Peace of mind leads to clarity of self. This leads to improvement of self.

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So, I have always had a problem with giving. Being selfish has always been a shameful secret I knew about myself from an early age but knew not to let it show to others. I don’t like sharing food, I rather buy you your own. I don’t like sharing clothes or my books or my computer or my Netflix password. I just don’t. I worry about how and when I will get them back, and then I worry about looking stingy if I ask you about it.

So I figured out how to divert conversation without actually saying no. How to say no without actually saying, so I still maintained the friendships or relationships but still kept my stuff. I know it’s terrible, even writing this now makes me feel ashamed, like I am not a nice person. But it’s honestly who I am.

Anyway, the other day at the grocery store the cashier asked me if I would like to donate to a charity and I said no. There’s always a pause when I say no because I do so with no explanation and the cashiers always seem a little put off by a plain old no, I know this but I still always offer no explanation.  Soon it happened again at the movies, this time a donation to St. Jude’s was requested and again I said no, as I usually do. This time though, as I walked off I wondered to myself why did I say no. Yes, I am forever on a budget but would a dollar really make a huge difference? I found the money for the movie and snacks, why couldn’t I spare a dollar for a good cause? Why?

I still don’t know why, it could be a number of things. Maybe it’s because I always had to share with my sister as a kid or maybe I am scared I’ll never have enough. I really don’t know the root of it but I do know that I want to give more now. I do know I want to be kinder, I want to be a better being. Even if I have little I want to share what I have.   Why now do I want to make this change?

What I want to emphasize here is that I have been like this most of my life and I didn’t ever think about changing, only hiding it. I believe that the clarity of mind on the issue has come because of the decision I made to live my best life. In efforts do this I have rested more and focused on things that make me happy, this led to peace of mind, which led to clarity of mind and by extension clarity of self. Hence clarity of self led to improvement of self. As a result I have started to donate to the charities, and it feels good. 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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