The Gift of Giving

This time of year always brings me to tears for the love of giving. In my addiction my self talk was always, “What’s in it for me?” never thinking about others in the world, only about my selfish needs. I could be heard saying, “It’s all about me.” Thankfully for my higher power today I hear the needs of others and offer assistance whenever possible. Recovery has taught me to look outside of myself and lend a helping hand. Whether it’s support for my wife or a suffering addict, God has shed His light on me and has blessed me with listening to others. I now hear, whereas before I heard nothing at all. I see now whereas before I was blinded by my own selfish wants. Today, my will is not my own, I follow a higher calling which has taught me to sacrifice my own desires in order to help others. I can’t thank my Higher Power enough for this gift. He has shown me that the rewards are worth more than gold when I help someone else and now I share my gift with all who follow me. Thank you Papa

7 thoughts on “The Gift of Giving

  1. “Service to others is the payment you make for your space here on earth.”
    Mohammed Ali

    We learn in SAA that the 12 Step Program is a spiritual program. The more I listen and read, the more I realize my own spirituality and connect with my Higher Power. In my readings on religion it is interesting that, among other things, they all have in common the concept of practicing your faith through service to others. For some it is one of the most important acts you can do. I think that this is a big reason why the SAA meetings are so powerful for me. We give of ourselves to others when we listen and share in the meetings. I believe I get back far more than I give, and I hear from others that this is true for them also.

  2. The “Gift of Giving”, I thought I was always giving; to my husband, to my children, to my parents, siblings, friends, bosses, co-workers, students, lovers and acting out partners. In my addiction I made myself a martyr, but not the heroic selfless martyr. My martyr was a “shadow martyr”. I did all those supposedly selfless acts so others would see how “good” I was. If I do this… he will care about me, if I do that… she will love me… always giving of myself. Now I realize I was not really giving myself, I was hiding from myself and my various issues by not looking at my own needs and hiding in meeting the wants of those around me to feel better about myself.

    Now nearly 14 months after stepping into the SAA rooms I am learning how not to “give” me away, not only emotionally, but physically, as I did in the height of my addiction. Now I see myself as a gift from my Higher Power, HE has a purpose for me and I am His gift to those around me. BUT I am of no use to others if I am not centered within myself and not balanced with my higher power.

    Today I turn myself over to my higher power to do with me as HE will. I have been given the gift of powerlessness. Trust me in the beginning I thought powerlessness was no gift, however as I learn to trust HIS care over me, HIS plan for me, HIS gift of giving me this insane disease of sex addiction I grow stronger and stronger in my ability to truly and selfless give. Not trying to victimize myself as a martyr and continue the ugly cycle of NO self worth.

    So as my higher power continues to give to me HIS unconditional love I am learning how to genuinely love. Love myself, my husband, my children, my parents and siblings and all the other amazing people in my life. Even those that truly TRULY push my buttons because deep down I know that is a gift of giving from my higher power for a lesson I have not yet learned.

  3. Once again a post on which I have never shared. Normally I hunt and peck for a topic that I can relate to for the night. However, tonight I decided to just point my mouse to a month and see where it took me and this is what I got. And it is a good topic on which to share. For me giving was always a means of manipulation and control. I always had to be the nice guy. I always had to have everyone like me. Towards that end I would go out of my way to make sure that I always gave anything possible to anyone even when it was in some cases overboard. To some it might seem that I was just being nice. But in reality I was trying to control their opinions of me through my behavior. I don’t know if it worked or not, only they can say. All I can tell you is that I am glad that I don’t have to live like that anymore because it was a lot of work. Today I live my life for me. And today I can do a lot of giving. However, today my giving has much more meaning. Today if I give something to someone it is because they are very special to me and I want to share something with them or want them to know how much they mean to me or want them to have something that I think they would enjoy. But I also give of myself today. I can give of myself because there is “myself” to give. As a result of working this program, I have rebuilt myself into a healthier person. I say healthier and not healthy, because I do not presume to think that I am done getting healthy. I always want to improve and strive to continue to get healthier so I will continue to get healthier as I progress in my recovery and continue to work my program. So as I give of myself I can help others both in the program and not in the program in whatever ways that are needed. Either way, they are getting something out of it and I am always getting something out of it. The bottom line is that as a result of working this program one day at a time, and the blessings that I have received from my Higher Power, I can now experience the gift of giving and it is yet one more blessing on top of all the others.

  4. “A long time ago, in a faraway place, my son taught me more about giving than I have ever learned…”

    WE were sitting around the Christmas tree sharing and opening gifts when that 9 year old boy started crying. I asked him what was wrong and he said that he had not gotten a present for Jackie, one of his sisters. The presents he got were insignificant when compared to the one he forgot. That day it was forever impressed on me how much important that giving was than getting. Sometimes it takes a little boy to teach you things that are so important in life.

  5. As others have mentioned, it is difficult for me to tell the difference between my “generosity” and my “co-addiction”. My desire to be liked or admired used to be the seat of my “generosity”. And often it was a manipulative tactic to further my sex addiction. In other words, the gifts that I made weren’t exactly “pure”.

    The origin of that, I have discovered in my reading and therapy, is that I believed that I couldn’t get what I needed if I were only my poor self. I had to give something to get something. Seldom out of the true heaven sent graciousness of my heart. Now I know that I can give because I want to share what I have with others, and I don’t care if I receive anything directly back from them.

    It’s a big difference. And I feel much better for it.

  6. In one of my first sessions with my current therapist he asked what the flight assistance states about the gas mask before the plane takes off. I replied to put on YOUR mask first and then help others if help is needed. I have to PUT MY SOBRIETY FIRST. If I don’t stay sober I am of no use to my family, friends, or fellows. I am in a place of transition, where I have to begin helping others with their gas mask. It is a tough transition, because I’ve been focused on putting my own gas mask on for the past year.

    But a friend in recovery stated that a lot of people spend most of their recovery standing up. He stated that helping others is learning how to walk again. As much as I want to resist it, its time to start walking.

  7. In one of the sofloesh meetings last night a brother smiled and said he knew I wanted to double dip on share which is something I do every meeting. But he then stated that he loved listening to my shares and he got a lot of inspiration from my shares which helped him stay in recovery. I was shocked and amazed that so new in my own recovery I could inspire another brother in the fellowship. I felt such gratitude to him for saying that and it has stuck with me through today. I remember what my sponsor has said to me many times. You cannot keep what you have been given if you don’t give it away freely. And that’s what I have been doing without realizing. I attend the meetings to help me stay in recovery. Yet I had no idea that what I shared would help others. It makes me feel so good inside to be able to do that and makes me further committed to my recovery. I know the stronger I get the more I can give back. So different when in addiction I gave or so I thought but it was always self serving. Now I give out of selflessness and with humility. I love my recovery. Thank you God for the strength you have given me every day to continue living in recovery.

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