When I arrived home yesterday evening it was a lovely surprise to find a bag of goodies and a thank you note on the doorstep.
It came from our lovely friends Kate and John. We recently lent them our cot for their new baby boy, they were really grateful. In return I was very grateful for the bottle of red, and Martyn was over the moon to have some new ciders to try! My gratitude left me feeling good, I hadn’t expected a gift in return at all and it was such a lovely thing for them to do. It meant more because I know how busy they are with two young children and they still managed to come and drop it off.
Kate and I have been friends for years. Since school. So we have gone through a lot together. We have always leant each other things. Music, tops, jackets, all sorts. In the old days it was usually in preparation for a night out but these days it is usually child related and much less glamorous than it used to be!
It got me thinking about friendship and what that means and I realised that generosity is a huge part of it. I would do anything to help my friends out and when I find the opportunity to do it makes me feel great, I am genuinely glad to help.
It seems to me that the more your give to a relationship the stronger it gets. Kate and I have been borrowing from each other for years, it must be why we are such good friends. It develops trust and appreciation which are both vital in a good friendship.
The more we think about others the less we think about our own problems. Focussing on that feeling of giving can really make us happy.
Try to think of the last time you gave someone something and they were pleased with it. Does it bring a smile to your face? It does for me. Once you find a memory that does that for you then practice bringing it back into your mind every now and then. By recreating good feelings we can teach our brains to be happy. The more often you do it the easier it will become and the more open you will become to allowing that feeling to surface.
Seeking out opportunities to be generous can be a really great way to brighten up your day. It doesn’t have to be a gift, you could be giving your time. Whatever it is that you give, if you do it when you genuinely feel motivated by kindness, you really will feel good about yourself. Give it a go.