We are trained to have expectations. When we give a gift, advice, time, we usually want recognition in some way. That is the norm but it can lead us to disappointment when things do not work out.
There is another way to view giving and that is to give without expecting anything in return- to give unconditionally. The word unconditional means to me – giving without conditions. We all hear about unconditional love but few of us can really attain it.
This past Sunday my radio show guest was Jay Conner, Eastern North Carolina composer from Newport. He talked about how he asked God for his music to impact millions of lives and that he didn’t care if he got credit for it or if he heard about it. He said that he would totally release it. That was a powerful statement because Jay was talking about giving freely without expectation.
Although this is hard to do, when we let go in this way we are not disappointed because we did not set specific expectations to receive in return. Jay said, “Then whatever you receive is a bonus.” The gift to us becomes the joy of giving – giving and letting go.
When we do something special for others we are using our intuition, creativity and judgement sprinkled with love. That act of love is a gift to them before they receive it and it is also a give to us.
So the next time we buy a gift, make a special meal for someone, or give of our time and talent, if we focus on the process and feel the joy of what we are doing at the time, we will have less disappointment in our lives and more joy.