“Healing is the application of love.” –Iyanla Vanzant

We give, so we should get, right?

“We deserve it!” I would imagine everyone could say they have felt this way before; after all, we have expectations. The issue with expectations is they leave us wide open to resentments of all sorts. Some resentments came up in me recently that I had to face.

I’ve experienced the work of several types of “healers” along my recovery path that have also taught me tools that I can use to help myself. One tool is to “apply love.” A good question to ask yourself in any situation is, “What does love require in this moment?” I needed to apply some love to these resentments and what was underneath them; and, repeat the process each time a resentment surfaces. I had to look inside myself to see and acknowledge what was hurting, and then look at it through the eyes of compassion. I have to come to a place of surrender and willingness to let go; this is often not instantaneous, yet necessary for healing.

I also need to let Love remind me of what I know – that “Love is the gift itself”. Sometimes, I have felt that I gave much more than I received back. Over the years, I have given lots of love, commitment, energy, time, heart and more to people and projects only to end up with several broken relationships and failed projects across many venues. Heartbreak, disappointment, anger, shattered dreams, and the “unfairness” of it all followed. True, yet that’s NOT the end of the story.
I was being given to, just *not in the ways I expected*, or from the sources I thought I would receive from. Nonetheless, I WAS receiving! Love, I believe, is all around us- always. The intention of my heart now is to, “see Love in all its forms”. It’s true, I have given to people and projects that I did not directly receive back from. However, I did receive (even in what started as a type of apparent destruction). I received life lessons, and other things were born from that: learning to live with less fear and more uncertainty, resilience and trust were built, creativity and curiosity arose.

As a result, my heart expanded from receiving Love in many new forms, and I began the journey to learn to love myself. This helps me to understand that these resentments that I carried (or still catch myself in) are just my ego talking. The spiritual truth is, I have never really given more than I have received! When I let that truth sink in, I feel humbled, and gratefulness takes the place of the resentfulness.

It’s also true that we receive without “deserving” it, or even recognizing we’re receiving. Your next breath, a gorgeous sunrise/sunset, someone who gives you loving support without expecting anything in return, beautiful music or art, laughter and tears, a spontaneous insight or creative idea, a lovely smell, a delicious meal etc. Grace and blessings flow into our lives in some of the most mysterious ways. Do we notice?

What if we look with new eyes? Life is a gift! Love (in any form) is a gift! Are the scales truly tipped; do we really-ever-give more than we get? I encourage you to notice love in any form, and let all love in, apply it to those resentments to allow healing, and see what your truth tells you.

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.