It was a common phrase of my dear friend and mentor, Ann.
A wise woman, she dispensed advice often but when she used the phrase “I give it to you, I leave it with you,” you knew she was just looking out for you without the usual pressure associated with a more “let me tell you what I think you should do” style of advising.
Sometimes it was something she’d seen or heard and thought she should pass it on to you (like an intuition) and sometimes it was a specific piece of advice or insight (usually based on her own experience)…but the point was, “This is something I feel compelled to tell you. I have no agenda. I have no expectation for what you do with this information. Now it is yours, and what you do with it is up to you.”
The unspoken understanding was that of “we never have to speak of this again.”
I was a young woman when Ann and I were close. I met her when I left my home state of Florida at the age of 20 and relocated to Arizona. She saw me through my college years and my one and only boyfriend and we celebrated when I found out I was pregnant with my first son.
There were many times when I was hearing advice and opinions from all directions, so hearing her say “I give it to you, I leave it with you” had an immediate effect on me: I could feel my shoulders drop and I found that I could breathe again. Knowing that I could ruminate over her advice or consider her opinion—and she wouldn’t be disappointed with how I handled it—was an amazing feeling.
If you are truly looking out for someone else’s best interest and honestly don’t have a preconceived notion as to what the person should do as a result of your sharing, it is a very freeing thing to do for someone.
While Ann and I have just recently reconnected via Facebook, I feel confident that she wouldn’t mind if you borrowed her phrase. Try it on someone but watch out–they might hug you.
In a world where many people feel like they walk around with expectations heaped upon them at all times, “I give it to you, I leave it with you” is a beautiful thing to hear and a wonderful way to live.