Originally posted in 2017, this is a message I felt bears repeating.
We live in a transactional world where something is given with an expectation of receiving something in return. It's a business mentality. For business this makes sense because the point of a business is to make money and keep the books balanced. But when a transactional mentality is carried beyond business into all aspects of life - as all too often happens these days - it may not a good thing.
Why? Because all of life is not business.
When we carry our transactional mentality into our family life we run the danger of reducing our life to business and robbing ourselves, and our loved ones, of the experience of giving and receiving without strings attached. Sometimes a transactional mentality may make sense with loved ones, and other times it gets in the way of love. We must use discrimination to know when a transactional approach is appropriate and when it is not. The great Himalayan sage, Swami Rama, taught that love means giving without expectation of receiving something in return.
It is similarly troublesome to take our habitual transactional business mentality into our spiritual life. Deals are of the world and not of consciousness, so a transactional attitude doesn't work in this arena. Also, when we try to make deals with Providence, we preserve our little ego, our false self, instead of having an opportunity to discover ourselves as the loving beings we are. To come to know the Infinite-within, means to let go of the ego.
Let yourself express kindness into the world without expectation of receiving some reward for doing so. Kindness given is never lost. Rather, it opens your own heart.