Can You Trust Someone In Heaven?

There is a short, very short story about Heaven and Hell.

We are told it’s a myth.

Both destinations are depicted in a picture.
Both are set in large rooms with banqueting tables.
Each table is laden with delicious food and every diner has 5 foot long chop sticks.

In hell, they are trying to feed themselves, with no success.  They are starving and in the agony of deprivation.

In heaven, they are feeding someone else across the table, with no guarantee that they will in turn, be fed.


Are you feeding anyone across the way from you love, attention, kindness, gentleness or peace?
Do you fear you will give and not receive back enough in return?

Or do you find yourself too afraid to be that vulnerable?

Are we creating our own experience of hell by trying desperately to feed all our insecurities, only to find ourselves starving and in want?

In the Grace of the Moment


Thank you to Andrew Corbett for the picture for today.


19 Comments Add yours

  1. Robin says:

    Hi Harmony – Great story!

    My reaction to it was to think how the musicians I’ve known always look after other musicians – by passing work they can’t do onto others, lending equipment and so on. The understanding was always that this is how things work out the best. These days we always help other people when we can – and we have a great community around us.

  2. Beth Partin says:

    That’s a big issue for me–wondering if I’m going to get enough or if I’m giving too much. I measure a lot. I think I’m having some success with breaking the habit of measuring, but it’s a difficult one.

    I like that picture. It reminded of the discussion of heaven and hell that Elizabeth Gilbert has with Ketut, her Indonesian teacher. He says that the universe is a circle, that you end up at the same point, but if you go up through happiness you’re going to heaven, and if you go down through sadness you’re in hell. I liked that description a lot.

  3. Do you fear you will give and not receive back enough in return?

    Not anymore. No, that’s not right..thinking out loud here. I have always given and not expected to receive back anything in return. PROBLEM!!!! Can you say ‘doormat’? When we give in a relationship, it is healthy to expect to receive in return. Because I’m worth it, damn it! Now, all my relationships must be reciprocal. I give my love, my respect, and my trust freely. But if I find that the other person isn’t giving those back, then we aren’t the right people for each other. Bye-bye! And that’s okay, because I have discovered wonderful people, who are right for me, and I’m right for them.

  4. If you give from fear or from wanting or expecting something back, you will always be hungry.

    If you give from love expecting nothing in return, you will always be richly rewarded, maybe not in a reciprocal way but in a much better way.

    My philosophy in life is to be giving and loving. It makes me happy. If someone doesn’t return that, then I’m happy because I came from a loving “white light” place in my heart.

  5. goldenzen says:

    I am really enjoying your comments…

    And wondering…
    Is the idea about reciprocal giving…or
    is the idea around love being such a vulnerable state…
    giving, being so open without the absolute knowing of what will come back…
    Is it a choice or a feeling…

    All just thoughts out loud….

    I can say that when I am vulerable, which I am not near as much as I want to be, I feel the closest to what I term as heaven…maybe because it is ungaurded and uncontrolled…all about trust.

    Do I trust the other person…maybe,
    but more, do I trust Love itself?

  6. Beth Partin says:

    Sometimes giving itself is a vulnerable state, since most of us want a certain response, whether we acknowledge it or not.

    gloria, I think giving without expecting anything in return is truly saintly. I wish I could do it more often.

  7. Lance says:

    Harmony –

    This is such a powerful story for me. What am I doing? I hope that I’m feeding others love and kindness. Sometimes, though, do I have a hidden agenda, or am I watching out for me first? In the difficult economic times we are currently experiencing – this is a perfect example of feeding others – helping out those who have fallen on difficult times. I have been blessed to not be affected by these negative times yet – am I doing enough to help others? Whoa. Tough question…

  8. Lance – You are always so thoughtful…so self reflective in your posts here and everywhere…yet with a great sense of humor. You are a gift to your world.

    Beth – I hear you. I am wondering if the way to heaven is through vulnerablity…?

  9. Julie says:

    Oh, Harmony, I always need to hear this message. Thank you for providing such a vivid visual to keep as a reminder.

    You know how we all have our “things,” those issues that are our particular stumbling blocks…? This is one of mine, always wanting things to be “fair.” Geesh, you’d think I was 10, again. Thank GOODNESS I can now say I’m open and generous, but not NEARLY as often as I want. If I can still measure the times instead of it being a constant way of being, then I’ve still a ways to go.

