As part of my meditation and mindfulness instructor training we were required to read a book called Essential Spirituality by Roger Walsh. It has been one of the most enlightening books I have read in a very long time for several reasons. Firstly the way it is written so easy to read and understand and secondly because the wisdom is outstanding. It gets you thinking about things that you may never have thought about before but also explains things in such a gentle and warming way that you want to open up and grow with the wisdom.
The following few paragraphs really spoke to me last evening and I felt inspired to share it with you.
The right motivation and forgiving;
The motivation with which we do anything is crucial. We may help one person and walk away feeling wonderful. We may help someone else and later seeth with resentment. If so, it’s a safe bet that our actions were contaminated by inappropriate motives.
When we give with the hope of getting something back, because we are motivated by guilt, or because we are afraid to say no, we set ourselves up to suffer. Externally, it may look like generosity. But such giving feels very different and afterward can inflame regret and resentment. The underlying motive with which we give determine their emotional and spiritual effects. It is important to explore our motives for giving. If we find feelings of open heartedness and genuine caring, giving is a wonderful way to express and strengthen them. But if we find a contracted heart, tension, or annoyance, perhaps it might be better to first take time to explore and resolve these feelings. Often it is essential to say “yes” to request and to give as generously as we can at other times it may be completely appropriate to say “no, this does not feel right”.
Many times we are not even aware that our motivation may be tainted. It is only through awareness that we can begin to examine our motives and do our best to connect to an openhearted way of living and giving as Roger suggests, therefore negating any harmful effects from unintentional defective motives.
Certainly is food for thought and with powerful teaching is like this, we can connect to the heartbeat of genuine caring and love for one another.