Giving is awesome. When done well, it is good for your health and happiness and it is a way to open up to the abundand flow of the Universe. When you are blessed enough to have the resources and wisdom to help another person in need, you are truly blessed. You help make the world a better place.
Giving can also be a way to end up tired, broke and resentful but no one likes to talk about that part. We only hear the part about it being better to give than to receive. Generosity and helpfulness are critically important to the well being of the world, but you can't serve from an empty well. If you are a generous spirit, empath, healer, teacher or other helping professional, you have probably had moments in your life when you felt drained or even a little resentful after having given too much. Even worse when you help someone out and they turn around and treat you badly.
If you are one of these generous people, you are needed in the world now more than ever. Help, compassion and generosity, heal the world and transform hopelessness into hope. So it is more important than ever for you to practice good self care and healthy giving. The better care you give yourself the better you are able to serve the world. If you are too tired, depleted or burned out to help and serve then you won't be much help to anyone. You do not need to give till it hurts. Give till it feels good.
When you are approched with a situation where you can see that help or resources are needed, ask yourself some questions.
Is this a person or situation, I feel good about helping?
How much and what kind of help will actually help vs enabling the problem to continue?
Has someone asked for my help or have I asked if the help I am happy to offer is welcome?
What can I give without harming or depleting myself?
What do I feel good about giving?
Is there anyone else who can join me in helping?
Ask yourself the questions and feel when your muscles tense up and when they feel relaxed and good. Your body won't steer you wrong.
If a person is asking you for $500. and you don't have it or don't feel good about what would happen if you gave it, it is ok to say no. If giving what is asked for doesn't isn't healthy for you or doesn't make you feel relaxed and comfortable in your body, ask yourself what you would feel good about giving, if anything. You could give a meal, a job lead, a full gas tank or encouraging words.
At first it may feel very strange not to just help and fix in every possible even if it leaves you in a bad way. But taking care of yourself and giving till it feels good, giving to people and causes you believe in with clear and healthy boundaries, helps keep you whole, healthy and well resourced so that you can and will continue to help and to serve for a long time to come.