You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Learning to be a healthy giver can be a challenge. Many of us got caught up in compulsive giving-charitable acts motivated by uncharitable feelings of guilt, shame, obligations, pity, and moral superiority.
We now understand that catering and compulsive giving don't work. They backfire.
Caretaking keeps us feeling victimized.
Many of us gave too much, thinking we were doing things right; then we became confused because our life and relationships weren't working. Many of us gave so much for so long, thinking we were doing God's will; then in recovery, we refused to give, care, or love for a time.
That's okay. Perhaps we needed a rest. But healthy giving is part of healthy living. The goal in recovery is balance - caring that is motivated by a true desire to give, with an underlying attitude of respect for others and ourselves.
The goal in recovery is to choose what we want to give, to whom, when, and how much. The goal in recovery is to give, and not feel victimized by our giving.
Are we giving because we want to because it's our responsibility? Or are we giving because we feel obligated, guilty, ashamed, or superior? Are we giving because we feel afraid to say no?
Are the ways we try to assist people helpful, or do they prevent others from facing their true responsibilities?
Are we giving so that people will like us or feel obligated to us? Are we giving to prove we're worthy? Or are we giving because we want to give and it feels right?
Recovery includes a cycle of giving and receiving. It keeps healthy energy flowing among our Higher Power, others, and us. It takes time to learn how to give in healthy ways. It takes time to learn to receive. Be patient. The balance will come.
God, please guide my giving and my motives today.
It is easy for me to get into the "All or Nothing" mode. I often have to ask God to help me seek the balance between the two. I struggle with it. I am having to keep up with just how much I do. I have found that keeping a tracking journal such as Artful Agenda helps me a lot. My sponsor told me to spend three hours a day on my personal recovery. So, that would be bike riding, art, and 12 Step Work for me. If my husband could have me go riding with him every day for 3 hours, he would and I would probably do it. I would let go of the other stuff, but I have to balance those out too. Bike riding is a new thing for us. It would be easy to fall into that trap again. Our plan is to go back riding this afternoon to Snow's Produce Market. It is too cold this morning.