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What Charity Means

Marilyn Briant's The Pax Principles is a Red Ribbon Winner 2020 The Wishing Shelf Book Awards and Bronze Medal Winner Living Now Awards 2021


Charity Is More Than Giving

Perhaps it is because I have been giving so much recently. Have wanted to help people who are hungry or struggling financially. That is why I was thinking about charity. That is why I went the next step of actually looking up the meaning of this often-used word. That is when I found the word charity comprises kindness, tolerance, humanity, compassion, generosity, altruism, and goodwill.

And I admit it surprised me. I thought it simply meant giving. Had not realized charity encompasses all these positive values and behaviors. Had not given much thought to the fact that aside from its positive effects on others, charity promotes within me wonderful feelings of well-being and happiness. As well as deep inner peace.

When charity guides the way in which I live, I am choosing not to be judgmental. I am offering acceptance in place of the need to control another’s words or actions. I am looking at the world through compassionate eyes and offering others a helping hand, with no strings attached.

Charity Is A Choice Of Unconditional Love

I admit it isn’t always an easy choice. I sometimes feel the pull (unconsciously) of the negative energy there is in others. And occasionally I feel drained, get sucked-in to what they are focusing on and creating for themselves. If someone else is acting entitled, angry or rude, my initial feelings may be to withdraw, or respond with anger and rudeness too.

But when I pause, I connect with my soul self, which having assessed how I am feeling asks, “Is this is the best choice?” It is in then, in that tiny moment of hesitation, I can choose to go in a more loving direction.

Without expecting it, I realize that with charity at the core of my being, I am rewarded by joy and peace. It feels good to perceive what is going on around me with love. Feels powerful to refuse to allow negativity to affect the way I feel.

Being connected to my soul energy means I acknowledge some of those around me are living with fear in their hearts. So, charity gives me the strength to accept them as they are, even though there are times it is difficult to hold back my feelings. Times when my tears fall as I remember the pain that comes from living this way.

But if I am saddened by another’s behavior or hearing their words which create despair and dis-ease, and feel frustration, I don’t give in to the exasperation. I quell the desire to scream at the top of my voice, there is a different way. I do not yell. Instead, I once again suggest, “Maybe there’s a connection between your thoughts and the resulting reality?”

I choose to be non-judgmental, to stay anchored in peace and love. It doesn’t matter if my words are rejected. Or I can sense the heart is closed. I am silent, realizing each of us comes to this knowledge at the right time, in the best way for us.

Charity Guides Different Behaviors

I choose to go inside myself and connect with Love. I reaffirm my intention to treat others as I would like to be treated. I remind myself of my own once tightly held beliefs which brought me only confusion and suffering. Ask myself, what is the kindest thing I can do or say. Or simply encourage myself to let go of the need to feel sad, to control anything or anyone, or to feel upset about what is going on around me.

I remind myself about when I first started observing my thoughts. How I began to see that often they were directed by fear and false beliefs about who I am. How gradually I was able to challenge them, to open my heart and begin changing them. And how along the way I learned that thoughts truly are the energy of creation. That what each of us believes to be true, is true! And we create our own reality from these beliefs.

Charity Is Life Changing

What a difference that made in my life! I was able to offer loving kindness instead of choosing to feel angry, offended, hurt or impatient with others. I realized time and time again, in each and every moment I was, and am, being asked to determine how I want to live. Do I want to come from fear or love?

Of course, it was hard sometimes. Difficult to change my thoughts and behavior. But it got easier when I accepted my happiness and peace is up to me. I can decide what I want to perceive or feel, when I go about my daily life and interact with others.

Charity means I have unconditional love in my heart, and from that place inside me, I give charity to others.

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