Thursday, January 10, 2013

I have a little 'stingy voice' inside me

I have a confession to make. I battle a stingy voice. There, I said it. Oh, you wouldn't know it to look at or speak with me, but I do. It is the kind of stingy voice that wonders if I'm going to get a container back if I loan it to someone. That kind. I am not very proud of this. In fact I hate the little voice inside my head that has been second guessing my giving first impulses and it's time that voice was retired.

This year I'm going to fight that voice. I'm going to give freely without any thought or consideration for reciprocity. If I have an immediate urge to make a friend soup because they're ill, I'm going to. If I want to do something nice for someone, just because, I'm going to. I'm not going to be stingy with my abilities, time, food, or containers. If I have an urge to do something, I'll know it's the right choice. Because it makes me feel good and for no other reason. 

I wasn't always this way. I distinctly remember in college not being like this, I mean I was never over the top with my generosity, but I wasn't miserly either. As I've grown older it seems that the more I have, the less I give. I'm not speaking about financial donations to charities, I'm talking the things friends do for each other, a warm muffin, a meal, a little gift to brighten a day. There has been that voice always saying 'but', it was enough for me to second guess whatever my first impulse had been.

Interestingly enough, as I've been mulling this post over for a few days, it seems that the 'but' voice arises mostly around the issues of gifts of food. Now this makes absolutely no sense to me because: one, I love to cook and two it's not like I've ever been without. I'm making a chicken soup recipe for a friend and it calls for 12 cups of chicken broth. The little voice says "just buy stock from the store". I HAVE beautiful homemade chicken stock in my freezer. Plenty. Enough. So why is that voice telling me to save it for myself and mine? I can always make more.

I am glad that I still have the desire to give and that the miser in me hasn't drowned it out completely but I feel like it's been something I've wrestled with for years and I'm just done with it. That voice is wrong. I'm going to be the person I want to be.


  1. Me too... and like you, I aspire to freely and lovingly giving. I remember reading somewhere that one should practice giving things of personal importance to experience the letting go of that which we identify with. I'm not there yet... but if I feel moved to give something, even if it is something special to me, I try to do it. I've learned over the years that that inner voice compelling me, is the most important voice to listen to....

    1. I wonder then why food is the big thing with me. Maybe because I put so much of myself into it? But isn't that the point of cooking? To nourish family and friends as well as ourselves. I tell you that stingy voice has said it's last word with me!