"Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart"
-W. B. Yeats
Take a look right now, have you developed a stone heart towards any of the people or endeavors you are giving your time, energy, or passion to? Giving of ourselves freely and without obligation is REPLENISHING. Our cups continuously flow over and fill up again when we give in this way. If you are finding yourself depleted, wearied, or resentful, this is a good sign that you are not experiencing freedom to give or not give.
We would argue that "shoulds" have entered into the mix. As soon as this happens, we are not connected to our reason for giving or not giving. Instead, we are pulled around by what we think the external world expects or wants from us or we are stuck in a self-depreciating/aggrandizing cycle that is exhausting. When we are in this mode we often give with strings attached. We become resentful and are always waiting for the favor to be returned. All the while, we have completely lost sight of our own intention to provide, give, support, contribute, create, nurture, etc. This is what makes the difference between a stone and a soft or open heart.
An important way you can check in with yourself is to ask, "why am I doing this?" and really, really take a look. If it is because you think you "ought to" then it is time to do some more digging. Do you need to change the story you are telling about this? Gain more awareness that it is your choice? Re-choose it newly with clarity about your intention? Or, is it something that you should abandon altogether?
These are very important questions. We have more for you in our course The Lost Art of Satisfaction. In this course, we share the technology of the Should Cycle and an exercise to help you be more aware of what nourishes you and what depletes you. This course is a self-paced online course that you can enroll in today.
To open and soft hearts