Our difference is not only in what we give; it’s in how we receive

Tomorrow evening I’ve been invited to the AGM of an agency in town. They’d like to recognize me for my volunteer efforts on their behalf over the past year. I was surprised when asked to attend. I didn’t really think I’d done all that much — in fact, I think there’s way more I could have done!

In my mind, I always think I need to do more — which is why I’m surprised — they actually think I’ve done lots. Which is of course, the critter stirring up trouble within me. He says “See you fooled them Louise. They actually think you did something.”

What’s with that critter?  Doesn’t he know when to take a break?

Truth is, I control the critter — or he’ll control me. He’s always lurking, sneaking in and disturbing my peace of mind. It’s up to me to look him in the eyes and say, “Enough! Back off jack. You have no role in my life today. I do enough. Give enough. Am enough. End of story.”

This year, as I have done for the past two, I am an Impact Speaker for the United Way’s annual fund-raising campaign. It is a volunteer position that I love and one that I truly enjoy fulfilling on. Yesterday, I spoke to a group of United Way Ambassadors — people internal to an organization who promote United Way within the company. There were about 30 volunteers gathered to learn more about how they can support UW within their organization, and how they can reach out to encourage others to give of their time, talents and treasures to support the amazing work the UW does in our city and surrounding areas.

“Before you reach out to anyone,” said one of the Company volunteers who had helped organize the training, “it’s a good idea to go to the website and make your pledge first. That way, you’ll not only know how it’s done, you’ll also be coming from a place of integrity.”

You gotta walk your talk before inviting others to take the journey.

And I wonder — where does the message, “You don’t do enough Louise,” come from?

It’s hard to ignore that when it comes to ending homelessness, there is so much more to do. So much more I can do!

Yet, why don’t I think what I’m doing is enough?

Bottomline — it has nothing to do with what I’m doing, and everything to do with what I’m thinking. I create, promote or allow 100% of everything that happens in my life. In this case, I’m indulging in stinkin’ thinkin’. I’m allowing the critter to hold the reins on my sense of well-being so he can play havoc with my equilibrium.

Let go you crotchety critter! Rise up peace of mind and take back the reins!

Before I can inspire others to live this one wild and precious life in the rapture of now, I need to walk my talk. I need to stay balanced in that place where the circle is continually evolving through the life-giving cycle of ‘giving is receiving’. In that place, I celebrate who I am, exactly the way I am by honouring what I do and create in the world from a place of Love, gratitude and humility. I mean seriously, if I’m looking to inspire others to share their time, talents and treasures, maybe I need to give myself a break and receive the appreciation of others without sneaking off into the shadow place within that says, “Fooled you! I haven’t done or given enough.”

Maybe what any of us needs to do to quiet the critter is to breathe into our heart so that we can hear our soul calling us to let our light shine without trying to dim it with false modesty. bravado, or any other tactic we use to push away receiving appreciation. Maybe we can all go look in the mirror and smile at ourselves and say, with our heart and eyes filled with Love, “You’re okay (insert your name here). You’re giving of your best, doing your all and making a difference. I give enough. I do enough. I am enough.”

Maybe, making a world of difference means letting our difference be seen in not only how we give, but in how we receive.


12 thoughts on “Our difference is not only in what we give; it’s in how we receive”

  1. Elgie, Elgie, Elgie …

    There is another way to look at this.

    First, consider this – every time you speak/stand/smile, every time you are recognized/acknowledged/praised/feted – you are on your soapbox for a few seconds … to many minutes, seizing your opportunity to talk about issues.

    Second, who cares why or how you got invited to stand, strut, speak and shout-out? It is all about stage-time.

    Stage time, stage time, stage time.

    So, even if you got invited or rewarded for something absolutely miniscule and of trivial value – take the time, take the stage-time as reward, take it as opportunity. Every time.

    Do not apologize.

    Do not minimize.


    Maximize your opportunities to speak and/or be recognized – because each time you are , you draw attention to the issues, not to yourself. You draw attention.

    And, someimes, you just draw. Or paint.

    But mostly you speak for the silent, you stand up for the downtrodden, you see for the invisible, you hear a calling and you show up.

    Take the time, every time, because you leverage it for others who will never be able to speak, will never be asked to speak, who will remain hidden and unknown until you shine a spotlight on them.

    And, that spotlight is pointed to where you are standing on that stage.

    Am I right, or am I right?



  2. Oh, good message. I struggle about feeling that I’m never enough, never doing enough, being enough… Even in trying to write about my journey in order to help I catch myself wondering if I’m doing it well enough so this is a good reminder for me.


  3. You DO inspire me to share my “time, talents and treasure.” I once despaired that I could “never” do enough. I now rejoice that I am just one part of a larger Body — and I can heartily acknowledge what we do together. Isn’t it amazing that even the most degrading experiences can be those that impress upon us how much we need saving through love? I think those who have come through hell, and made it to the light are those who can love and share the most.


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