"If you feel any guilt about your choice, then you have allowed the ego’s goals to come between the real alternatives."
A Course in Miracles
The Choice to Give
You can be sure that you are giving with ego when you have any expectations of return, whether financially, emotionally or even spiritually. Love has no attachment. Even the thought attached to giving in the way of “being loved more if I give”, “being recognized as a better person in God’s eyes”, or “it’s just my responsibility and I should” are still signs that your ego is engaged.
Often giving is done unconsciously with the inner excuse that it’s the way it’s always been done in past. Whether doing things automatically because of cultural or family dynamics, to wake up and do them with more happiness and love means to start asking yourself why, when any discomfort starts happening. For example: Your family member asks to borrow money and you give it to them just because you are family. If the result is that you are resentful and believe they either didn’t thank you enough or you suffer in any way whether physically or emotionally, then it is not an act of love. True gifts have no attachment.
Taking a moment to check in to your motives is a step forward in no longer moving unconsciously through life and moving closer to acts of love, while at the same time letting go of your ego. Fulfillment does not come from giving more money, things or time, it comes from a true connection to pure love within you that can’t help but extend. That explains why people who have lots of money (or little) may give a lot away and yet still may remain unhappy or depressed.
Giving is effortless when done with love and doesn’t necessary equate to the giving of material things. Your thoughts about others whether spoken or not can also be received by another and have impact. Thoughts have energy, and as we are all connected, your thoughts are felt either consciously or not by another person. (Think about how it feels when you walk in on two people in the midst of finishing an argument and feel the energy)
What you cannot handle about yourself is often projected onto another. Sending negative thoughts about a person is the same as giving them ugliness yet it also reinforces yours. Seeing the truth about another, which is that they are only pure love regardless of what they are doing, and which is also what you are, is often difficult to see, especially if you don’t agree with their actions. Trying to remember that in all occasions everyone is doing the best they can with where they are at can help.
Giving and having are the same if you understand oneness. If you give love you are reinforcing what you already have. You are made from love, and once the ego is stripped away, that is what will only be remembered.
There is no sacrifice in love. Everyone has within them the ability to find happiness and remember who they are, despite their circumstances. By giving things to someone, yet still seeing them as a victim of the world, you are reinforcing your thoughts to them as well as believing in some way that you are a victim yourself. If you meet someone in need and you have the ability to give, then whether you give or not may be judged by the other person but not by God. God is perfect love and perfect love is unable to judge. It’s simply your choice.
Doing things out of guilt is not love.
When you give out of love it puts you closer to remembering who you are because you are also giving to yourself. Giving can simply mean changing your mind about someone. Once you do, your actions will become a little clearer. Fear often drives us to act, and charity, by the worlds view, may seem outwardly helpful, yet if you are not at peace within while giving, then something went amuck and your ego has become involved. You will be gently guided back to love through either an uncomfortable feeling, or another opportunity to see it differently.