Helping Others without Hurting Yourself

A woman who recently called my show said that she was about to lose her home, because she spent all of her time volunteering to help migrant workers find shelter and food. She'd invited migrant workers to stay at her home. But since she made no money from volunteering, she was unable to pay her own bills and was in danger of being homeless herself. 

This caller was an extreme example of what many of us lightworkers experience when our helpfulness becomes detrimental to ourselves. It's a process called co-dependency, meaning that your whole focus is upon doing for others. Many confuse this with love and selfless service. The clear distinction between the two is that with selfless service, there is NO expectation of a payback. 

With co-dependency, there's a (sometimes unconscious) belief that you'll be rewarded for your goodness. And when others keep taking from you, instead of giving back, you get mad. Really mad. The anger may stay below the surface, since after all, angels are supposed to be sweet all the time, right? But the anger bleeds through in self-destructive or passive-aggressive behavior. 

The definition of co-dependency is: "Doing for others what they can do for themselves." Always with co-dependency, there's an underlying desire to control the other person through your niceness. "If I do this for you, then you better be good to me," is the unconscious contract we expect from the other person. 

You've undoubtedly discovered that there are people who are Givers and then there are Takers. Sometimes, we train people to be Takers, by doing everything for them, and insisting that we don't need any help in return. In other words, by playing Superwoman or Superman roles in our relationships. Other times, Givers are attracted to Takers (and vice versa) like a lock-and-key. 

Givers are truly grateful recipients; whereas Takers have a sense of entitlement. Givers consider other people's needs (which it's important to balance with getting your own needs met); while Takers don't even realize that others have needs. Givers feel extreme joy in giving; Takers feel resentment or obligation while giving. 

The Archangel Michael is a resource for gaining hidden strength in saying "No" to over-the-line requests, and helping you to be lovingly assertive with people who seem to be taking advantage of you. Michael protects you from Takers, and brings you friends and partners who are Givers like yourself. 

In my book, Divine Magic, I discussed the balance of male and female energies. Male energy sends outwardly, while female energy is receptive. Both are equally important. Receiving allows you to recharge your batteries, while giving lets you radiate joy, light, and love to others. Today, spend time both receiving and giving. When someone offers to help you or to give you something, make yourself say "Yes." Receive their gift guilt-free, knowing that you have just allowed someone else to be a Giver. (Givers require recipients, albeit grateful ones). 

What is the balance of Giving and Taking within your primary relationships? Do you have Givers or Takers in your life? How do you maintain balance between giving and receiving?



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Doreen Virtue

International best-selling author Doreen Virtue is a doctor of psychology and lifelong clairvoyant who has written extensively about angels, psychic development, and mind-body-spirit topics.

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