The Magic Giving Circle

Dear Gifted Woman,

This is truly the Season of Giving. Our escalated motivation for giving might comes from the millions of twinkling lights we see around us, or memories evoked from hearing traditional holiday music, the gift of the Christ child, or maybe through Santa’s magical way of giving us what we want. No matter what is true for you, it’s a time when hearts open and we imagine how to delight those we love.

While giving is a simple word, it’s used in a variety of ways. For example, Care Givers don’t literally give presents, they give a huge piece of their life. Some care givers are paid, like nurses and those who work in care facilities. My own mother-in-law lives in a wonderful place that keeps her safe from wandering away when her imaginary friend calls her. Those who work with her understand and redirect her attention when she, for example, becomes sad about events like the passing of her father, which actually happened years ago. Yes, this is their job, yet we need to find ways to give back to the millions of professional care givers in the world.

Another kind of Care Giver is not paid. Love motivates spouses, daughters, sons, sisters and other relatives to give attention to the needs of the one whose body (or mind) doesn’t function the way it used to. This care giver, on a good day, exudes love and their full attention. Of course, there are all kinds of days and all kinds of emotions, yet each day they are volunteers contributing to the wellbeing of another.

Sometimes, like that famous children’s story The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, they give until they are all gone. I love these people for the way they adjust their lives and accept family changes as ways to test their character and deepen their spirituality. They are human, and so when we see a caregiver, we need to remember to Give to them; refill their spirits with unsolicited kindness and gifts; circular acts of generosity.

Sometimes we give to ourselves. The term Give It Up can actually be the gift of freedom when it refers to giving up: grudges, hurts, anger, jealousy and fear. One has to wonder how much farther along we’d be today if we could live each day without that additional negative weight. Giving up those bad boys is a powerful step toward self-empowerment.

To Give thanks is always a good idea. It’s easy to thank those we like for the really great things they’ve done for us, but there’s another important group to thank. In a video of Madonna’s Woman of the Year acceptance speech, she expresses gratitude for those who supported her and especially for those who did not—because they challenged her to be her best. If we list our own supporting cast members, it would be wise to remember to thank those who changed us even if we didn’t understand or appreciate their part in our ongoing drama.

Movies show us life like no other medium. The circular nature of Giving and Receiving  is demonstrated in one of my favorite movies: The Giver. The movie takes place in a fictional totally-scripted society where children are given their careers and all aspects of life are controlled by the elders. The main character, Jonas, has been selected for a unique assignment—he’s the Receiver of Memory.

Because he’s the only one to receive the gift of memory, he alone can truly understand the beauty, mystery, pain, hardships and richness of living a real human life. After receiving the truth, he feels an obligation to save a child and his town. His community is granted their freedom, their humanity through his courageous action.

After watching the movie, I ask myself, “What lessons and knowledge have I been Given that I can Give Back to those around me?†As in Jonas’ life, giving is circular—when we receive, we have the privilege of Giving to others.

What have you Received? What will you Give? Who will be included in your Magical Giving Circle? The answers to these questions bring us all closer to the gift of perfect peace and the Merry Christmas we crave.

May each day of this holiday season find you giving of yourself,

Ho! Ho! Ho! Jan

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