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My law of giving and receiving'
By tithing, she turns money on its head, gives it away in gratitude
When I opened my mail, $80 in cash fell out of the small blue envelope. It was from an acquaintance, a person I rarely see. She lives on the other side of the country, but we had visited earlier this year at an event in the Twin Cities.
The note inside the envelope said:
"Thank you for reminding me that 'I rock.' I tithe where I've been spiritually fed and when I meditated about who had spiritually given me wisdom, I thought of you. Thank you for the inspiration and our conversations that were perfectly timed for me. You were right about how I was showing up and I needed to make a new choice. P.S. I know that tithing may seem like a weird practice but I've been doing it for years now and I would be very grateful if you didn't try to send it back to me (others have tried)."
I felt honored, stunned, amazed. I wanted to know more, and the sender said she would be happy to visit about her practice.
"It's my law of giving and receiving. The things I do for money are not the source of my energy. I get money from my employer but before that it was the bank's. It is fluid and moving. It's not really mine. Nobody owns the money.
"When I get money I say 'thank you' to the universe and have gratitude in receiving. Part of that gratitude is circulating it back out to places I have been spiritually fed. Money is meant to serve us and not to be our master, but it has become tied to our self-worth. Whatever is in our bank account has become our worth to society and the world. I'm turning that idea on its head and giving money away instead of holding on to it. It reminds me that I have more than I think I do.
"Everybody has different feelings about money. Sometimes giving money to people is confusing for them because they didn't earn it. They think they don't deserve it. Many people resist in the same way that it can be hard for people to receive a compliment.
"Tithing is an acknowledgement of where I receive my spiritual food. It gives me a more pleasure-full experience and more joy in my life.
"I'm trying to see what it is like to give love to everyone, not because they earned it but because they are alive."
About half the time the recipients of her tithing are people she knows or has spoken to, including individuals, spiritual centers, musicians, teachers - and some, like me, an acquaintance. She usually doesn't hear what they did with the money and she doesn't ask. "It is none of my business," she said.
The woman prompted thoughts for me about ways we give and receive - especially about how we receive and how that feels - and about value and worth.
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