“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
We know that it is better to give than receive, but in reality, this axiom is difficult to live by. We live in a world that seeks personal gain, even encourages it. And as a result, we seek to make sure the things we receive are equal to the gifts that we give. For instance, we decide we will offer forgiveness, but only if they make the first phone call. We will show love, but only after they sacrifice something. And we may respond in goodness, but only after they start showing some kindness to us first. Suddenly, we fall into a foolish trap, acting as if it is better to receive than to give.
Love. We need to show appreciation to those who mean the most. And while expressing love to another may be the most beautiful thing we can ever do, it can also be amongst the most difficult, especially when those who should love us the most, withhold it. Love anyway. True love is not self-seeking. It keeps no record of wrongs and expects nothing in return.
Joy. This world never allows for perfect circumstances…everything is imperfectly perfect. If you wait to find joy in externals, you rarely will. It is unwise to base your happiness fully on the actions of others. However, this does not mean that you can’t bring a little joy into the life of another by the things that you do and the words that you speak. You can still be intentional about spreading joy wherever you go.
Peace. Family and personal relationships can cause conflict, turmoil, and stress at any time. Tensions are often be heightened during the holidays. Offer the gift of peace by taking the first step. One phone call or conversation may not make amends for years of hurt, but it still might be the first step that needs to get taken by somebody.
Hope. Hope can be one of the greatest assets and treasures you can find for yourself, and one of the greatest gifts you can ever give to somebody else. See the good in others. Believe in their greatest potential. And encourage often.
Reconciliation. As a baby, you were was born to offer forgiveness to those who need it most. This opportunity, to offer forgiveness and reconciliation to those who need it most in your life continues. Take the first step. Even before an apology has ever been uttered, you can lay the foundation for reconciliation that makes it possible.
Goodwill. People may desire to harm you, but wishing pain and suffering upon them in response only compounds the hurt. Harbouring resentment, ill will, and bitterness in your heart allows their actions to control you indefinitely into the future. On the other hand, wishing goodwill upon those who hurt you frees your soul, and allows us to move on to better things.
The only thing I can think of to say that hasn’t already been said, is be good. Be good to yourself. It is like the oxygen mask on the airplane. You cannot do an ounce of good in the world if your cup isn’t overflowing first. Put away the distractions for just a few minutes. Be present. If you can find one pure, quiet moment of honesty with yourself, you will find your truth. Once you do, express your truth without shame. That will unleash you. You will be able to live every day with true love and passion. Then, you can be overwhelmingly good to your friends and loved ones. You can be uncommonly good to the stranger on the street. The best thing you can do is to live with love and without fear. Love will always win. Raise the level of love in the world by starting with yourself. And let me know what I can do to help. You can change this world a little, by starting with yourself.