How many times have you read somewhere that it’s good to give? Good to listen. Good to trust. While I wouldn’t go against any of that, I would put in a ‘but’. I would insert a cautionary word or two.
First and foremost, you have to factor yourself into the equation. This means allowing a little selfishness in there. Allowing for your needs too.
When you give, you also have to take care not to let yourself get used. When we give indiscriminately, this is precisely what tends to happen, and we soon find ourselves exhausted. And, sadly, all too often, those around us just take and take and take, and no matter how much we give, it can never be enough.
Likewise, although trust has great importance, we should also ensure that we don’t fall into naivety. This is a biggie for me, as here is an area in which I’ve fallen down more often than not. It’s a work in progress, and for sure, I don’t trust quite so readily as I used to. In some ways, I find that so sad. I like innocence. It holds something special. Until it gets abused. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need that element of cynical discernment. And still, to distrust any and all would be to make the opposite mistake.
An aspect of generosity that might not seem so tricky is listening. What harm could come from that? None, so long as we also listen to ourselves. It’s when we lose our voice that we lose our way. Above all else, we must be our own person. We must maintain free will and a sense of direction and purpose. One that comes from us rather than from others.
As with many things in life, the middle way is the best way. Extremes, in general, are not good. Being human, it is when we get hurt that we swing all the way over to the far side, and we end up like a pendulum, swinging this way and that.
To find peace, and offer that to those around us, we need to find the middle ground. The still point that holds the balance without the wild motion but with the potential for movement. Here, we find enough room to hold everyone in our lives as well as ourselves. From a centred position, we find the wise discernment needed to give and trust and listen in proportion.
When I manage to live from this place, I can remember me, along with everyone else. And even when I need to say no, it is still a yes. I remain open and willing without being a pushover. I keep an ear on my voice and an eye on my heart and love in my life.
In the wise words of Zen:
‘You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no.’
If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: https://www.harmonykent.co.uk/category/monday-musings/