Contrary to a popular meme making its rounds on social media, expect the same kindness and generosity in return for the love you show to others. Just don’t expect it from the person you help. Part of the reason is capacity. But, the more important and useful perspective is because helping is not about loyalty. It is about legacy. It’s not about paying you back. It is about paying it forward.
This week, I have spent some time in meditation contemplating the reason I help. My reasoning is sound: because I want to be the person I needed growing up, and be the change I want to see. The return is incalculable. But, I am holding too much. Giving must be complete. Give away the option for the person helped to pay it forward in their own way. I’m there. AND I’m going to write to influence how you pay it forward. Understand the origin of your own need to be needed. Consider the nature of your core need and how you are being fed emotionally and spiritually. Consider the connections you desire and the ones you enjoy. Understand your own vulnerability and your capacity to impact your world.
1. Witnessing Discovery
Truly the best and longest lasting feeling of worth and purpose is the result of helping. When given in a genuine spirit and applied to a real need, there is nothing better. The joy comes from the giving. If they are thankful, that’s a bonus, but not required. Give what you are willing to give. Give of your abundance. Trust that you will have more.
My greatest joy from doing what I do, is seeing people discover they are capable of more than they thought they were. #LifeCoaching
— Bruce Van Horn (@BruceVH) October 17, 2015
2. We Seek Connection.
The most basic connection is need. Even more special than a friend who knows where the bodies are buried is a friend who fills a need. It can start with a rescue, but matures into a symbiosis supporting growth in both parties.
3. Don’t Leave Yourself.
Ensure that you have something to give. First, you are able to fill a need. Also, you set an example of management and generosity for the other to follow.
— Dark Diamond (@ddctalent) October 17, 2015
4. Humility is Mind Preparation.
Admitting that we need is not shame or stress. Finding a well of a person who feeds you, and replenishes you is humbling. Being strong and invulnerable is overrated and dangerous. Finding your limit and connecting to extend it, that’s the strength that endures.
“Humility is the only true wisdom by which we prepare our minds for all the possible changes of life.” (George Arliss) — Aurora Wilson (@msaurorawilson) October 15, 2015
5. Self-Truth Guards Against Error.
Know your weaknesses, but also know where they come from. Understand their origins from being needed to need, from connection to vulnerability. Know your strength, but also know your choices. Don’t chase after your need. Learn the lessons. Search the meaning. Trust the messages you receive.
Self truth is much more powerful than living in perpetual ignorance of our self while lingering in error.
— Steven L Hairfield (@AnAmericanMonk) October 17, 2015