THE GIFT OF YOURSELF
You are the gift you give
For many people there is an innate drive to give to others. To serve, help, and support others generally generates good feelings inside of us as long as our giving comes from a place of true desire rather than obligation or agenda. We are taught early on that we must learn skills, trades or other tools and means in order to have something to give. Those things become our contribution to others. This is the whole idea of work, and of trading services and resources.
While our skills, services and abilities can add value to people’s lives and create ease, flow or greater efficiency in the world, they are not the gift that we give. Two different people can have similar skills, services or abilities and yet they give an entirely different gift. Sure on the surface it may seem that two architects can write up similar plans for a building, and yet they produce very different feels or results with their plans. You may wonder why this is so. It is so, because it is the energy of you that brings the gift of what gets produced. It is the heart, the core of who you are, that is the actual gift you give.
Now this may seem very obvious to you conceptually. Of course you understand that it’s you and the not the thing, but also notice how much of your mental and physical energy you spend on searching for the next cool thing you are going to create, the next career you will have, the next relationship you will start, all the while thinking that it will be your new purpose, the new thing that will define you and give you some sense of contribution. It is very easy to pin the thing, meaning it is very easy for us to say “oh there is this thing that I can do or give to others and that makes my existence worthwhile.” To say to yourself “I created this product, shared this service with others or did this thing and it changed people’s life, it’s so amazing!” It is innocent enough and perhaps even true that your skill or ability did change their life and yet it is still not the gift you give.
See in order to recognize the gift, you must be able to recognize and see yourself. We are quite blind and distorted in our perspectives of how we view our own self. We are not very clear mirrors for our own reflection. We tend to not view ourselves as very worthwhile in general and therefore it’s easier to project our goodness on things we do rather than on our own selves. We project our worth onto things. Then to top it off the world reinforces all of our do-gooding all the while also telling us that if we think too highly of ourselves we are selfish and arrogant. Oh the conundrum!
Unless you know your worth you can’t give, because your giving is giving you. If you see nothing of value in and of yourself, naked and without skills, abilities and stuff, then nothing will radiate out of you. Sure you will still do stuff, create stuff and function in the world, but you will grow tired because you are running on empty inside trying to generate worth through what you do. Until you know how worthy you are you will always have agenda, because you will always be trying to get love rather than realizing you are it.
Your radiance is your gift. How you shine is your gift. It is really, really simple. You could never attain worth or get more worthy and valuable based on any skill or ability that you may have or acquire. Again it doesn’t mean that your skills won’t help out the ease and flow of this human existence, but they are not your service. You are your service independent of anything that is done.
Since it is impossible to increase our worth this begs the question of how do we elevate our sense of self-worth. Our sense of self-worth and our actual self-worth are two very different things. The journey is in how we bridge the seeming gap in between without it being based on things that we accomplish or do. Since most of our confidence comes through feats of walking into the fire of our own fears and limitations it is based in accomplishment or doing.
There is one fast and short easy way to elevate our sense of self-worth and that is gratitude. Gratitude for ourselves just the way we are in any given moment. Appreciating the quirks, oddities, subtleties, nuances, particularities, and the way that we are exactly as we are. Ending the desire to change ourselves or make ourselves different in any way brings greater and greater self-acceptance.
Anything other than total gratitude for self is self-absorption, self-denial, self-hatred and the true selfishness. It’s the true selfishness because when we don’t feel amazing about ourselves then we focus on ourselves. We focus on what’s wrong with us and how to be different or better. When we are focused on ourselves our energy goes in rather than radiating out. The result is that we feel depleted rather than energized. Giving/being ourselves is energizing because it’s effortless. It doesn’t need to be more or less. It is complete in and off itself. None of this means that we won’t grow or change, but instead simply that growth will come through acceptance of self rather than through non-acceptance.
Develop a daily practice of self-gratitude, not for what you do, but for who you are. Nothing added, nothing subtracted. Just you as you are. This will be your portal into a sense of stable, infinite self-worth where you will naturally radiate the gift that you are.
Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado