Giving Without Expectation
How many times have you worked really hard, where you put all of your strength into a project, situation, effort or another person only to feel unappreciated?
The feeling of being unnoticed for your efforts or for your time can be discouraging.
A giving person puts her time, emotions, energy, spirit, mind, and body into those she loves or into that for which she is passionate. Unfortunately, all of her energy, time, emotions, and so forth are often not reciprocated. So how does one find the energy to continue giving when faced with the feelings of being unappreciated?
1. Showing Gratitude for Others
Being on the receiving end of unappreciation at times, gives you the unique perspective of what it really means to live in gratitude and thanksgiving to those who selflessly give or have given to you.
Who do you admire as a giving soul? Who has shown you kindness and unconditional love? What are some things that you appreciate in your life? Giving thanks and appreciating life in every respect, will keep us centered and happy in that we are able to do and give to others.
2. Realizing the Purpose of Giving
I often refer to giving as the epitome of love. It is a selfless act that requires nothing in return, not even appreciation. To be able to say to your loved ones, "To know that you feel loved, is all the reward I need," and to truly mean it, takes away the need to feel appreciated or to hear encouraging words of praise.
To be able to be content, knowing that you have done all within your means to make someone happy, this is the sacred reward that cannot be given by another.
Learn to be at rest when you don't receive the praise. Become confident in your work and in the ability to do your best. Let yourself enjoy the personal gratification of a job well done.
3. Expect Nothing, and When you Receive Nothing...you won't be Disappointed!
These are the famous words of my Mother. She shared this with me many years ago, and she lives by these words. My Mother is a selfless giving woman who gives until it hurts, and I have watched her be unappreciated by those with whom she has shared her love, her time, her energy, and her heart. I have seen the pain caused by the words of the ungrateful.
When she made the conscious decision to give and be a blessing to others without expectation, it gave her freedom. No longer bound by the need of being appreciated, she was free to walk in her beauty and love released from the opinions of others.
This was not an easy task, and it takes much pain and hurt before this kind of wisdom can be attained. Yet, by becoming intentional with our feelings and aware of our emotions, this will allow us to respond to others and to negative situations with more and more freedom from expectation as we grow.
So, the next time you put your sweat and tears into something or someone, don't forget to be thankful for the person who put their sweat and tears in for you. Enjoy the act of giving, and the personal gratification it brings, and expect nothing in return. No praise, no accolades, no thanks. Be content and satisfied with knowing that you have done a bit of good in your corner of the world.
...and should you receive gratitude for your efforts, stay humble, smile, and say, "My pleasure."