Mirror, Mirror…

March 23rd, 2010

Doing my taxes last week forced me to face how much I spent on wants versus needs and how much I spent on personal indulgences versus personal giving. I’m not going to give up every little luxury that adds color and texture to my life, but I am going to hone the list to a few so that those few will be more meaningful and appreciated.┬áDeciding to support a charity or community organization with regular donations forces me to turn outward instead of always gazing in the mirror at Me and My Stuff. I know I have problems with generosity of spirit, and although I can explain it by the way I was raised and the necessity at one time to barricade the doors of my heart, I can’t excuse it. Unfolding and opening sounds easy only to those who are already there. For the rest of us, it takes baby steps or maybe step-by-step reprogramming to trust that when you start to walk, someone will be there to catch you.

One Response to “Mirror, Mirror…”

  1. I was raised the opposite. My parents had little but were so generous with donations. They set a quiet example for me, so that even as a cash-strapped college student, I gave some of my money away.

    Church membership and the community-oriented groups I belonged to as an adult reinforced the notion of a giving culture, and as a couple, my husband and I mentally set the giving goal as a certain percentage of our income.

    But about two years ago, we were hit by a perfect storm of financial disasters, and we moved and disconnected from the church. We no longer have a “giving goal” though there are organizations we continue to support, and individual people that we have helped on a small scale.

    For decades, I was an active volunteer, but when I moved two years ago, I wiped the slate clean with the intention of starting over fresh.

    I find after spending more than 25 years giving time, money, and self, I’m a commitment-phobe. I operated with a giving mentality for so long, on auto-pilot. I’ve only recently begun to consider how to move forward mindfully.

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