Giving Gifts

December is gift month. It doesn’t matter if a person is religious, spiritual, or agnostic, this is the month of holidays and with it comes expectations, plans, preparations, with a significant amount of material goods swapped between family and friends. There are some who even give gifts to people unknown, just for the joy of it, the generosity of it.

A greater question, however, bears asking: what kind of gift do you feel you are to yourself and others? Do you feel as if you bring good cheer and lightness into the room when you walk in? Is there an excitement inside when you feel you are joining a circle of people? Or does it seem as if there is an invisible barrier that keeps you out in most circles, in most places.

How we think about ourselves makes all the difference in the world as to how we interact with others. The fascinating fact is that most of the time, we humans remain largely unaware of the never-ending voice in our heads that sends us messages all the time. And, shockingly, 80% of what we think about ourselves is negative. If we let these messages go unchallenged, that fragile concept called self-esteem can take quite a hit on a daily basis.

As we enter the time of darkness, we can find opportunities to quiet ourselves and listen to our minds. Listening to our minds happens when we open up space for silence. It might mean turning of the television, shutting down the computer, putting away the laptop, cell phone, and all forms of electronic devices and just being, for a few minutes in a whole day. Just being. It’s possible. Knowing what you think about yourself is the first step to creating a true dialogue with unnecessary beliefs than can harbor negativity of which we are unaware. Our work is to be a gift. December is a time to give this to yourself.