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HOW MUCH DO YOU GIVE, AND HOW MUCH DO YOU HOLD BACK? and FINDING AND SHARING OUR GIFTS

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Author: 
Karnamrita Das

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TO REALIZE OUR SPIRITUAL SELVES AS TOTAL GIVERS--HOW MUCH DO YOU GIVE, AND HOW MUCH DO YOU HOLD BACK?: Although Krishna, or God, is the Supreme Enjoyer, he is also the Supreme Giver, which we should take note of, and pray to put into practice in our lives. Krishna naturally and effortlessly sustains, supports, and maintains the infinite universes and the souls who populate them ,even as he is the owner of everything and is meant to be served. As part of him, we are also by nature givers, but being covered by material bodies, we are consumed with keeping our bodies and our dependents alive through service.

We have to serve to live, and it is the "religion" of the soul to serve, just as honey is sweet, or chilies are hot. The perfection of service is to serve the interest of the Supreme Source, or Krishna. When we don't serve God, no matter how many souls covered by material bodies we serve, we will never be totally fulfilled, as that service is temporary and limited, and we have the desire to help others to an unlimited degree and forever.

I can say for myself that my desire to serve, help, and love appears much greater than my physical capacity. I see how selfish I am and how focused on taking care of my body and mind, especially in my current illness. As I have shared before, I have to spend so much time just to stay alive and improve my health. While I admit that this service can also be service to others since I can't fully serve with an unhealthy body, I also see how easy it is to not do more than this. For example, my writing, and especially my traveling to speak, takes much time and energy and moving out of my comfort zone, or the status quo of maintaining my body. I understand that my feeling compelled to share with you, and more, to write books, and create videos, my talk, and expand it into a workshop, is my serving nature wanting to be expressed more than it has been. I need to do more, while I still can.

What about you? What type of giving and service do you need to be offering to feel more fulfilled and that will enable you to use your life for its highest purpose? And how can we encourage one another to both take care of our physical existence and also give to our fullest capacity?
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FINDING AND SHARING OUR GIFTS RATHER THAN ARGUING FOR OUR FAULTS AND SHORTCOMINGS: True personal growth involves learning who we are both as our best human selves, and as eternal souls connected to and part of the Supreme Good and Most Lovable Person--the Supreme Being/God/Krishna, etc. Beyond our life history and often negative conditioning we have a particular nature with a contribution to make. Though we may be involved in large projects our most important project is to improve ourselves, or we could say to let our best self be freed from our own limiting thoughts and beliefs about our personal darkness or faults.

Working on improving our character, or letting our natural light shine, through personal growth work and spiritual practices does make a difference in the world, or in our small part of it. Everything begins with our self and endeavoring to improve our character. As it is said, it isn't about what we obtain, or our accomplishments, but who we become in the process. Who we become is our gift to God and carries us to life beyond our current body.

By being our natural best self and being centered, grounded, kind and peaceful, we affect others, and teach how any one can act in the face of life reverses and a chaotic uncertain world. Our strength and good qualities helps others understand that they too can be strong, kind and compassionate. No special qualification is required to be kind, thoughtful, understanding, and compassionate. Only the desire and prayer to be so and believing in our spiritual goodness.
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What is it that we don't like about ourselves? Our negative self assessment is based on identifying with our bodily history and conditioning as who we are, and letting what we have done, or not done, said or not said, or what has happened or not happened to us define us for all time. Our past doesn't have to define our future unless we let it. Through personal growth work we can learn to be an optimist, we can re-parent ourselves if required, and develop healthy self-esteem and self-worth. Through spiritual practice we can gradually realize our self as a pure soul, and find ourselves lovable and valuable as part of God, which overshadows anything negative in our past. Thus we will naturally share who we are and our natural abilities and gifts.

This may sound too simple, and yet I have found it to be true. Many solutions to our problems are disarmingly simple, though it takes many years of practice and prayer and in believing in the possible. Spiritual life is about change for the better, and this is our task. We may need help to do this, and find it difficult to ask for help--yet the so-called risk is greatly valuable and worth facing our fears, since, as it turns out, the only risk was to our false ego at being exposed as such a bad master. It isn't about being perfect in this life, but it is about being better and gradually improving. We only have to want this improvement, to begin with faith, and pray to make this our life's work. This itself will change and empower our lives. I am doing my best to encourage everyone in this most valuable life endeavor, and ideally we will all help one another.
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