By Sam Makhoul
Charity does indeed start at home with your family. But there is another deeper type of charity to yourself that matters more.
Before you help others, you need to help yourself. So, have you ever wondered what would be the best gift you can give yourself?
To understand this question, you need to understand what is ‘self’? What is your inner essence? Your life force, your spirit.
We often get confused between our thoughts and our ‘selves’. You are not your thoughts; you are the inner essence that notices your thoughts.
So, next time you are feeling emotions such as fear, anger, or sadness, know that it is your ‘inner self’, that is noticing that sense of feeling. This inner self or inner intelligence loves you and wants you to know that it has your back.
So, if only you stopped, listened, and meditated on the fact that you are the writer, producer, and director of your life. You are not the script nor the actor.
You are not the storyline. You write the plot.
When it comes to truly understanding your own self, the first step is to be kind and not so hard on yourself. You need to develop an understanding that simply living, breathing, and enjoying all eight areas of your life is enough.
Why? Because these days, it is common to become obsessed with doing and defining your identity by your job.
But know that your inner self is child-like and does not care about your title nor your bank account. You are not the work you do, but the person you are.
So, how do you become charitable to yourself? Water and nourish all eight areas of your life, that’s how.
In the Tree of Health – your energy source – eat well, sleep well, and move well. Calm your mind chatter with daily meditation. Journal your feelings, so you can heal them. Pray and give thanks to feeling a connection with the creation and give meaning to your life.
In the Tree of Love (intimacy), make time for emotional and physical intimacy with your lover and life partner. The time you invest in your relationship will yield immense emotional returns.
In the Tree of Family (support), dedicate time and energy to each of your close family members; especially your children. Spend one-on-one time with them; love and support them unconditionally. Make them feel fearless and support their endeavours. Why? Because they will reciprocate and pay it forward to their own children.
In the Tree of Work (fulfilment), choose to love your work. How? By mastering your skills. Competence builds confidence in yourself and that is essential for your self-esteem. Focus on making a difference and not just on earning an income. Have fun with the people you work with and the customers you serve. Not frivolous or inappropriate fun, but rather a celebration of your achievements and the results you achieve. Share your achievements with your family, your friends, and all your connections on social media. Like I said earlier, you make the job; the job does not make you.
In the Tree of Friendship (belonging), make time to hang out with friends that make you laugh, who listen as much as you talk, and one’s that don’t bring you down with their negative focus. Socialising with friends builds a sense of belonging and that has proven to be extremely beneficial to your health.
In the Tree of Learning (growth) keep reading, watching, and listening to great thought-leaders. Do so with child-like curiosity and a beginner’s mind. And always ask yourself, “how can I apply this knowledge to help myself in the eight areas of my life?”
In the Tree of Wealth (freedom), invest in your happiness by saving money in your early years to have freedom in your later years. Do not buy ‘things’, instead buy experiences that bring you joy in the other eight areas of your life.
Then, and only then, can you climb the Tree of Charity and have something to give. Because ultimately the best thing you can give others, is your time and your energy; not your money. And by being charitable to yourself first, you will have positive uplifting energy to give others.