    When I’m so focused on the others’ needs/wants/desires, when I’m giving to them, I lose a sense of myself and I’m just in the flow. It’s awesome! It’s wonderful. I fell full, rich, SO rewarded…filled with a flowing feeling of love shared…

    I want to be like that all the time. Thank you for this. Really.

  10. Hi Harmony – When I first read this I thought, “no, I don’t worry about what I get back in return”, and then I read the part in Urban Panthers comment. We do need to draw a line and not be a doormat. Give and take. It ends up being about balance.

  11. Do I trust the other person…maybe,
    but more, do I trust Love itself?

    All, well, now you are asking me something different altogether. Do I trust Love itself? Absolutely. Do you need to allow yourself to be vulnerable? Absolutely. Will I give not knowing if it will come back? Absolutely.

    To tie this to my earlier comment. If my vulnerablity is abused and/or the love eventually doesn’t come back, that is where I draw the line. I still trust Love, but in these circumstances, love, as it turns out, is absent.

  12. Miruh says:

    Hi Harmony,
    Love the image!
    Yes we create our own hell when we only look out for ourselves we are not even able to feed ourselves just as the image of the people in hell in the myth.
    When we give to others we are actually giving to ourselves. It’s a two way endeavor always and that is the image with the feeding each other in Heaven.
    A great myth!

  13. Marion says:

    If I can find a balance between giving and taking, I feel happy. But if I give all the time, I feel resentment. If I take all the time, I feel selfish.

    It’s the balance of the two…that’s what I think Heaven would be.

    Love the image!

  14. goldenzen says:

    JULIE – thank you for your heartfelt comments. I too struggle sometimes wondering if someone might get the best of me…then I am reminded, only if I give that away.

    BARBARA – Yes, I am wondering about that too. I am so aware of the SAY NO TO DOORS AND FLOORS memo, but at the same time, there is sooooooooo much power and no doormat thinking, if we think of ourselves from our unlimited self rather than our finite self. I do appreciate your comments and those of UP.

    URBAN PANTHER – I had a feeling that was your stand even in the earlier comments. And I think as women we all kind of get the GIVE TOO MUCH to everyone model, and how we can lose ourselves in that approach. There is the wisdom that comes with love that gives, helps, feeds, shares, but does not equip others to stop doing that for themselves, and does not quit remembering it all starts with what we can give ourselves.

    MIRUH – THAT IS IT! You said it and I missed making the point…the Mayan saying says it all : “I am Yourself Another” – when I share I feed myself. THANKS

    MARION – so good to see you! Heaven might be just that, the harmonious balance of give and take. thank you!

    TO EVERYONE, as I prepare to post my Fiasco Friday post I am so enriched by this post’s comments. THANK YOU for taking part in the conversation. I am sorry i did not get around much this week. THANK YOU for getting around to Goldenzen.

  15. celestial enchantris says:

    This reminded me of a little piece of advice I found:

    There are only two things in life to worry about:
    Whether you are well or whether you are sick.

    If you are well, then there is nothing to worry about.

    But if you are sick,
    there are only two things to worry about:

    Whether you are going to get well or whether you are going to die.
    If you get well, then there is nothing to worry about.

    But if you die,
    there are only two things to worry about:

    Whether you are going to go to heaven or whether you are going to go to hell.

    If you go to heaven, then you have nothing to worry about.

    But if you go to hell,
    you’ll be so busy shaking hands with all your friends,

    that you won’t have time to worry!

    It always makes me smile and rethink about my situation. I also hope I haven’t offended anyone with this. (which is within their power)


  16. Liara Covert says:

    I love this theme of trust. To me, it has nothing to do with heaven or some other perceived place. Rather, it begins within yourself. If you do not choose to trust yourself, then you will find it difficult to trust anyone ourtside yourself. Happy Holidays!

  17. vilisi says:

    can this picture of heaven sent to my email pliz

  18. Kevin says:

    I wonder if it would be possible to feed both the others and oneself. I disagree with the sentiment that taking care of oneself is bad or wicked. The path to hell is not paved by taking care of yourself. If one is to give, it should be out of their abundance, not out of their feeling of guilt. Should we give and expect nothing in return? Only if we can afford it. Otherwise it would make two broken individuals.

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

    -Chinese Proverb

    Cliche but true.

  19. We are all filled with abundance and have so much to give and should believe that we deserve to receive the same abundance in return. Great blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s