I hope your Christmas shopping is completed, but if not, good luck out there! I saw news stories about long lines and bizarre behavior over Jordan sneakers. It’s really not that serious.
Our society has become material-driven during the holidays. You can always mark what holiday is coming by the elaborate displays in CVS and Target. The best gift to give to your loved ones, though, can’t be bought in a store (how’s that for a cliche, eh?). The best Christmas gift you can give to others is to give yourself all year long.
We tend to give everything we’ve got – all our time, energy, money and focus – to the people in our lives. Some of those people – like coworkers and members of organizations we’re in – aren’t even friends or family. Yet we roll up our sleeves and put in tons of effort for other people’s dreams.
Give Your Best, Rested, Focused, Present Self
Instead of spreading yourself too thin, worrying about how another person’s life will turn out and dwelling on past events you cannot change, why don’t you give your best self?
You can’t be a blessing in another person’s life if you’re tired, depleted, broke, and worried. Give yourself a break if you need it. Pull back from activities that aren’t absolutely necessary (i.e. not helping you pay bills), and learn how to say no. Saying no and being fully present and available when you can is better than saying yes and being a mess because you’re not at your best.
There’s a saying that “you can’t pour blessings into another’s cup if your own cup is empty”. I truly believe that as the truth.
Give Your Genuine, Unbiased, Unprejudiced Self
Along those same lines, you can’t be a blessing in anyone’s life if you’re being fake, judgmental or viewing their dreams and their problems through your own lens. We all want different things in life so it’s not fair to make someone else feel negatively about their desires because they choose something different than you do. In the end, what they need is your support and friendship, not another naysayer to kill their dreams. Put yourself in their shoes and give your best self.
Now I admit that this is something I’m working on within myself. I tend to be hard on others if I know that they’re capable of greatness. Yet I have to allow that we’re all in a constant state of evolution, heck I’m not where I want to be either. I’m getting to a place where I accept and have no judgements attached to the choices that people make in their lives.
Give Your Most Inspired, Loving, Nonfearful, Blissful Self
When you’re inspired, blissful, happy and hopeful, you’re connected to God and able to help others reach that same connection. That’s one of the most valuable experiences you can give to another. Yet when you’re feeling down, bitter, in a state of worry and feeling lost, what do you have to give? Find the happy place within yourself and do things that make you happy for no reason. You owe it to yourself to take the best care that you can, but you also owe it to others to share your talents and gifts with the world.
Stop putting yourself last. Put your health, mental state and happiness first. When you’re at your best you can give your best. Isn’t that what you really want?