Share means I’m giving you some of what I have, but not all of it. Sharing means my intention is to GIVE instead of take because I’m starving for something or because I’ve given away all my resources too. It does not mean “give you every ounce of energy I have” and it does not mean, “I’m giving to get something” or “I’m giving to control” ( those lead us to untrue forms of giving where our boundaries and self care collapse).
I’ve seen this rule hold true over many years. I have talked to people about some of the most painful times of their lives, and I have friends who are therapists, or who are moms to enough kids to field a baseball team and friends who treat patients who have had gunshot wounds or been in terrible accidents and the ones who stick to the principles of sharing have an almost unstoppable fountain of stamina and energy. Yes, we’re all human, so we sometimes run out of juice…. but more often than not there’s a way to refill, replenish and have yet MORE to share for those who have learned this energetic rule!
Think about how when you love someone, you have more patience for them. Or how when you’re brave and share yourself, you find it easier to open up and talk about more things later. If you’re real and honest, you will see friends being more real and you see them sharing that gift with others. If you give time and effort to help other people be fed, safe, clothed, etc – you’ll see that energy of sharing expand and other people will want to join in. Even if you start small, sharing will get bigger and bigger and so will the gains for everyone.
There’s always MORE… we just have to learn to truly, legit share!