Give Because You Mean It!

If you’re reading any blogs this holiday season, you’re probably inundated with messages about gratitude and giving. There’s probably nothing new I can offer you about these topics, other than reinforcing a significant component of this season:  authenticity.

When I have exchanges with people, truthfully, I look most for evidence of their authenticity. If they are preoccupied, if they would clearly be elsewhere, or if they have ulterior motives or sentiments in our exchange, I can tell. In fact, all of us can. Have you ever been out to dinner with someone who leaves their phone out and responds to text messages or calls that were not particularly more important than your time together? Have you been that person? In our busy lives, it becomes increasingly more difficult not to multitask with every aspect of our days, but I urge you: be where you are, and where you are, be all of you. Otherwise, you send a message of being in-authentic.

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung coined the term ‘collective unconscious’ which refers to the part of the psyche of all living things that knows—whether consciously or unconsciously—what is floating around in the consciousnesses of our collective humanity. Taking this concept as it applies to our lives and especially the holidays, it behooves us to consider authenticity when we are offering gratitude and giving service to others. Our collective unconscious—that space where we know things without even realizing what we know—understands deeply when a person gives or is grateful for something without being authentic.

I like to donate my time during the holiday season—all the way from Thanksgiving through the New Year. But I give myself this caveat: if I don’t want to do something, I gauge it: am I being selfish and whiny, knowing that if I make myself go, I’ll dig myself out of my rut and feel better by giving? Or is there a real reason why I don’t want to go? If it is the latter, I honor that and I give myself a free pass because giving from a place of resentment is contradictory. Sure, the people still get served, but being gracious in our service is crucial. If we can’t find a way to be gracious, we might as well not give.

I’m obviously not advocating for being a miser; on the contrary: GIVE, GIVE, GIVE!

But do it from a place of an authentic desire to be of service to others. Whether you think it or not, you’re doing yourself a favor too. Giving authentically fills the bellies of others and it fills our hearts exponentially. Give because people deserve love. But also give because of the wonders it does for you. And even if your giving is simply doing dishes or taking out the trash: everyone knows everything in the collective unconscious, all the time. Releasing resentment for our giving service will break tension between us and those we love.

After all, it *is* the holiday season.

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Trinka is a counselor and has run her private practice in Los Angeles for 20 years. She was Mastin’s personal therapist for many years. Check out her website here.

  • Gymnist513

    🙂

  • Andie Diaz

    I wasn´t planning on reading another article on gratitude because this week was overwhelming in terms of feeling others’ and my own gratitude towards life. But somehow, I knew there would be an extra piece of information I’d be able to apply to my life in order to become a better person.
    No sooner said than done.
    Thank you for this article!