Giving with Esteem

I know I skipped a day.  I was making merry on my birthday, and a blog just wasn't in the program.

Yesterday, I was reading my Language of Letting Go Daily meditation, and there was a great post on giving.  It was talking about healthy giving.  If you struggle with codependency, this is another tough area.  I like the definition of healthy giving, which was giving with esteem for both the giver and the receiver.  Giving is note the same as caretaking.  We can give with esteem.  I want to explore this topic today. 

The Giver--Real giving requires sacrifice.  However, it is sacrifice of a thing of value not my value as a person.  It is sacrifice of something I might enjoy, such as money or time, for the other person.  When I am a giver, I am showing love for another person.  We give with esteem for ourselves when we don't give what we cannot afford.  Here are ways you could give without esteem for yourself, the giver:

  • Giving things we cannot afford
  • Giving things to impress someone
  • Giving to gain something 
  • Giving to feel appreciated
  • Giving out of obligation
  • Giving something I cannot do without myself
The Receiver-- We give with esteem for the receiver when our gifts are truly gifts and not caretaking.  Our gifts should not rescue someone or make them feel undervalued.  Sometimes it is not appropriate to give something if it will enable someone to make a poor choice.  We not give to say, "Poor baby, let me give this to you because it's obvious you can't do it for yourself."  This can hurt a relationship rather than help it.  Here are examples of gifts you can give without esteem for the receiver and what you are communicating through your gift (these are examples not definitives):

  • Giving someone who has lost an expensive phone or electronic another one
    • You don't have to learn responsibility and thanks to me, you never will
  • Giving someone a gift bought on credit you can't afford just because everyone else has one
    • It is more important to have things than a sensible budget; welcome to debt
  • Cleaning up someone else's mess
    • You aren't capable of cleaning up your own mess
  • Bailing out someone else's mistake
    • You will always need me to take care of you
If you really want to love someone, show them you have dignity for them in the gifts you choose.  Give sacrificially, give kindly, give in love, and give with esteem.  Never do for someone what they should do for themselves.