One of my favorite sayings of my spiritual mentor, Jane Elizabeth Hart, is “The joy is in the giving.”
It has taken me many years to appreciate this as more than just a pretty platitude--especially this time of year!
Finding joy in giving means to understand that when we are acting only for ourselves, that energy has no where to go but back to ourselves. This is important, to replenish and refresh ourselves sometimes. But when we give freely with joy and loving kindness, that energy ripples out into the far stretches of the universe! For that moment, we have expanded ourselves far outside of where our energy normally resides. It is like an amazing, huge yoga stretch!
Plus, finding joy in giving makes us want to give more—to re-experience that joy, that refreshing stretch beyond ourselves. Once we get out of our box, we don’t want to go back inside that small space!
Recently, I helped some friends pack Christmas gifts for children in other countries. There were several boxes, and as we filled each one, we were silently blessing each toy and piece of candy. I could imagine the love and joy the child would experience as she or he opened the box—an explosion of love and light! I could feel my own energy expanding beyond myself, beyond this country, rippling throughout the planet.
The song I sung in childhood that reminds me of this concept is “Magic Penny”. Do you remember singing that song? Did you ever realize that the magic penny symbolized your own energy, multiplying and supporting you in infinitely greater ways? Here are a few of the lyrics:
Love is something if you give it away;
You’ll end up having more.
It’s just like a magic penny:
Hold it tight and you won’t have any.
Lend it, spend it, and you’ll have so many
They’ll roll all over the floor.
As you give this season, no matter how big or small a gift, put your energy of love and joy into it, and don’t let it stop flowing at your gift’s recipient—see that love and joy rippling out, sending a wave of blessing throughout the planet.
Happy Holidays of every kind!
Lynn Barrette, LCSW Blending psychology with spirituality, I offer tools for forgiveness, acceptance, meditation and relaxation, and positive parenting solutions.