As we greet the very last month of the year and reflect upon all the gifts that were brought to us in 2016, it only seems fitting to spend this December finding joy in what we have to give back. After all, it is the holiday season!
We all have the natural desire to give straight from the heart, but most of us can probably admit to getting swept up in the commercial hustle and bustle of the season a little more so every year as we find ourselves under stress and pressure. As we’re all bombarded by the growing intensity of clever holiday advertising campaigns designed to make us think we have to buy our love from friends and relatives during the holidays, it’s only becoming increasingly more important for us to grasp the real nature of giving if we want to avoid getting too carried away with the overly commercialized spirit of things.
Take a moment to clear your mind of all the upcoming events, errands you have to run, shopping you have to do, and everything else so you can bring your awareness back to what giving (and receiving) is really all about.
Giving With Intention
The intention behind every gift should be an expression of our love and well wishes for others, plain and simple. All of nature itself is made purely out of love, and because we are not separate from nature, we are purely made of love too.
Gift giving, then, is the exchange of love from ourselves to others. Unfortunately, too many of us allow societal trends and standardized beliefs to influence what drives us to give in ways that make us feel pressured and obligated to find the perfect gift for somebody — and guilty if we’re unable to do so.
This is why the best gifts are the ones that are heartfelt offerings inspired by the gift giver’s authentic, loving desire to honor the gift recipient’s presence and personal values. When we simply consider what we truly appreciate about others and give freely to them without expecting anything in return, we create the clearest energetic transfer of love from ourselves to others.
Receiving With Gratitude
Knowing how to receive well means knowing how to recognize, feel, and express our gratitude. Saying “thank you,” maybe done out of habit, but most of us could probably do well to actually tune into ourselves and actually feel how incredible it is to receive a gift from another.
The feeling and expressing of our gratitude may often be downplayed as we allow ourselves to become distracted by the details of the gift itself or even get caught up in our own suspicious thoughts about the gift giver’s real intent. This cuts off our capacity to feel gratitude.
When we take the time to truly feel and express our gratitude for receiving a gift, both the gift recipient and the gift giver benefits from it. The exchange of love can continue to flow in the cyclical way that it does naturally — first from the recipient after receiving the gift, and then back to the gift giver who will then be triggered to feel grateful for the recipient’s expressed appreciation of their gift.
Flowing Along With the Cycle
Gift giving isn’t just something we humans do as a civilized species. Everything that exists in the natural world is constantly receiving loving energy from other elements of nature and giving parts of itself back.
So long as the universe exists, so too will the continuous cycle of giving and receiving. Lucky for us, we have the holiday season to remind ourselves of this every year.