Dear GiftedÂ Woman,
This is truly the Season of Giving. Our escalatedÂ motivation for giving might comes from the millions of twinkling lights we see around us, or memories evokedÂ fromÂ hearingÂ traditional holiday music, the gift of the Christ child, or maybe through Santa’s magicalÂ way of givingÂ us what we want. No matter what is true for you, itâ€™s a time when hearts open and we imagineÂ how toÂ delight those we love.
While givingÂ is a simple word, itâ€™s used in a variety of ways. For example, Care Givers donâ€™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 awayÂ when her imaginary friend calls her. Those who work with herÂ understandÂ and redirect her attention when she, for example, becomes sad about eventsÂ like the passing of her father,Â whichÂ actually happened years ago. Yes, this is their job, yetÂ we need to find ways to give back toÂ theÂ 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) doesnâ€™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 childrenâ€™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 weÂ 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 toÂ 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 liveÂ each dayÂ without that additional negative weight. Giving up those bad boys is a powerful stepÂ toward self-empowerment.
To Give thanks is always a good idea. Itâ€™s easy to thank thoseÂ we like for theÂ really great things they’ve done for us, but thereâ€™s another important group to thank. In a video of Madonnaâ€™s Woman of the Year acceptance speech, she expresses gratitude for those who supported her and especially for those who did notâ€”because they challenged her to be her best. If we list our ownÂ supporting cast members, it would be wise toÂ remember to thank those who changed us even ifÂ we didnâ€™t understand or appreciate their partÂ in our ongoing drama.
Movies show us life like no other medium. The circular nature of Giving and ReceivingÂ Â is demonstrated in one of my favorite movies: The Giver. The movieÂ takes place in a fictional totally-scriptedÂ society whereÂ children are given their careers and all aspects of life are controlled by the elders. The main character, Jonas, hasÂ been selected for a unique assignmentâ€”heâ€™s the Receiver of Memory.
Because heâ€™s the only one to receive the gift of memory, he alone can truly understandÂ the beauty, mystery, pain, hardshipsÂ and richness of living a real human life. After receiving the truth, he feels anÂ 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, â€œWhat lessons and knowledge have I been Given that I can Give Back to those around me?â€ As inÂ Jonas’ life, giving is circularâ€”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 ofÂ perfect peace and the Merry Christmas we crave.
May each day of this holiday season find you giving of yourself,
Ho! Ho! Ho! Jan