RETURN TO HAPPINESS THROUGH SHARING
“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
Research shows that simple acts of generosity can actually boost our immune system, relieve pain and even make our hearts stronger. Scientists have even coined a term for the feeling of pleasure we get when we give and it’s known as the “warm glow effect”. Not only does sharing create a sense of happiness, as discovered in a survey of 30,000 American households it was found that those who gave to charity were 43% more likely to say they were happy about their lives than those who did not give, but it also affords us the chance to grow, change our lives, change the lives of others and ultimately the world.
The Light of the creator – some call this light God or a higher power -has an abounding desire to share and our souls are comprised of that same light. What makes a person consistently happy is if the light is flowing through him or her all the time, and it is when we share that the light flows through us. The idea is to be a constant giver, not necessarily in great ways or by grand measures but what is most important is the consciousness behind the giving.
Kabbalists teach us that one can spend their entire life doing what’s natural and comfortable, and think that they’ve accomplished great things. But to truly accomplish the purpose to which we came to this world, we need to push against our nature and against our comfort. To make the shift from sharing to transformative sharing you don’t need to change anything accept the consciousness with which you perform the daily action of your life. The more challenging sharing is the more transformative it will be.
The crucial component for the giver is the energy that the gift holds for him or her because transformative sharing is not defined by money or time but by going against our habits and instincts in order to achieve our true purpose.
One may need to ask themselves what their desire for sharing is rooted in, perhaps it is to:
• See their name carved above the entrance to a building?
• Make themselves feel like a good person?
• Is it a truly difficult act, which they know will propel their growth?
Transformational sharing actually benefits us more than the person with whom we share with. Kabbalist’s practice this type of sharing because they have come to understand that the most sensible way to further our own interests, to find our own freedom and glimpse our own happiness is often NOT to pursue these goals directly, but to look after OTHER people’s interests – to help OTHER people free themselves from fear & pain and contribute to their happiness.
In order to shift from sharing to transformative sharing it starts with an uncomfortable action, something that is challenging for that person – that goes against what is comfortable for them in their daily lives. If someone gives millions to charity while behaving badly to people on a daily basis it means he’s not changing or growing as a person. Because sharing without consciousness doesn’t affect the change we want. If the sharing consists of something that the giver has a lot of (like money) the transformative sharing might involve giving of their personal time instead.
Of course, it’s nice to share. But true growth only occurs when we give of ourselves in ways that are uncomfortable. Through this means of sharing you will have joy and abundance in your life, a more fulfilled ‘you’ as well as the lives you lit up with your generosity. There is no choice between being kind to others & being kind to ourselves. It is the same thing.
Want to be happy? Give a little. Want to be happier? Give a lot.
How often have you thought to yourself, “I give and I give and I give, & I get nothing in return”? Ask yourself what your incentive for this “giving” was, was it to:
1. Make yourself feel like a good person?
2. Is it a truly difficult act, which you know will propel your growth?
This week, if you find yourself feeling a little down, practice random acts of kindness – put some money in an expired parking meter. The power and pleasure of the “warm glow effect” will surprise you.