As I sit down to write this Christmas Eve I am thinking about the true spirit of the holiday. For many, religious, but for all a time of giving, of sharing and one of kindness. It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of buying and receiving gifts, looking for the perfect gift, or, trying to find the one that will impress or one-up someone else. The act of gift giving often gets lost in our own selfish wants or needs and our expectations are raised to a level that no matter what the response, they’ll never be good enough.
For those with a lot, we may use that power to position ourselves to feel better than, to give in a grand way that overshadows others and to make ourselves feel superior, or the best. We may get caught up on that list of things we want, that list we think we have to have, and are expecting to get, and if one of those things are not found wrapped with our name on it, the whole holiday is a bust sending us into self-pity and emptiness. We may also be addicted to people, fearing the quiet of spending some time alone, we jump from event to event, gathering to gathering, in the hope to fill that void and drown out those voices in our heads telling us things we don’t want to hear or face. And, there are those of us too who feed off of the praise of a gift well given or found, turning the gift giving experience away from the recipient and their appreciation or enjoyment of it, and shining the spotlight back on ourselves for the praise coming our way for a job well done. None of these scenarios demonstrate the true meaning of this holiday season, and yet, how many of us fall into one or more of these categories?
I admit, I used to identify with all of these, depending on the year, I tried to use that fuel to try to light the fire within, but the reality of it was, that it never really did, not for long, and soon after I was left with that empty feeling again and searching for the next thing to try to fill it up. I was never able to fill it up until I got rigorously honest with myself and sought help. I was trying to fill a void I could not, not with the tools I had, and not with material things or praise from others, I had learn that I was the most valuable gift I could receive and I had to learn to praise myself, and believe it, for the good I was able to do, for myself, and others. And speaking of others, that was the key. Participating in selfless acts of kindness, especially without others knowing about it. The act of doing something for someone else is the gift, the acknowledgment of it is not what’s important, or shouldn’t be so. We perform an act of kindness because we want to, that’s it, and even if it’s never known it was us, or, if it isn’t acknowledged in a way we would have thought, it doesn’t take away that act, that act is the thank you to yourself, a thank you to who you are and what you stand for, there is no need for any praise past the act, but it is OK if there is, as long as you’re not seeking it.
As we head out this holiday season remember what the purpose of it truly is. Look for ways to spread love and kindness, and perhaps even joy, with those you spend your days and nights with. It is a time to give back, to share a laugh, to give a helping hand, and to give the gift that is most precious, your time. Go out there and be love, be you and be grateful for what you have, so even if you don’t get everything you had hoped for, you will know you have everything you need, and that is the greatest gift of all. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you get caught up in power, possessions, people and praise over the holiday season? How so? How does this harm you? How has this gotten in the way of your enjoyment of the holidays? How has it gotten in the way of your relationships? What can you do to prevent that from happening this year? What do you think your greatest gift is? Why don’t you focus on sharing that this holiday season, and see how that act of sharing yourself makes the difference this year. No matter what your plans are this holiday season, make your goal not to be the best, but to share your best self.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you