The Holidays and recent events have drawn my thoughts toward the Act of Giving. I'm not speaking about the exchange of presents or handing out donations... It's the giving of ourselves that has me doing a lot of soul searching. I have to look inward at the "Why's" I do the things I do. Because above all else, I need to be true to myself.
There are many gifts that we give:
- The Gifts of the Heart which are love, kindness, joy, understanding, sympathy, tolerance and forgiveness.
- The Gifts of the Mind being our ideas, dreams, purposes, ideals, principles, plans and poetry.
- The Gifts of the Spirit of prayer, vision, beauty, aspiration, peace and faith.
- The Gifts of Words when we encourage, inspire or guide.
I had to look really deep into my soul to understand "Why" I love others so much. It is often very easy to question other peoples motives, but the only way for me to grow as a person is to continually question my own.
Do I love others with the hopes of being loved or appreciated? Do I express sympathy and forgiveness because I need others to sympathize with my situations in life? Do I promote others with a hidden agenda? Hoping I get something in return? If so, then I am not truly Giving of myself. I would be requiring payment in the form of praise and adulation.
So why do I share my ideas and principles with others? Is it in the hopes of being esteemed for my knowledge? Why do I publicize and encourage others? Is it because I need everyone around to see what a swell person I am? Am I that shallow?
After much soul searching I came to a realization. I realized I AM Loved, by God, the only ONE who really matters. That Love allows me to freely Give love to others, without looking back or expecting anything in return.
I can be Genuine. I can be my silly, serious and goofy self! Somewhere down deep inside I found that putting the needs others ahead of oneself is the Heart and Soul of what it means to Give.
And I can walk away happy in the knowledge that I love people simply because I love them..I don't need the acclamation or praise.
In Fact, I think I would be a little embarrassed by it.
"Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts.
The only true gift is a portion of thyself." ~ Emerson