I think of myself as a giver. I like to do things for people--bake something, make something, just for the sake of doing it. Sometimes my "need" to make something is the focus and then I have to find someone to give it to. It's not necessarily the recipient that's the focus, it's me and my need to give. Even then, it feels good. The success of this revolves around giving without expecting something in return. The minute I expect the recipient to return the favor, the ecstasy of the moment is lost and disappointment takes over. When my intention isn't pure, i.e. giving for the sake of giving, it feels more like a barter or a trading for something in return. I wrestle with whether a "thank you" is an okay expectation. I've decided that's not really giving back, it's basic manners.
I've always found it difficult to ask for what I wanted, especially in a relationship. Deep down I wanted that person to know me well enough, think of me enough, to want to do something for me, remember me, etc. I'm past that now. I don't know how to explain it, but maybe it's not requiring that recognition from someone else to make me complete. My daughter would say something about the ego here, but I'm not sure how it all fits together. It's just a gut feeling for me.
One part of the New Earth book is about giving what you don't have. Give out whatever you think people are withholding from you. And soon after you start giving, you will start receiving.
This can be hard, Tolle acknowledges. So simply acknowledge the abundance that is already in your life. See the fullness of life all around you. Be grateful for it. The warmth of the sun on your skin, the magnificent display of flowers. The rain drenching you from the skies. Nature is abundant, we just have to open our eyes to see it.
Build your inner mind in this fashion, and let your life change to match.
Enough now. I'm going to give myself a break.