A recent revelation totally shifted the way I look at and feel about wealth and abundance. In the past, I've not been wealthy. I was raised with the belief if I worked hard enough, I would have enough to get by. There were times my kids and I ate pancakes and fruit for a week until payday, but the bills had been paid and we didn't go hungry.
Over the years, I grew stronger and stronger in the knowledge I could do most things myself. At times, I needed to borrow money from my parents or ask for more jars of fruit my mother had canned, but I always had at least one job and we got by okay.
Over the decades when my kids grew up and left home, I earned more money through promotions and changing careers. I was quite proud of doing it myself. At times, I dragged myself out of bed when I felt horrible and went to work anyway. I paid my bills first. I made sure my kids were fed and clean--sometimes in spite of their protests of not needing a shower. I rarely went out and was quite frugal with my money.
A long time passed before I became aware of a dark side of this pride: resenting others who didn't meet my standards of hard work and independence.
Even more insulting was the growing number of government and nonprofit agencies that catered to meeting every need of "those less fortunate." I have paid taxes throughout my entire life to support these programs, but was now approached by people on the streets as well as requests through email and snail mail for more and more money for these causes.
My resentment built with each request but, ironically, so did my guilt for not giving to every cause. By this time, I'd studied enough spiritual laws and done enough energy work to know giving with anything less than pure love was not generating good juju for anyone. In addition, my desire to be a "good and compassionate" person who helped others clashed with the realization if I gave away all my money, I would be the one begging and not be able to help anyone.
Fortunately, I evolved to the point where I asked my spirit guides to help with this dilemma. Their words of wisdom resulted in a major shift in my perception. "Those less fortunate are not here to cause you GUILT, but to help you feel GRATEFUL for all you already have."
As many times happens, these words gave me that third option I have come to look for. Not someone wins and someone loses, but everybody wins.
My next step was to put this into action. Our culture seems to have devolved into throwing money at every issue. I don't think that's always the best solution. Giving a drug addict money doesn't necessarily help. However, shopping with a mom to help feed her kids satisfies their physical hunger as well as offers the opportunity to share kind words and encouragement. Sometimes I just smile or meet the eyes of someone panhandling for money on the street. Many times they seem surprised at that simple acknowledgement we are fellow human beings.
For me personally, I can also offer one of my most treasured gifts: Reiki. Reiki is an ancient process for channeling our life force energy to help heal on the physical, spiritual and emotional levels. I've seen and been part of many miracles using the pure loving energy of Reiki. If a person chooses to accept this gift, amazing things can come about. In addition, it benefits both the giver and the person receiving. Definitely a win-win situation!
By replacing the downward spiral of feeling guilty when others had so little with an option of how everyone can win, I also opened myself to receiving even more abundance. In turn, I can share that abundance with others, which will multiply and come back to me, so I can share even more with others over and over--part of a beautifully expanding cycle of positive energy.
Thank you, spirit guides and Universe, for this empowering and uplifting lesson--something else to be grateful for!