You know that feeling of shock you get when someone describes you by a word you would never have associated with yourself? Something like “You look so happy” when you know you are anything but, or “you have been so helpful” when all you tried was to serve yourself.
For me the shock has come because of possession. I consider myself one of the most possessive people I know. So being described as “giving” has put me in the ironic position of justifying a weakness. Not a sin – for me that is pride – totally different subject.
If you also take into account (and I do!) that I don’t know what jealousy is, being possessive is an even bigger headache. So let’s analyze a bit.
I can give provided one of two things happen: one, I retain the object as such (loaning it to others for the duration) – like giving them a copy of a book I have read, enjoyed and considered appropriate; advice is another such object, so is expertise. Two, by giving I get even more in return – a present, for example, or the end of an irritation.
I can give even if those two things cannot happen, compelled by love – that is a gift, therefore wasn’t mine to begin with. Haven’t you been in love, and found the absolutely perfect gift? Even if you paid for it, did you ever consider it yours? Or were you just a conduit, helping the rightful owner take possession?
But then we have to define possession: have, own, control. Both in object and in spirit. Therefore it is by default something that is separate from you. Not only the object/spirit you possess, but the actual possession (An act? A state? A fact?). A more schizoid explanation of the separation of body, mind, spirit etc. I do not know! Think about it… you control yourself, don’t you? So you, yourself and the control exerted are three separate entities. Mad, innit?
But that separateness leads to questions like “what do you have? What do you control? And mind you, how do you do that?”
The clothes on my back, the salary I draw, the bed I sleep in… changeable. Childhood mementoes – more difficult to give. Ourselves or the people around us – let’s not joke about it!
So the giving is not so much of an object, although they are a start – and the easiest.
It is in the relationships where we have so much trouble giving. Managing expectations, so to speak.
I consider the people I love to be entitled to what I have to give, objects, advice, time, suppport etc. It is therefore my privilege to give so that everything should be normal. Note, it is not a prerogative. Nor can I lose. That object, the perfect gift, I cannot give it to anyone else. How could I say “I love you” if I am not prepared to share the time and the memories? We only ever should count at the end of a relationship.
Fingers crossed, it would have been worth it!