Reality Check: Presents and Presence

How have you spent your December? Indeed, “spent” may be the appropriate word, as folks have been rushing around the malls, the stores, and on-line, shopping for those perfect gifts.

As this traditional season of giving comes to a close, here are a few suggestions for gifts to give ourselves!

The first gift asks this question: Are you troubled by some aspect of yourself? For example, perhaps you believe that you are not strong, or not courageous. Perhaps you’d like to feel a little less anxious, or less angry, or less discouraged.

Think about this flaw in your personality and…wave your magic wand. Give yourself the gift of asking yourself, “How would I act if I had the trait that I wish I had? What would I do differently if I didn’t find myself lacking in this way?”

Then, act as-if. For example, if you see yourself as the cowardly lion, consider how you would act if you were the courageous person you’d like to be. Then, act as if you were that courageous individual. See what happens. See if, just perhaps, you can become the person you want to be, simply by acting that way.

The second gift to consider giving yourself is the gift of being present in your own life. Pay attention to the moments that make up your life.

For example, do you have difficulty being cheerful in the morning? Pay attention to the sunrise, the warm water that cleanses you, the food that sustains you, even the fresh, crisp new snow that you get to walk around in! Enjoy those small things that we often take for granted, but without which our lives would be so much more difficult.

Being present brings with it the gift of being able to say, “I know where and who I am.” Perhaps where you are is exactly where you want to be, and you are satisfied. Or perhaps you perceive that there’s a big gap between where you are and what you would consider a satisfied life.

Give yourself the gift of choosing to either take steps to change where you are, or to accept and be satisfied with where you are.

A third great gift that you can give to yourself and to others is the gift of your presence. One person can make a huge difference in the life of another.

If your life is already full of love and belonging, try finding the time to be with someone who doesn’t have that. If you are feeling lonely, sad, or abandoned yourself, take the initiative to find someone who will appreciate your presence.

Don’t know a single person to care about? Really? Look for an opportunity to visit folks who are ill, older, or isolated. There are plenty of lonely folks out there. You’ll be able to find someone who will appreciate your presence.

Genuinely caring about how someone else is feeling, about their success, well-being, and satisfaction, and telling them so, can be a huge blessing for them. And the gift that you give them may well be returned to you many times over.

What do you think of these presents? Do you have other suggestions?

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