There is a way of finding peace by going without. It is the same as finding peace by giving.
My favorite definition of grace is ‘giving someone what they need before they even know that they needed it.’ It is the greatest gift you can give someone.
This week I have been presenting ways if finding peace in our lives. Monday I shared that we can go within to find peace, Wednesday I suggested we can go outside ourselves to find peace and today I am going to talk about how we can ‘go without’ to find it.
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Giving to and sharing with others is timeless activity set into the structure of most religions world over–whether is be fasting, alms-giving, ministering the sick, charity work or social action. The relationship that it builds and compassion that it evokes benefits both our spiritual and emotional selves.
It fills us with joy and the sense of self worth when we make a difference in someone else’s life. We matter and our actions matter. Simply, it feels good to make someone else happy. (And we feel good when we are appreciated.)
Giving up a luxury in order to give it away is part of the practice. Donating our excess or unneeded items is important, but not as spiritually beneficial. Going without makes us mindful of what we have and what others have, material and non material. It invites us to re-prioritizing our life, gaining a greater understanding of what is most precious to us. From this understanding, we can chose to give our energy to the most important things.
“The most important things in life aren’t things.” Anthony J. D’Angelo
We also have a responsibility to be conscious of the resources we use, since as Americans we tend to use more than our share. If we continue at our present speed of consumption, we’ll not only lose what remains of our pristine natural world but most of the world’s population of people and animals will die of exposure and starvation.
“Live simply so that others may simply live.” Mother Theresa
I believe that we are all connected, so that when I give to someone else (or something else,) I am really giving to myself. There is no difference. If I go without to give to another, it is not a sacrifice. This helps me give more freely. I still hesitate and keep things for myself, but it is a practice I continue to strive to master.
When is a time in your life that you went without, or gave generously? How did it make you feel?