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    avacad0
    Participant

    Since way back from when I can recall, I had this almost like obsession of always being the one sharing and giving to others. It’s almost like an obsession, my value in my eyes is based on how much I do for others. The problem is that it’s not balanced. I cannot for the life of me accept favors. It’s such a challenge for me. I almost get feelings of anxiety when I need to reach out for help. Although I know what it stems from it still doesn’t make it easier. I wish I can be more balanced. It’s not really a relationship always being the one to give, but I cannot help it, it’s my way of feeling valued and useful. When people are nice to me and do me favors it overwhelms me to no end. I become so edgy and uptight.

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    Suave
    Admin

    Been there, still doing that. I’ve struggled with this for many years but have finally started changing my approach (after having experienced an incredible revelation deep in the Amazon rain-forest)

    I’ve learned that to give, we really need to learn to take. The Torah hints at this concept many times, for instance; ואהבת לרעך כמוך – Love thy neighbor as yourself  – Not more than yourself, not less than yourself – you cannot truly love others before learning to love yourself unconditionally.

    Judaism advocates kindness and giving. Sometimes the best way to give is by allowing others give to us and take.

    The Talmud (Kiddushin 7a) discusses a case in which a commoner wished to transfer his own property to a wealthy, prominent man. Simultaneously, the wealthy man was given a separate small gift by the commoner. This wealthy man ‘had it all’ and was not inclined to accept gifts. However, he made an exception in this case.

    The word Kabbalah literally translates as receiving, our purpose as created beings is to receive the Devine gift of life. R’ Nachman of Breslov expounds on that concept by explaining that we are in a constant state of receiving and we need to do our utmost to be consciously aware of that at all times.

    Rabbi Akiva once said to his favorite disciple, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, “More than the calf wants to suck, the cow longs to suckle” (Talmud Pesachim 112a). The euphoric high that we get from giving is something we can train ourselves to feel when taking too.

    R’ Shlomo Carlebach (who’s yahrtzeit is tonight) spoke very highly of the ‘holy beggers’. They enable us to give, they turn us into conduits of Hashem’s constant stream of Shefa. In essence, they are the real winners because they need to take in order for one to give.

    I often find that by taking I’m really giving . For instance, a friend keeps ‘giving’ me advice even though it’s obvious to me that he is not an expert in that field. I listen & make him feel appreciated simply because by me taking his advice I am actually turning him into a ‘giver’.

    I wish I had the time to ‘give’ you more, but right now I’m allowing myself to take (some much needed rest)

    This may just turn into my favorite thread here.

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    RomanticYente
    Participant

    WOW! I totally resonate with this. I love giving to people and sharing and being a good person, but it is so hard for me to ask favors or ask for things in return. I feel like im not worthy enough to them to ask such a favor. it makes me anxious. i feel like they dont like me or something and they will find any way to turn me down or say no. i get so insecure about those things. i think we just have to develop a thinking that people are actually on our side and want to do nice things for us. if we do so much for them, they would want to do the same for us whenever we need something. it takes time. ive been struggling with this forever and im only starting to attempt to change, but im hoping the payoff will be worth it. i hope this helps!!

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    Carver
    Participant

    I’ve learned that to give, we really need to learn to take.

    No truer words have been spoken. Incredible.

     

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you for the validation that I am not alone in this. So true that we cannot love others before we love ourselves. That is one of my secret struggles when someone does show liking to me I cannot really accept it because I don’t believe I deserve it. I grew up totally neglected and was never complimented nor tuned into. I turned my deep rooted fear of abandonment into an obsession with taking care of everyone so that I could feel that I deserve to just “be.”

    I am having a very hard time loving myself, I have this deep fear that I am extremely unlovable. I am a wife and a mother and I feel depleted, because I need to constantly give and i cannot feel any loving feelings inside my heart. It is so painful at times.

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    CTab
    Participant

    I am having a very hard time loving myself, I have this deep fear that I am extremely unlovable.


    @avacad0
    . First, I want to point out that these two points are not the same thing. You don’t need other people’s validation to love yourself. Sometimes we can only find ways to love ourselves when it’s in spite of what others might think of us.

    But it sounds like your way of coping with these feelings is to do everything in your power to “make” people like you by giving, giving, giving. And when the roles are reversed…maybe you feel as if these so-called friends pity you?

    Whatever the case may be it’s important that you’re aware of this (I hesitate to say vice, but) vice, because this can become so much more than that: it can be milestone for you.

    Because once you’ve finally learnt to love yourself, this habit won’t have any more power over you. So stay strong! You can do it.

     

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    Chavy
    Participant

    In response to CTab's post #5176:

    I also struggle with and constantly need others validation/approval to feel good/good enough. Like @CTab said, once we love ourselves, we’re free to do/be without having feelings of not being good enough. @Avacad0, I really feel your pain as i’m also struggling with feelings of low self-esteem and I want to tell you that although I don’t know who you are, you are loveabole. You’re a mother and wife who’s doing amazing work trying to take care of your mental/emotional health. You also have positive qualities that make you the special person you are. Although it’s hard to take, you will be able to find that strength one day. I believe in you!

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you for your support! It really means alot.

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    RomanticYente
    Participant

    In response to Chavy's post #5177:

    wow this put such a smile on my face

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    Carver
    Participant

    You’re a mother and wife who’s doing amazing work trying to take care of your mental/emotional health

    It’s funny how the most thankless jobs are also some of the most important.

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    Chavy
    Participant

    In response to Carver's post #5201:

    Yes, that’s very true.

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    RomanticYente
    Participant

    In response to Carver's post #5201:

    agreed!!

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    CTab
    Participant

    In response to Chavy's post #5177:

    Well said!

    When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all–that’s why it’s always easier to know when things go wrong, without also acknowledging that, at the end of the day we’ve still accomplished so much with our lives.

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    Chavy
    Participant

    In response to CTab's post #5252:

    Yes, it’s so much easier to stick to the negative and to what didn’t work out as opposed to the positive and what did work out. Even and especially small things. (I’m talking to myself;) I’m happy I was able to help you all!

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    Dr. Joanne Royer
    Participant

    AvocadO well put.

    the bottom line is how do you FEEL in giving. Is there expectation associated with it?

    and if there is, why? what’s the thoughts you have around the expectation. just an assumption on my part.

    I work often with others helping them learn the boundary between “I want to….” and “I need to….”

    they are subtle but the “I want to” is unconditionally motivated.  and the “I need to” is with expectation attached. Once you can start to differentiate between the two, you’ll get better at the boundary and not perhaps feel taken advantage of or have the weight of expectation.

    next time you reach to do something for someone, ask yourself “do I want to?” or “do I feel i need to”…….sometimes we will do out of “i need to”…like going to aunt suzy’s every friday, because she’s alone and that’s the family commitment.  the key is finding more balance within the “I want to”.

    hope that makes sense. LMK if I only confused you more! thx for the post.

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