Shavasana in the City by chubbyskinnybrowngirl
Learning to Share
February 19, 2015
We celebrated my beautiful niece, Jordan’s third birthday last month. It was so cute and so endearing to watch the kids all play together; kids play with such abandonment and freedom. It was interesting to watch one of the parents’ teach her son to share one of the toys Jordan got (well the toy his family gifted to her that he wanted to take back home for himself).
When a child begins to become more self-aware, he begins to learn possession. This usually happens between the ages of 2-3. Huh, interesting! The moment we begin to see ourselves as a separate “I” from those around us, our natural inclination, as shown by the instincts of young children, is to become possessive of what’s ours and what belongsto us. It would almost seem then, that we need to be conditioned to share, as we don’t seem naturally programmed to. Funny how these old habits die hard. (So I won’t punish myself too deeply for behaving in ways that maybe came naturally to me thirty some years ago…).
In my own defense, I can almost understand one’s possessiveness over finite resources. I mean, come on! I’m down to my last few pieces of this delicious dark chocolate bar! AS IF I’m giving a piece away!
Okay well maybe that’s “finite” in a subjective/ridiculous sense. Possessiveness assumes finiteness, or scarcity. It’s that fear of giving away something I won’t be able to get back. But it’s one thing to feel this way over inanimate objects (or delicious dark chocolate bars)…but what about feeling possessive over living and breathing things? What about feeling possessive over relationships or people in our lives? Are they too, finite resources? Part of me wants to say yes. I’ve had many relationships, romantic or not, come to a conclusion in my life. I’ve seen people come and people go without ever returning…I’m sure experiencing that over the years creates a knee jerk reaction of wanting to keep what’s mine, just that, mine.
My husband is so supportive and loving. He has so many wonderful gifts and sometimes I want to selfishly hoard all that goodness to myself; relish in his attention and savour it as if it were mine and mine alone. I’m sure what drives that is an underline fear of scarcity or insecurity stemming from my past experiences. But learning to share for me means stepping beyond those boundaries (and fears) and sharing his gifts with the world, in essence allowing him the freedom to express himself and be himself without fear of that affecting his relationship to me. Sharing stems from a value of abundance. So I ask myself, what driving force do I want motivating my life and relationships? Scarcity or Abundance? Maybe I’ve defaulted into protecting or possessing my relationships, but when I dig deeper, I would rather act out of love not fear, so it’s time for me to stop hoarding my toys in the corner of the playground and learn to share instead. But it’s not just learning to share what’s outside of me, but what’s inside of me too.
A few weeks ago in a Friday Night Blissology Happy Hour class with Michellene, she started our warm up with a fun dance party, and asked people to spontaneously go into the middle of the room and do a dance that the rest of us would follow until the next person went up… had I been in the safety of just my peeps, I would have gone up in a heartbeat being the goof ball that I am…but in front of “strangers”…could I share myself with an unfamiliar group? Walk out to the edge of that ledge and jump?....Sigh I didn’t.
At the age of 37 it's sometimes easy to slip into an “I've got it all figured out” mentality. Sometimes I find myself resistant not only to sharing some relationships in my life, but sharing myself too. Sometimes I don’t feel soft, permeable or free. Sometimes I feel hard, tied down and resistant. There’s always a fear of being judged, unaccepted, corrected etc.. but maybe that too comes from a fear of scarcity or insecurity? Maybe I worry that I won’t be able to give enough or be enough for those around me? But again, in not opening myself, I again, shut out the potential of abundance; in all of the ways I can continue to discover, learn, grow, put myself out there and be amazed. Sharing myself means letting those guards down; the possessiveness of my own being, and instead, opening myself. I want to be willing to be shaped, mentored and challenged by those around me.
If I could put a face to sharing, it would be my friend Martine. Martine is a beautiful social butterfly with an infectious energy. She opens herself indiscriminately and gets to know people indiscriminately. She is one of those people who is always open to diving in, learning new things and getting to know new people. She gives and takes freely. She treats everyone like family, and blend people like that too. Her friends are everybody's friends. When I see her she seems rich with all of these investments she has made in those around her, and rich with the investments people have made in her. She’s a solid example of being strengthened by the abundance of her sharing, not weakened.
So last month, when I listened to my cousin try and delicately correct her son into leaving Jordan’s gift for her, who knew it would resurface a lesson my Mom probably tried to ingrain in me when I was that age. We are never too old to keep learning…or should I say, relearning… <3