My favorite part of Christmas, not unlike most people, is the gifts. I love gifts. I love giving them, receiving them and even watching other people exchange them.
I believe the idea of gifts is more than just material goods. I believe we’ve ALL been given countless gifts by a force larger than ourselves (I refer to this force as God, though It goes by many names). We’ve been given the gifts of our bodies, our specific personality traits, our talents and our capacities to connect with one another. I believe our time on Earth is about finding the gifts within us and sharing them with the world to create Awesomeness.
There is something interesting that can happen to us when it comes to sharing our gifts though. My experience is that some of us, myself included, will sometimes hold back our gifts. Sometimes we hide our gifts as to not intimidate others. Sometimes we don’t give our gifts because we don’t feel we have the energy to give. And sometimes we convince ourselves that we don’t have any gifts worth sharing because of the stories we’ve made up about ourselves being too Flawed to be worth anything.
I’ve experienced all of those reasons in my own life. And I think the most damaging one I’ve experienced is holding back my gifts because I don’t want people to think I’m “too much”.
Despite the look on her face in this picture, my childhood self was OOZING with the gift of joy. She loved to smile, dance and make people feel special by getting her joy all over them. She was the Queen of Joy.
As an adult though I’ve often held back my joy for fear of feeling like it was too much for people to handle. But what I’ve realized is that holding back any of my gifts, particularly one as life-affirming as joy, isn’t doing anyone any good. And in fact, it might be harmful to others.
Cause that’s the thing with gifts — they grow in impact as we give them away. And better still is that when we give our gifts away we are the example to others that it’s okay for them to give their gifts away too. When I give away my joy, I’m giving you permission to give away your joy and your many other gifts. The ripple is palpable.
My Christmas wish for the world is for the courage to endlessly give away our gifts. May we unleash what’s inside of each of us to bring new life to ALL. I hear that’s the reason for the season!