I learned to be in service in a twelve-step program but even before that I learned to give from my Mother. She was very generous with what ever we had. One of my early memories is the smell of Mom’s homemade bread and all the neighborhood kids waiting for it to be served hot. My Mom had a special place in her heart for people less fortunate than us. She always took them in and shared our little space, warmth and food. I say little because there was eight of us kids living in a two-bedroom home. I learned to nurture and give to others at a very young age. I felt the warm fussy feelings I imagine my Mom felt.
It doesn’t surprise me I have a career requiring me to listen intently to others who may be in distress and need support to get through life. I am also a temporary Mom to teens who need a short-term, supportive and safe environment. I love what I do today, however there was a time in my life I felt all used up and had nothing left to give.
I was raising two children mostly on my own. I lived far way from my biological family and felt separate and alone a lot. This was a time when I had to reach out to others and ask for help. I found this quite hard at first and realize today giving came natural, but receiving did not. I now realize I had mistrust that stemmed from being raised with a father who had fear of being used by others. This model of fear was part of creating a negative belief that people would use me if I let them come too close. What I am aware of now is I trusted people that where not trustworthy and did not trust those that where. This belief led me to the creation of lots of emotional and mental pain.
My Mom had also modeled to me; I don’t deserve to receive. This she modeled through living in abusive situations and stuffing feelings down with substances. My Mom was raised in residential school, had a very abusive up bringing and she was only doing to her self what she was taught about herself: she is unworthy of love and deserved to be punished. Although my Mom taught me to be of service to others, she didn’t know how to teach we also deserved to receive Love, Peace and Goodness.
Finally after painful lesson after painful lesson I became extremely willing to heal whatever stood in my way of true joy and peace. My healing started with giving up addictive substances and then giving up addictive relationships. I was instructed to reach out for help instead of reaching for something that was going to cause pain. I call this part of my life "the bridge that had to be built to get me to the next part of my healing journey”. Once I built the "bridge” and walked across it, I was surprised to find all these wonderful people with so much knowledge willing to guide me to places within myself to uncover truths from within. The old stories had go. I learned that giving and receiving are the same joy.
I am grateful today I have had these experiences and I am aware of the fact I am not my behaviors and no one else is either. I am grateful today more people in the world are becoming more conscious and awake to there true essence. The realization of, I am much more than a physical being today, and spiritually we are all connected, has helped me to accept peace, accept joy, and accept life just as it is this moment. I know today to have peace you have to teach peace. I am eternally grateful for learning how to receive because I get to give others the opportunity to feel good about giving to me.