There Is More Joy in Giving Than Receiving

My cat, JOY snuggled up next to me in my bed as I settled down to take a mid-afternoon nap. I felt joy in my heart.  Joy is a deep feeling of contentment within and it is at the core of everyone. It is the peaceful and serene center of Being from which we create every moment as a celebration of love, harmony and fulfillment.

When I am in the present moment, I feel joy – a carefree feeling and knowingness that all is well on the spiritual level. It is difficult to be in the present moment when my mind jumps to the future or the past, therefore missing the joy that it holds. When I am centered in the moment, I am grateful, calm, peaceful and protected.

There are so many things that bring me joy; holding a newborn baby, watching children play, planting flowers in my garden, dancing, sitting at the ocean watching the waves go in and out, spending time with family and friends, helping someone in need, being loved unconditionally, taking time for prayer and meditation.

How do we lose our joy or give it away? It is a choice. We are responsible for our own happiness and joy. We lose our joy when we:

  • Compare ourselves to others
  • Complain and blame others for our problems
  • Beat up on ourselves and don’t feel good enough
  • Do not trust a power greater than ourselves to help us
  • See ourselves as victims and have a “poor me” mentality
  • Hold onto resentment and are unable to forgive ourselves or others
  • Believe there is lack and scarcity
  • Obsess and worry about the future or the past
  • Try to please everyone at the expense of ourselves
  • Focus on what’s missing rather than be grateful now

Where does joy come from? I believe it comes from within. When we are connected to our Source, the God within, we experience joy. When we are connected to others, serving others, we experience joy. When we give, without any expectations in return we experience joy.

Most recently, I experienced joy when I “got out of my own way” and reached out to another who was in need.  My two sons and grandchildren live out of state. My parents are both deceased and I don’t have any siblings or family in the area. I felt lonely and felt sorry for myself on Easter Sunday. As I was driving home from my friend Carol’s house, I decided to buy a plant for a woman in a nursing home that I had just met at Christmas. Mary told me that she was all alone and didn’t have any friends or relatives in the area. She had a stroke a year ago that paralyzed her and she couldn’t walk anymore.

When I walked into the nursing home on Easter Sunday, I found Mary sitting in her wheelchair with the other residents at the nurse’s station who didn’t have any visitors.  They weren’t talking to one another, just kind of staring into space.

I didn’t know if Mary would remember me from Christmas, but she did. She smiled and reached out for my hand. I remarked what a beautiful day it was outside.  She told me that she didn’t have anyone to take her outside to get fresh air because the nurses were too busy to take her out.ook at this character and fruit of joy from God’s most precious

Her face lit up like a Christmas tree when I asked her if she would like me to take her outside and wheel her around the nursing home. After checking with the head nurse, off we went.  As we sat outside with the sun beating down on our faces, she apologized for being so emotional.  “I have been here over a year and this is the first time I have been outside.”  We sat and talked for awhile. She told me her life story and the tragedies she experienced. When it was time to leave, I bent down and kissed and told her I would  be back.

A simple act of giving and thinking of another cured my loneliness and I experienced a deep sense of joy. There is more joy in giving than in receiving. We all have the capacity to give and love more; a smile at a stranger, calling a friend, offering to help someone we don’t know. Look for opportunities to increase your joy by being present to yourself and giving to others. Rather than remaining hostage to life’s changes and challeges, expect joy to flow to you and it will.

About Pat Hastings, MS, LCDP

Pat Hastings MS, LCDP, DD is the author of the award winning book Simply a Woman of Faith (2007), an internationally recognized inspirational speaker / workshop leader, Ordained Minister and Spiritual Coach. In her private practice, she specializes in helping women deepen their spirituality and increase self love and self esteem. She is the expert on Addictions and Spirituality for the National Association for Divorced Women and Children, with over twenty years of experience as an Addiction Therapist. In 2007, Pat was named "Inspirational Woman of the Year" by Rhode Island TV show Tea with Marie. Her book won third prize in the Spring 2009 Christian Choice Writing Contest sponsored by Yuxon Publishing.

Pat's professional and spiritual background have equipped her to help facilitate transformation in all women, no matter what their spiritual beliefs. Her message of love, hope and transformation is universal. Pat is a gifted spiritual teacher and highly skilled in leading women inward on a journey toward self acceptance, self-love, forgiveness, healing and freedom. She inspires audiences with her stories and humor, and follows up with powerful exercises to help participants to find the God Power within.

As a spiritual coach, Pat is passionate about helping women deepen their spirituality by connecting with Spirit. This helps women meet life's challenges and align with life's purpose from a new universal consciousness. Pat's spark and magic come from sharing from a deep place of soul. Her own relationship with God is palpable.

For all women who seek to be free of the holds of the past, and want to step into their power and potential, Pat provides powerful guidance and wisdom. Pat's intense faith and prayers infuse much more power, peace, ease and grace into a woman's life. Pat helps pave the way for women to transform their lives.

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