Monday, June 9, 2014

Five Senses of Generosity

This weekend I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed in generosity towards me to the likes that made me do some serious thinking. As raw as I may be, I try to speak the truth about who I am and whom I've become.

As a little girl, I grew up properly lower middle class. Having everything we needed but not always what we wanted. Sometimes this fits you like a glove when other times it creates a greed monster of those who know what growing up this way feels like. I was always wanting what just simply couldn't be afforded and looking back, it was nothing that I REALLY needed. Most of the time, I was highly satisfied with the level of "stuff" I had, but hoarded things in my closet, clinging on to "things" for the sake of "things". This is a "side effect" of growing up with just enough and not really realizing that just enough was perfect.

There's a family Christmas video, which I shared with my children so that they could see their Grandma Jennifer (RIP), hear her voice, and connect. What I ended up focusing on was my Mother spending her entire Christmas Eve embarrassed with me and "getting on my case" about my ungratefulness. I honed in on my eight year old self with such precision. Watching my every move, and realized that I was totally a product of my upbringing, however, I was simply an un-evolved greedy child.

I only got worst, as time may show. A greedy and wanting child turned in to an ungrateful and greedy preteen and so on. I decided at this moment, I was to leave this world of just enough because surely, living with my Dad would satisfy this hunger for more. Yes, temporarily... I was the only child he had to focus on at times and the want and greed would subside (I say this with the utmost love and admiration) but, my Dad was an enabler to my want and greed. He was very giving and obliging to my wants for whatever reason and despite being a pretty good kid, I still carried around this feeling of entitlement. I took advantage and was totally oblivious to my behavior.

Fast forward 17 years, and here we are. A new era of Renee with a different feel. An evolved realization of what I had been and how I feel today. Sure, I've been put through so serious shit and really haven't left that tendency to think locally, not globally (Thanks Bio-Dome; yes I love that movie. No shame). But with some serious mindfulness that the world isn't just mine and there is something bigger than me and the things that are created in it. I HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED! Living in a one income household with my husband who makes a great salary but funds are allocated elsewhere, it makes for tight living. However, we totally live within our means and discuss everyday how we have what we need and how wonderful our life is with just enough. We have to remind ourselves daily, really. Because the wants are easy to creep into life like a plague of envy and ego that makes you crazy and frustrated. Who wants to live like that? Not me! Not Anymore!

Overwhelmed was the story of the weekend as generosity runneth over. So much so, that it brought me to tears. These thoughts swirled through my head as I was on my way to Linus's baby shower. See, I have had this personal goal for quite some time to explode with appreciation and generosity because sometimes how I am feeling inside wasn't overflowing with how I was perceived. In my head, I rehearsed like a schizophrenic on how I was to make sure that gratefulness flew out of me and enthusiasm was expressed. I feel these things in every moment, however I'm just learning how to socially project that.

To me in the last month, Generosity is more than just a simple act of giving. To me, generosity has flowed through my senses like a river flows over a dam, awaking my need to be grateful and see each moment as pure. Shaking out all doubt of others and seeing everyone and everything right where they/it is. Filling up my bucket of pure appreciation for the people who choose to be a part of my life, as I have chosen them.  The senses of generosity are often numb when not awoken with mindfulness.

This weekend my senses were alive and this is what it feels like to me in a mindful way...

A room full of women and children who smiled largely when I walked into it. It was decorated with blues and greens and bow ties. A melting pot of people that choose to be in my life and came to celebrate a new milestone that will forever change me. A house full of things, given and purchased as a ritual to people having children only to continue this notion that a village is what it takes to keep our spirits alive. Things needed and appreciated as they are because they were given in love.

The laughter of games and jokes that filled a space with love and happiness. Simple and customary words of gratitude, and appreciation. Reading kind words from cards purchased to express how each individual chose to celebrate that day. Reading those words aloud to share each persons world with the next. 

Hugs by the millions in gestures of hello and goodbye, to simply show how our presence is adored and missed. Hands held in recognition to loss but yet, to express joy for the new story being created out of a storm that we had all come through together in our own ways.

The time taken to make meticulous yummy treats for people to enjoy filling up the air and bellies with goodness. The babies clean skin and clothes that give off an aroma almost addicting to the brain.

 And...Food shared together in the spirit of celebration to fill our hearts and tummies.

I've barely even touched the surface of how I am filled with love and admiration of the people who have shown me that I have so much to be grateful for. People who rallied around me during my darkest times when Lucy was born have all become a part of her story too. Lucy being born just precisely at the right time to make the biggest impact in the world... my world. What she has accomplished in this short year since her birth has changed people. Has changed me. Never would I have known a world of such love and generosity if it not for my littlest.

These lessons that I have learn and this love and understanding of being in the place where I am right now, with exactly what I need, is the first lesson of Lucy's legacy that I will pass on to her brother, Linus.

Thanks be to my family, chosen or otherwise for being a part of our day. -With Love.

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