Have you ever had someone do something for you and the whole time they did it, they reminded you of how much it put them out? While they may have been helping physically, it felt uncomfortable to be around them. People can actually make the experience so uncomfortable that the very act of receiving their help is constricting. These people either consciously or unconsciously use such situations to make you feel small and constrict the freedom that should be present in any interaction.
You probably know someone else who will do anything they can for you and always make it feel effortless. They always make you feel like you can ask them anything with no judgment or discomfort. These are the people that seem to have it all together. They aren’t seething with anger and when they help, there are no passive aggressive manipulations involved: no guilt trips going on.
The second type of person lives in a state of graciousness. Obviously, this is the type of person that is better to be around. Even better, this is the type of person that it is worth striving to be. There is much more freedom in the state of graciousness than in the petty world of ego and competition. It is like floating in your own sovereign state of peace.
It is possible that graciousness can be taught. It is more likely that it can be learned by example. I think maybe the way to effectively be gracious is by learning its opposite. By knowing which of our behaviors are NOT gracious, and just stopping those behaviors that were learned somewhere along the way.
Here is a very short list of things that may need to go so that we can live in a state of higher freedom.
- Judging or belittling someone who comes to you for help.
- Explaining how magnanimous you are, or feeling magnanimous for helping someone.
- Trying to make a person feel small by letting them know how much you have put them out.
- Giving off a sense of superiority over another for helping them.
- Using your time with that person, as you help them, to dump your problems onto them.
I know we all feel that this is an obvious thing. But how many of us have made our family members feel guilty for our service to them? How many of us have categorized people as less valuable because it seems they have less to offer us this lifetime. How many of us are so caught up in our own mental chew toys (problems) , that we forget to realize what another must be going through?
When I give the gift of my service, I make it seem like an effortless hour for me. People don’t realize that one session may be very tiring for me and take a lot of preparation. There is no way (and no reason) to convey to someone that when I assist in a session, I am sometimes literally going to battle for them in the subtle worlds. There is no way to convey it. There is no way to convey the incredible training that I have endured to make my assistance seem so effortless and to keep it as light and nonthreatening as possible. In sharing my gifts, I have become gracious.
If I barter with someone, it is usually another level of graciousness. I don’t need anything so the exercise is for them to have an opportunity to show gratitude for what they have been given. It is so disappointing for me when someone does not live up to task. I am sad for them, not myself.
Thank goodness for those special souls who really live in grace. They usually love animals, see the value in nature, are less quick to give an opinion, find fault less than most, and maybe even hum to themselves when they are carrying out their tasks. The world needs to see more of them. So those of you who are out there humming to yourself, being kind to others and caught up with the beauty of the day, thank you for being a gracious teacher!