- (This final wrap up to our “Giving Good” blog series features the personal reflections of Kim VanGilder, our Marketing Director).
We’ve often heard this quote: “It’s better to give than to receive.” There’s so much truth to that – giving expands our capacity to understand, to be generous, to love. Sometimes, however, we can continually give to the point of not being emotionally, mentally or physically able to give anymore.
This is, perhaps, something that most moms, many women, and yes, men, too, often experience. Perhaps a statement could be added to that initial truth. “It’s EASIER to give than receive.” Sometimes it’s easier to continue giving than to slow down, to rest, to care for one’s self, to accept help, to accept generosity.
I truly believe that we were made for generosity. We were created for giving. There is something wired in even the youngest humans that makes them want to give, to create something and offer it to a loved one. That’s why there are painted rocks on fireplace mantels, crayon drawings on fridge doors, and unidentifiable popsicle stick monuments, ornaments, and cages built and given as gifts.
Giving comes from inside us. It’s written into our hearts, our DNA. But there can come a point where we give and give, we pour out and pour out until we’re empty. This is the place where many become bitter, cynical, hardened. I don’t believe that’s how we were meant to live. So what can be done to combat that? What can enable us to stay in the place of enjoying, desiring, and living out our giving?
Receiving. Resting. Caring for ourselves. It is not wrong or selfish to take care of your health, to stop, to pause, to rest. Wearing ourselves out before our time because we never learned the wisdom and value of health, of self-care will not serve our world well.
There’s a song lyric that says, “Better to burn out than fade away.” Perhaps that’s where our modern version of YOLO originated. What if it’s not a choice between burning out or fading away? What if there was a better option? Just. Simply. Burning. Lasting. Years of a consistent flame lighting up the darkness? Being an ongoing bonfire.
You’re needed. You’re wanted. Our world desperately needs your light. Your generosity. Your loving and your giving. We want you around. For a long time. I know I need this reminder. I’m writing with a lot of “you”s in this, but I’m writing it for me.
This season, take time to care for yourself, too. As you plan for 2017 and think about ways you want to improve, plan for self-care. Life isn’t a sprint. It’s a relay. What will you do to make sure you are running your race well?
P.S. One small step might be this: Consider joining us at Quarks in January for 3 Wednesday evening sessions on how to improve your eating & health. January 16, 23, and 30 from 6:30 – 7:15 pm. $5 each time covers your dinner, beverage, and class with Kari Collett, RDA and founder of A to Zinc Nutrition. Mark it on your calendar – and prioritize investing in you. See our Facebook page for more details – coming soon!