I made it.
I have it all.
The perfect body,
The perfect house,
The perfect vehicle,
The perfect wardrobe,
The perfect career,
The perfect spouse,
The perfect family,
The perfect friend group,
The perfect material life.
Everything is as I imagined.
Everything is exactly as I want it.
Now that we’re entering holiday season, things can start to get crazy. This is a time when people are encouraged to focus on love and giving. Loving friends, family, strangers, taking extra time for self care. Giving back to the community and those in need, along with giving to those we cherish in our own lives.
In today’s age, much of this perspective has been skewed and tainted. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the rush to buy buy buy more more more to be able to please others is constantly on our minds.
I wrote this short light-heart poem to bring attention to this mindset and hopefully bring awareness to this dis-ease that currently occurs in the world.
It all comes down to our perception of love. People often see love through the eyes of a consumerist society. It is often related to giving material gifts, giving our own bodies (a talk for another time), or even just saying “I love you,” along with other terms of endearment. Though there is a time and place for these things, it is only looking at a miniscule, finite fraction of the equation.
Growing up, I have received many gifts I had been grateful for the day I received them, but it took little time for them to be erased from my memory. I wouldn’t be able to tell you have of the things I had received growing up. It’s not that I was unappreciative. Simply, the gift itself was insignificant compared to the gesture itself.
The act of giving is an act of love. It’s not about how much we give, rather it’s why. Many will say “I want so-and-so to be happy, so I’ll give them what they want.” What we should be asking is “What can I provide to help the greatest good?”
And “What can I do to raise this person to their highest self?” This is where the love can make itself known to the highest degree.
It’s not the gift itself so much as the intention behind it. As I said, it’s the “why” we are giving.
This time of year has emphasis on “holiday spirit” for a reason. It is a time to nourish the SPIRIT. The soul as individuals and a collective. The intention behind giving, the “why,” should be that which nourishes the soul. Instead of stressing over the debt you’ll be in if you try to make everyone happy with things that will cause a moment of fleeting happiness… maybe it’s time to consider how you can bring, as the song goes, “Joy to the World.”
Below are three lists that could inspire thoughtful acts of giving.
Projects For The Season:
- Baking cookies and sharing them with the community
- Hosting a bake sale and giving them money to charity
- Donate old toys and clothes to local shelters (animal shelters are in need too!)
- Visit nursing homes brighten up their day with board games and song
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen and/or donate to food banks
- Can food drives
For Day-To-Day Life:
- Pay for the person’s coffee in the line behind you
- Packing care kits for the homeless and keeping them in your car (think water, warm hats and gloves, trail mix, etc)
- Leave kind notes on people’s windshields
- Smile at strangers
- Hold doors open for people
- Tell someone the compliment you thought upon seeing them
- Write letters to people who have positively impacted your life
- Write letters of forgiveness and make amends to loose ends in your life
- Bake treats to share with coworkers
- About to complain on Facebook? Post something positive and inspiring instead
For Loved Ones:
- A painting
- A trip to a favorite place
- Plants (the gifts that give 😉 )
- A date
- Cooking and sharing a homemade meal
- Something knitted or crocheted
- Anything crafted. Check Pinterest for thousands of DIYs
- Giving a massage
- Writing a loving letter showing appreciation for their presence in your life and reading it to them
- A mix tape
Use your imagination. Think about what is most needed in your community, the lives of those around you, and the world at large. Team up with others or make it a family event to give back this year. There is a lot that can be accomplished if we all take the time to focus on spending our energy on providing what the world needs, rather than spending money on unneeded material possessions.
I’m not saying material possessions are bad, per say. They can be highly beneficial! I.e. I’m asking for a planner this year with inspirational daily bible quotes in it. It all boils down to what the impact of the gift will have on the individual. How it could affect their lives and stir the soul inside of them.
If they need a new pair of socks, great. Get that. I just encourage you to put extra thought into what you give this year, and consider those who do not have access to that new pair of socks.
Do you have any ideas on how to give back or experiences worth sharing? Leave them in the comments below!