What are some of the most precious gifts you have ever received?
Take a moment now with yourself. Was it an understanding word? A non-judgmental shoulder to cry on? Something important reflected to you by another that you could not see on your own?
As we enter the final lap in the “time of giving,” it seems essential to reevaluate. To question whether or not we have got the real meaning of this season “right.” To wonder if what we are doing is even giving at all.
By that I mean, is the giving reflective of our truest nature and what it is that we all really need to receive? Or is it some frenzied and distorted version of an offering whipped up by people making a profit off of us? Built to medicate the masses against the malaise and the dis-ease of life together.
When I was growing up, Christmas morning was a literal feeding frenzy. Four kids ripping open present after present with no pause until the floor was littered with wrapping paper. And then, when that last present was opened, the dark and heavy feeling that you were “shit out of luck” descending over you. It all happened so fast. There was so much stuff. Yet, there was never a feeling of being sated. Of having been met. Of truly being gifted.
One year I remember sitting in the midst of the carnage and thinking, “Is this all there is?” Immediately I felt ungrateful. A bad person. Ashamed for not being satisfied with all that I had been given. I mean, come on, look at all of this stuff. It should have felt like enough, right?
When I reflect across my Life on some of the most precious gifts I have ever been given, there is not a single thing in the list. I know we all know this on some level. And yet, we have allowed this knowing to be hijacked. To be dictated by something outside of ourselves. Leaving us to accept warped versions of what it means to both give and receive in deeply nourishing and valuable ways.
How do you give and why? Where do you give from? Do you even know?