Giving Back


“For it is in giving that we receive” – St. Francis of Assisi


One of our Guiding Principles at Recovery Café and across the Network is to Give Back. This principle, as principles often do, may take on a range of interpretations relating to an individual’s expression of and connection to the principle. In giving back we open up space within ourselves for love, light, gentleness, connection, growth, and so much more. However, there’s a layer of trust involved as we give. To give, by definition, means to present voluntarily without expectation of compensation. In giving back we trust we will not be without. 


Recently I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on and pondering what this principle means for me and my practice. To give back once felt a part of my instinct, as though it flowed through me like a steady stream while flooding my heart with joy. This inherent stream was constantly renewed. I felt one with this principle. This oneness allowed me to take it for granted, but my separateness from it now feels like a gift of reflection and growth. 


I cannot grasp or outline an exact reason for my interrupted flow of giving back, however, I suspect it’s related to the interruptions we’re all facing during this time of disconnection and disruption from what once was. In this shift I’ve spent many moments, walks, and heartaches – reevaluating, recommitting, and reimagining what this principle means for me right now and how to live it out. In my reflections I have come to deeply appreciate Deepak Chopra’s words in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success:


We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, lightheartedness, and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then this moment will have been worthwhile.”


Chopra’s words remind us that to give back is to share in this journey together. To trust that even when we feel without – together we will create abundance and joy. Perhaps when we feel the most depleted is when we are being called to lean in the most and to trust that it is our turn to share with caring, lightheartedness, and love. 


“Giving Back”

Written by Ashley Propes, RCN Full Member Manager