Somebody asked me for advice the other day. I told her if I had one word for her, or anyone, about leading a fulfilling life, I would say “Give.” It doesn’t matter if you give to something I am involved in or not, just Give – in some way: money, time, compassion, cookies, a smile – just Give.
Every day when people leave Pajama Program after reading with the children here they tell me,
“I got more out of this than the kids did!”
I know that’s the truth. In that hour they didn’t spend a dime. They gave their time, their love, their voice, their ears, their eye contact. They gave their presence to someone who needed it. Something deep inside them guided them to read to our children, to give them an hour of love, support, maybe even laughter. There was a yearning in each of them to connect with someone, bond in a very personal and emotional way, a desire their hearts were aware of, if not their minds.
When we give, we miraculously dismiss that part of our brain that worries, stresses, frets, and sweats the big and small stuff. We forget ourselves and get lost in someone else. I’m convinced that’s because giving is a directive from the heart. When we’re consumed with the trappings of day to day qualms, it’s our brain gabbing away, often irrationally. Our head is giving the orders.
But it’s our heart that knows what we need, what will make us feel whole when we’re feeling less than.
I once heard someone (my husband!) say “point to yourself.”
Where do you point? Do you point to your head…or to your heart? My guess is that your finger goes straight for your heart. From the moment I did that exercise I got it – our hearts make the really important decisions for us.
Follow your heart, as they say. Give something of yourself, anything will do.