Is it a gift, or a non-verbal contract with strings attached? I try to be ever conscious of my behaviors, for example, I stay in therapy, I continue reading books that promote emotional well-being (typically C.G. Jung, Robert Johnson, James Hillman and even the “pop” psychology stuff), and yet I still get stuck in my own ego. Recently, I noticed my expectation around gift-giving. I purchased a birthday gift for a friend, and never heard anything back. I know the gift was recieved, and no extenuating circumstances were evident; by most standards, I am considered a generous gift giver. I got pissy.
How dare someone not acknowledge my time and effort to remember them – my life is extremly busy too! It’s not just the monetary price I paid, but the principle. My ego completely clouded my perception of the situation. I asked myself: Do I give gifts to get return praise? What is my expectation when I give? OUCH! These hard questions (at least for me, maybe not for my more enlightened friends) forced me to re-evaluate my motives regarding giving. What I know consciously now is this: I want to give without strings or expectation. I want to joyfully give from my very highest spiritual self. I want to give because it is one more way to promote kindness and love – which creates the ripple effect and perpetuates these highest Univeral Laws. So, if the recipient does not respond, it matters not. I acted from my highest Self.