If you could take away all the suffering in the world, taking it in with just a single breath, and have it go away, would you hesitate?

Is that fair? Couldn’t you just donate a few dollars to CARE and have that be enough? Could whatever you are doing now count?
In speaking with clients I get that many of us are overwhelmed and generally feel disenfranchised from feeling helpful when we see something happening in the world we really care about.
So, when someone asks for help, then what? Do we give? Do we feel vulnerable? Maybe they will keep asking and asking. Maybe it will all get out of control. Maybe. Maybe.
Yesterday I was at an outdoor festival sitting with friends. A man my friends knew came up to us – he was going up to everyone – and gave us a slip of paper he’d printed to get help transporting people out West to help with a demonstration/confrontation on Native American land. We gave and it gave us a chance to do something helpful for a situation in which we all felt invested.
I felt elated. How often do I get to do something to help a cause I care deeply about. I’m guessing that’s the popularity of the “crowd funded” participation. It’s effective and we can all lend a hand.
Lending a hand is, I think, our basic nature. It is a source of power for us to see our effectiveness or lack of it.
This sounds decidedly like a transaction. If I feel good, I will be good. If I feel in control, I will be nice to you. If I feel out of control, I won’t.
Sound familiar? Kind of homey, isn’t it? Remember when mom or dad had a bad day and came home to kick the dog – or you? Or had to be alone or had to have a drink or had to do something because.
Small moments of altruism can have a big effect on both giver and givee. I certainly feel better today for my participation, however small, in a larger effort. I love giving small amounts of time and money to join a group of like-minded people.
How are you relating to your altruistic self? Have you updated your version of you? Are you willing to take a breath?

When you allow another's view, their self, to enter your mind and heart you can change. Not by giving up anything but in the "getting" of who they are you can see yourself a little better, you can open to yourself a little more and you become a little bigger. That's how my clients feel about therapy. They change from seeing little to seeing big. They alter their consciousness by alerting their conscience. They leave the tiny world their mind inhabits in fear and open to the larger force of love. The opposite of love isn't to hate, it's fear. What we fear makes us small and when we are small we lose the big picture, we lose the security of knowing who we are and we lose faith.
In my practice I give a lot of weight to the tiny moments of self-deceit, of self immolation. They can be so subtle and that does not render them harmless, rather more harmful.
Come listen to yourself with me, see where we can go.

Author's Bio: 

Pam White is a life coach, painter, photographer, poet and the founder of Insight Coaching. She brings over thirty years of meditation practice to her work with clients.
Connect with her: pammwhite@gmail.com or call 617 794 5811.