Are You an Over-Giver?

The quality of our lives is significantly shaped by the accuracy of our affirmations and refusals (i.e., our yesses and no’s). Aligning them with our true inner desires is not always easy, depending on our personality types, but apprenticing ourselves to this practice inevitably leads to such positive results as increased energy, authenticity, and creativity. Conversely, however, to repeatedly and mechanically offer a “yes”, when it’s opposite is what actually wants to find expression, is to habituate and train ourselves to living lives of over-giving.

Life can complicate matters further by rewarding our over-giving tendencies by supplying us with a steady stream of people who are more than willing to put themselves in a position to receive the benefits of our over-giving nature. Soon, we find ourselves surrounded by people at home, work, or both, who seem to be hardwired to reflexively unburden themselves at our expense, which drains us and leaves little energy for us to take care of ourselves. It is not these “takers” that are the problem, however, as they are as unconsciously attuned to us as we are them.

Over-giving should not be confused with offering service to others, which is done more often than not. This self-depleting impulse to over-give is not service, it is servitude. True and healthy service does not sacrifice one for another, for it feeds and nourishes both the giver and receiver when offered freely and consciously. When done unconsciously, however, it is a form of slavery, driven by an unrelenting inner master of our own making.