Exploring the dimension of giving

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.

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I feel the need to focus on something valuable to do. What is the contribution I want to give to the world?

Yesterday evening, while I was going through the latest Anthony Robbin’s book, I realized that relationships grow through giving. The focus was specific on money, and I felt quite ashamed. I am not willing to give money away (I don’t feel I have them, btw), have been conditioned by painful past experiences. I gave money away to people that were not thankful, and I lost the good taste of giving. It all comes to the understanding of seeing what others actually need, and try to provide them the best, which usually is not money. Generosity is not one-direction based, it is established upon the feeling that comes together with the giving act.

Simone Weil saw attention as the highest form of love. I have plenty of time, I’m so lucky to be able to choose where to focus it. I would start from here!

I believe that true action comes out of inspiration. I want to influence people around me, for the better. Right now, inspiration I mostly get comes from different authors, and I feel incomplete and unworthy just to share their thoughts by clicking a button on my FB account. I want to be inspired to produce something on my own, without feeling ashamed of not being the original author – not yet! – because ideas have no owners, just great channels to be spread through. And let everything else happen.

Mindful moments

Simplifying the thinking process is quite tough. Trying though is definitively worth it.

Outfitters-2

This was the first and partial output of a long thinking process that sounded almost like this:

Why do I wait so long before I say or do anything? Hey hey, wait a minute…are you crazy? I want everything I do to be perfect! Who do you think I am? I’m a perfectionist! There’s no other way to be loved. After I’ve been rejected, I no longer want to be alone. That’s a shit. I’m gonna find a way to successfully relate to anyone on this planet before I’d even open my mouth.

Well, nothing has made me understand better how “creativity comes easier within constraints”. I could not imagine a stricter limitation than this – getting rid of my previous models of self expression. No music, no readings, no writing, no people, possibly no thoughts at all… YES, I was desperate.

Anyway, this obstacle turned in a miraculous way. I got in touch with meditation.

The mindfulness practice is great. I experienced that being alone is a basic human condition. Meaning that, at the very end, there’s nobody else who can relate to my problems better than I do. I couldn’t meet anyone until I skipped the relationship with myself.  When I did it, I felt radically better…in the long term. Loving myself is really the best smartcut I’ve ever experienced!

Outfitters

 

Self-confidence backed the mindfulness practice, and the need of being seen sweetly softened. Here you have the magic: a blog post that is not perfect…but nice. I feel so good about it!

 

Amor fati: you don’t need to be loved anymore

Is it possible to be calm while an earthquake disrupts everything around you? This is one of the questions I like most, didn’t you notice it? Well, Zen masters show it is, and not only them. It happens when we put ourselves before anything else – our peace of mind – while giving others the best example during hard times.

Here you’ve got an example from The obstacle is the way:

At age 67, Thomas Edison returned home early one evening from another day at the laboratory. Shortly after dinner, a man came rushing into his house with urgent news: A fire had broken out at Edison’s research and production campus a few miles away.
Fire engines from eight nearby towns rushed to the scene, but they could not contain the blaze. Fueled by the strange chemicals in the various buildings, green and yellow flames shot up six and seven stories, threatening to destroy the entire empire Edison had to spend his life building.
Edison calmly but quickly made his way to the fire, through theknow hundreds of onlookers and devastated employees, looking for his son. “Go get your mother and all her friends,” he told his son with childlike excitement. “They’ll never see a fire like this again”.
What?!

Unconventional wisdom turned to action. Ryan Holiday completes the picture with this wise piece of advice:

We don’t get to choose what happens to us, but we can always choose how we feel about it. And why on earth would you choose to feel anything but good? We can choose to render a good account off ourselves. If the event must occur, Amor fati is the response.
It’s a little unnatural, I know, to feel gratitude for things we never wanted to happen in the first place. But we know […] the opportunities and benefits that lie within adversities. We know that in overcoming them, we emerge stronger, sharper, empowered. There is little reason to delay these feelings. To begrudgingly acknowledge later that it was for the best, when we could have a felt that in advance because it was inevitable.

You love it because it’s all fuel. And you don’t just want fuel. You need it. You can’t go anywhere without it.  No one or no thing can. So you are grateful for it.

I have a metaphisycal block that can’t make me accept completely this point of view. I covered all that in the linked post, and my position hasn’t changed. But I admit that Holiday’s words are very powerful. Maybe they’re not metaphisycally correct, but they have awakened my soul.

Anyhow, the critical point here is to recognize that we do love what happens around us and within ourselves. Always. It is a matter of redefining what we intend for love.

If you think at love as that magic power that sustains everything, that simply allows everything to be, and you experience it within yourself as pure consciousness, well, you’re done. You are the world, as Krishnamurti would say.

From this point, I can both love the idea that I’m responsible for my feelings, together with the fact that I don’t agree. This seems to be the fate.

This universal skill is the root of emotional freedom. We don’t need to be loved anymore, we can directly love ourselves. Would Beatles have had the same success, changing their lyrics in “We don’t need no love”? Ray Charles may had, actually!

Here follow some precious insights from Alice Miller (The drama of the gifted child, Italian version):

In quanto adulti non abbiamo bisogno di un amore incondizionato. Si tratta di un bisogno infantile, che in seguito non può più essere soddisfatto. Chi non ha mai pianto tale perdita nell’infanzia, si trastulla con delle illusioni.
[…] Se il bambino deve adattarsi per mantenere viva in sè l’illusione dell’amore, della dedizione e della benevolenza, l’adulto invece non ha più bisogno di tale illusione per poter sopravvivere. Può rinunciare alla cecità per decidere come agire con gli occhi ben aperti.
Sia il soggetto grandioso che quello depresso negano completamente la realtà della loro infanzia in quanto vivono entrambi come se si potesse recuperare la disponibilità dei genitori: il grandioso nell’illusione di riuscirvi, il depresso nell’angoscia continua di perdere la dedizione dei genitori per propria colpa. Nessuno dei due però riesce ad accettare la verità, ad ammettere cioè che nel proprio passato non c’era amore, e che questo dato di fatto non potrà essere mutato con tutta la buona volontà del mondo.

If we somehow feel that our childhood lacked of love, here is when being adult becomes valuable: we can give us everything we need, from the very beginning: loving our story.

Amor fati.