When we are givers, giving sustains us
Providing oxygen through the fractured chambers of our hearts
Offering what we need most for ourselves, to others
Loving others to better understand how to love ourselves.
Could it be an unconscious form of self-deprivation?
An act of self-punishment for our own lack?
At its root, dear soul, to give fully is a form of grace
In which we step outside of the equation of reciprocity
Without selfishness, without expectation, only compassion
And through sustaining others we sustain ourselves.
Sometimes giving is beautiful, and sometimes it is lonely,
Feeling at times like our only viable contribution to the world,
A way of righting the wrongs from self-absorbed days long past
Adding purpose to our days, providing meaning to our pain,
Without needing reciprocation, without asking for gain.
At times it feels like an altruistic story without a happy ending,
For even the givers begin to insidiously erode within
Only realizing at the eleventh hour when it’s far too late
That they are an empty shell where a whole person used to be
Evidence that giving too much becomes a catastrophe.