When you give, you must release.

’Tis the season when it’s customary to give gifts. Though it’s important to remember, you only give the gift. Once something is given the ownership is no longer yours.

It’s quite common to want to know the gift given is appreciated, adored, loved, and so on. And even more common to want to know how monetary gifts are and will be used.

So a challenge has been created. The challenge of giving all gifts freely, without strings or the need to know. I know it’s polite to send and hence receive a thank you when a gift is received and given. Though polite, responsible, and appreciated, it also cannot be expected as a part of the condition in giving a gift. If that is your qualification, that’s fine, only once. However, if you suspect you will not receive a thank you note or know from past experience, don’t give a gift to that person if the lack of a thank you creates energy distress. Or if you decide to give one anyway, give with this thought: is this something you are willing to do and suspend your need? If not, decide it is alright not to give. Should you choose to give anyway, realize you also open yourself up to the resulting conditions you place upon the situation.

Even though the challenge is to give with no strings, this does not exonerate a receiver from being thoughtful and responsible. What this practice does is release the giver from useless energy binds. By this practice, an aware receiver becomes the owner of energy baggage, not you. You free your energy.

Neither does releasing your gift to the receiver release the receiver from completing the energy circle and demonstrating appreciation for ALL gifts received. Not all gifts require a thank you or a long speech of praise. Nevertheless, all gifts that
carry a show of appreciation are complete and close the give-and-receive energy circle. And remember how enjoyable it is to know that what’s given was appreciated.

So many will not see themselves as controlling the outcome of a gift. Let me explain. For those who don’t, here are a few things to think about: what are your feelings about how graciously the gift will be received? Are you resentful when you don’t receive a thank you? Do you want to hear how the gift is used and appreciated or expect to see it in someone’s home? Do you expect to know how a money gift is used or pass judgment when it is not used as you thought it should be? Think about your expectations, and you can fill in other questions, expectations, and conditions for yourself.

A simple thank you is essential because remember, someone put effort in giving you something. This thank you does not mean you are obliged to like the gift. Some  gifts are far from the taste of the receiver. Though this may not say much for the giver’s
knowledge of the one they are giving the gift to, it does deserve acknowledgement. The acknowledgement is because there was a gift given and received. If you can’t appreciate being thought of, give the gift back. Though this is not generally a socially
acceptable action. However, it is an honest action if you, the receiver, cannot appreciation being thought of.

Recently I was reminded of a few more important areas to release. One is the exception of receiving a gift because you gave one. This practice has many reasons for existing. The first is when people have an already established practice of exchanging gifts. If one or the other changes that practice, it may create complications. It’s best when both parties have discussed this before so that neither expects to give or receive. However, there have been times when one party changed the practice without prior warning to the other. When this happens, it must be said the energy exchange cannot depend on receiving or giving, but if it does if the flow of clear energy is disrupted. If you are the receiver, it’s still important to receive with grace. And if you are the giver, it’s important to release the expectation of receiving a gift in the exchange. If you give, don’t automatically expect to receive. And do not expect to receive with equal value. If equal value is important, then make sure all parties know the dollar amount to ensure the balance of flow. However, my greatest advice is to give gifts with the joy of giving and receiving a warm thank you. Release your need to make sure all is equal. Gift exchange is equal when all is given and received with joy, warmth, heart, and clear intent.

Another part of this release of expectations is regifting. If you gave something that does not mesh with the receiver, they may very well regift it. They may know a person who will excitedly receive it. Though if you are a regifter, it is usually best to try to eliminate all evidence of it first being someone else’s before passing it along. The receiver might be honest enough to tell the giver they are passing it along, thought that is not usually done. And along with this is the giver who looks through their house to find something to give: as in, “Oh I haven’t used this so I can give it to…”. I wonder if it’s that necessary to give for the sake of giving, to have to find an unused item just for the sake of giving. It’s not an honest gift if you are giving for the sake of giving. Give with intent so it can be received with grace.

This all said, it does not mean a personal preowned item does not make an ideal gift. I have a friend who carefully chose pieces of jewelry owned by herself or a deceased family member to give to another family member. The intent was clear and each piece was carefully chosen to go to someone who would receive it with both grace and appreciative joy.

This is unlike the other side of giving. I’ve given gifts, both physical and monetary, and felt slighted. In the case of the money gift: I gave money, as a gift, to someone who complained of being so broke she didn’t have money for food. Then I was told she used the money for something that seemed to me very frivolous. I felt taken advantage of. And I learned a valuable lesson – well three lessons. One lesson was the need to release the outcome, another not to give money to that person under those circumstances because it bothered me that much, and third, maybe that was exactly what she needed to feel whole. I gave. It was given, so it was her choice how to use it. And for the physical gifts, this also applies. I try to choose specific gifts for the intended receiver. So when they seem to really like the gift and use it with joy, I am pleased. But when that same gift a year or two later ends up in a rummage sale or the
person might have forgotten I gave that to them and they give it forward, it can be a bit hard to feel like being a gracious giver. I admit these kinds of circumstances have challenged me and hence I’ve need to evaluate whether this is a person I want to continue to exchange gifts with.

I’m not sure if it’s fair to ask for a gift back. If that is something that seems right to you, then do it, but expect to be rejected. This goes along with families settling estates. I’ve heard family members argue over who gave what as a gift and therefore who should get that item back. The “I gave it so I should get it back now” routine. I don’t personally agree with this thinking. I believe you give and release. If others support your desire to have that item, fine, but without the expectation you are owed that item back because you are the giver.

Releasing gift expectations can be very challenging. It is also freeing. And at times, it brings up a need for evaluation. Gifts of all sorts that are given with exception are given with strings attached. And it’s the giver who is bound by the strings. Binding strings bind energy. Release your gifts to have freer, clearer energy flow.


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