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J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0
62 / A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0
Loving people tend to give
so generously to others that they
often over give. By over giving,
they are so focused on giving to
others that they rob themselves
of important opportunities to love
themselves. Do you do this?
Chances are, if you're a wo-
man and you haven't investigated
your giving habits, you are very
likely over giving to others. Men,
you may be doing it too. What
do you think? Are you an over
If so, what about loving and
giving to yourself!
By addressing this question,
please notice your response. Is
it, "Ah, yes! I want to love and
give to myself!" Or, is it, "Isn't
that selfish? I don't want to be
Actually... loving yourself
means that you drop your inner
critic's judgments. It is impossi-
ble to both judge and love at the
same time. It's like walking for-
wards and backwards at the same
time. It can't be done.
Learning to set boundaries
means you find your ability to
say no, even if it risks disappoint-
ing someone or losing their love.
How much do they really love
you anyway? Your ability to say
"No" is packed with power, espe-
cially when you then turn inward
to give to yourself instead!
Now that you've turned in-
ward and are focusing on your-
self, what do you do?
Ask yourself, "What am I feel-
ing?" There will likely be a wide
range of feelings, both positive
and negative. Tuning into your
own feelings means you can love
yourself. This is healthy empathy.
As you tune in to your feelings
often throughout the day, you'll
notice how often they change!
Through this observation, you
will come into a greater under-
Are You Over Giving?
standing of yourself. And you can
become more intimately knowl-
edgeable about yourself, even
offer yourself nurturing, empa-
thy, and compassion through the
Let's talk about how to nur-
ture yourself. What do you need
right now? You may need to eat
some food because you are hun-
gry. Or get out of the house more
and play. Meet up with friends.
Or just relax. Your needs have as
wide a range as your feelings. Get
to know your needs each day and
see how inventive you can be in
meeting your own needs. It feels
Another way to nurture your-
self is to ask, "What do I really
want?" You may want to recon-
sider your job, lover, neighbor-
hood, city, or just the brand of
milk you buy! When you tune
in, offer yourself improvements
to live and feel better.
Obviously, if you are over
giving to others, you'll never get
around to these essential ques-
tions or ways of connecting with
yourself. Instead, you'll ignore
yourself and fail to know your-
self. As a result, your feelings
are likely to become bottled up.
Without self examination and
loving acknowledgment, feel-
ings can even turn into physical
Practicing self inquiry is an
important way of staying in bal-
ance. When you over give, you
risk getting out of balance with
eating, rest, your needs, your
wants, your dreams, and even in
your body,.
Staying tuned in to yourself
means you are checking in and
giving generously to yourself.
Then, you can take that very well
loved self into all your relation-
ships without losing yourself. In-
stead, you will be bringing forth
the richness of giving yourself an
important role of loving yourself
and being sure you are receiving
the love you deserve.
Sometimes, when you have
not checked in with yourself, it
is easy to end up abandoning
yourself and sacrificing your own
needs in order to give to another
person. For example, you might
miss out on meeting your own
need to be doing something else
such as fulfilling your promise to
yourself to take time in the gar-
den, pay your bills, give yourself
time to meditate, or to simply
stop listening to your friend com-
plaining endlessly.
When you stop over giving,
you can politely interrupt when
someone else is over complain-
ing and be aware of the trap of
trying to fix your friend. Now
that's richly giving to you! Nat-
urally, there are times you will
want to listen to and empathize
with your friend's complaints, but
you get to choose if this is the
right time for you.
Are you feeling any stronger
now? Are you ready to change
your habit of over giving? Are you
ready for the love you deserve?
Loving yourself and others, with-
out over giving, takes your life to
a new dimension of healthy liv-
ing where you will experience
the love you deserve.
Shannon Peck is a spiritual healer
and teacher of love and healing. She is
the author of "Love Heals: How to Heal
Everything with Love" and co-author,
with Dr. Scott Peck, of several books
on love & relationships. She is also Co-
founder of The Love Center. To read
Shannon's "Healing with Love" blog,
copyright 2009 by Shannon Peck
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