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As students of Kabbalah, we know that we are meant to selflessly share with others. But that’s easier said than done. When those around us experience hardship, we are often quick to offer support. But we forget that the spirit with which we share is just as important as the action itself.
While most of us consider ourselves generous, when called upon to assist, we can sometimes feel inconvenienced. Maybe we hide our feelings and help out with a smile anyway. Or maybe we give an excuse and promise we’ll be there next time. Either way, if we are not sharing with an open heart, we aren’t Bringing the most Light possible into the world.
Some call it generosity of spirit. Kabbalists call it “sharing as a servant.” This kind of sharing is our spiritual work. “When we no longer feel that we have a choice about whether to give or not to give,” says Michael Berg, “our consciousness becomes that of a servant, not in the sense of lowering ourselves, but in the sense of elevating ourselves spiritually.” It is more than simply helping another person. Sharing as a servant means seizing every opportunity to share, even if it means putting someone else’s needs before our own.
Kabbalists teach that the purpose of life is to transform our Desire to Receive into the Desire to Share. If we truly have a Desire to Share, we don’t hesitate to run an errand for an elderly neighbor, or take on an extra project while a co-worker is on leave. And we won’t make excuses when a parent asks for help preparing a holiday meal or a friend needs a ride to the airport. When we share as a servant, we are excited by the opportunity to help others. We see it not only as our spiritual work, but as a blessing.
It is important to remember that feeling obligated to give our time, energy, or resources, actually takes some Light out of an act of sharing. Our goal should be to share without wondering whether we should share or not.
Keep in mind that this kind of sharing can be misinterpreted as victimizing oneself. In fact, we are only victims of sharing when we do so out of duty. Michael Berg points out, “There are many people who give to their children, their spouse, or their friends because they feel obliged to do so, even when they don't really want to. These are victims of sharing.” Being a victim of sharing leaves us feeling taken advantage of, drained, and often resentful. It can be detrimental to share with others when we feel we have little to give. Those who give with an open heart without question and without hesitation are continuously renewed by the act of sharing and thus, never feel used by selflessly giving. They are true servants of sharing.
There are those who say, “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help,” and those who find a way to help and then do it without hesitation. We can join the latter group and become servants of sharing by shifting our perspectives to one of abundance. When we believe that we always have more than enough, we never think twice about sharing what we have. Our time, resources, and energy are only tools for bringing more Light into the world.
Try to see opportunities to share as blessings. Eventually, the act of sharing will become so natural that you won’t feel obligated at all. When we release feelings of duty, we are no longer victims of sharing, but true givers, sharing the Light of the Creator every chance we get.