In a world that oft seems to swirl with darkness, every smile is a battle won; each good deed a quiet war for good.

“Giving” is one of those muddled-over buzzwords that we overuse so much that it actually loses significant meaning.

It’s like when you hear a social media expert say “engaging in discussion,” or a blogger tell you they are “building a community,” or even politician talking about “change” … your eyes start to gloss over and maybe even roll back into your head. You hear a voice within you crying out, “We get it already!” and any shred of significance in what the person is attempting to say is suddenly lost.

I learned a long time ago that it’s not what you say that counts—it’s what people hear. As such, for someone like me, it’s not enough to tell you how important and amazing and beneficial “giving” is for you and those around you.

Today, I want to invite you to contemplate — just contemplate — the concept of giving as being about manifesting a legacy of love.

You build a legacy of love by acting here and now—in the moment, today.

What you share with others (not so much “things” as the actual act of giving, charity, selflessness, and truly love) builds an eternal channel of positive energy between spirits. This bridge is a potent and powerful one. Even across seas, I’ve realized how the generosity of a friend creates a compelling sensation within me that demands to reciprocate the generosity of another soul: the act of giving feels intrinsically different than “a deduction of my possessions” or “my loss.”

Instead, you want to give because what the other person receives in benefit—the surprise, the gratitude, the enjoyment, the appreciation—is as much a gift to you and your spirit.

This is the essence of giving. This is how you manifest a legacy of love.

33 Mantras of Giving

1) Giving is my antidote for a societal obsession with “more”.

2) I gain from what I give, not always in sums or quantities; but in space, time and freedom.

3) When I give with earnest intentions, I reap a bond between giver and recipient that lasts infinitely.

4) The purest form of my giving is that which no one notices—only feels—because giving is owed no accolade.

5) The sun gives without question; it expects nothing in return.

6) The greatest current of the human spirit is love. When I give, I accelerate that current like great river rapids; the force moves everyone and everything in its path.

7) When you give until it hurts, you feel what Love is. When you give beyond its hurt, you know what Love is.

8) I give beyond my means, because the richness of my spirit is boundless.

9) I give at my inconvenience, for providing for another is greater than the simple cost of my time, energy and attention.

10) Giving diffuses my Ego—the great hoarder.

11.) Pure as the air, gentle as a passing breeze, a selfless act goes so unnoticed. But, the wind carries pollens of love that life could not survive without.

12) Draw back the shades I hide behind, I own my face for Love is blind. The flower that dares to stretch toward the sun is the flower that bears brilliant colors of love.

The Nature of Giving

13) When I give for impure reasons, only the recipient gains. When I give for pure reasons, we both are the better for it.

14) We live among and for one another, not against and in spite of others. To better one is to better all.

15) When a tree bears more leaves and fruit than it can hold, a branch may break, but the tree stands tall.

16) Like a star’s light eons and ages away, and act of giving endures forever—even if the action itself has long since expired.

Giving and Receiving

17) I distinguish “giving from love” from “giving to portray love.”

18) Giving is not alone the exchange of goods and desireables, but life lessons and discipline.

19) Only giving toys to win the affection of children is to confine their love to the toybox.

20) For me to give someone my “quiet” is to give my understanding, deep listening, and earnest compassion.

21) I give myself credit not because it is owed, but because it is earned within myself.

Giving for Myself and Others

22) To give yourself appreciation and love is not vain; it is humble acceptance. Self-love teachers others to accept themselves as wholes.

23) I loathe in others only what I loath about myself. When I give peace to those whom I judge, unfair judgments of myself diminish.

24) Enemies who challenge me, hate me, and hurt me, give me the means to evolve. Rock could not turn to fine, beautiful sand without the pummel of violent waves.

25) I give myself opportunities to grow by giving myself opportunities to fail.

26) Giving beyond myself does not always win hearts. Indeed, it can blind me to think our love offered is so loved by another. But, all the same, giving beyond myself teaches others that they are worthy of such love.

Giving Quietly

27) I give loudly only to conceal quiet gifts I give that ought to go so unnoticed.

28) Suffering entraps my attention; I suffer further. When I suffer but choose to give my attention to others, I am freed.

29) I give others chances for redemption, because forgiveness is the Great Liberator.

30) I always remember to give myself a break.

31) I give others the benefit of the doubt.

32) I give others the opportunity to laugh at me, because humility never hurts anything but my ego.

33) When I hoard or deprave another of my giving, I only extend a trend that has caused my own suffering.

Action Point:

What would you add to the list? Why? And what do you believe helps to builds your legacy of love?

Flickr photo credit: karamsingh