Christmas is viewed by many as the best, and for some people the only, time to give. A few years ago, I stopped giving Christmas gifts.
Some new friends of mine thought that very strange of me when they were told in no uncertain term not to buy me any gifts for Christmas. I made it very clear that I was not buying them any either. Not sure that they took me seriously, until Christmas morning when there was nothing under the tree for them from me.
Am I the Scrooge that stole Christmas? Actually, Christmas is my most favourite time of the year! Whether spent in Jamaica, where I was born or dashing through the snow here in Canada, I absolutely love Christmas. Except for one year.
Christmas 2006 was a particularly blue one for me. A long-term relationship had finally collapsed, capsized over the cliff and I was left shattered in tiny pieces at the bottom. Recovery would take many years but as my heart, head and spirit healed the “blessons” of that smashing finally came through. Of the many, these two relate to giving:
- Give Just Because
- Stop Giving A Shit
The Giving Lesson
It was back in 2002 that the message started coming through. My then partner and I had decided to apply for permanent residency in Canada. I had done what I do best – research and asked questions about the application process. Then, as we did not have the money to pay immigration consultants, I put my skills to work and filed our paperwork myself. As we waited for it to be processed, the tension mounted and to escape it, we took a trip to the North Coast of Jamaica, to a beach and entertainment complex in Ocho Rios.
We hung out there for a day and a few hours before it was time to head home, my partner was approached by a man who did a strange thing – flapped his hands and said, “When you get the ticket, you just go – everything’s going to be alright!” I remember the day clearly and it came back to me last evening reading through some old journals from that year.
Intrigued and as I wrote thirteen years ago, we went in search of this man and found out that he was a “reader,” or psychic. My usual fear of such characters who claim to be able to see into the future had vanished and I went up to him and asked him to “read” me.
He read me like a book! Just about everything he told me was either true, have since occurred and some are now unfolding. That will be the content of another post in the future but about his message and lesson to me on giving that July afternoon in 2002, André – that was his name, told me what would become a turning point for me:
“Just give and forget the self-importance,” he said, “Just give. Give because it’s the only thing to live for. Forget the praises and the glory because they are not yours anyway.” [tweetthis]Give just because, not just to get.[/tweetthis]
It would be years before the full meaning of his message would be embraced and then lived by me. When it did, Christmas giving ended. I replaced it with giving every day as best possible and whatever I had to give. To some, it would be a smile, a kind word or a listening ear. To others, it could be my time and full attention. Where necessary and possible, from a place of abundance, I give money if that is what would resolve the situation.
What I have learned in the process and what many of the people in this Christmas video say, is that as I give – without thought, whatever is on hand, as much as is needed to support others – I get a hundred-fold. It might not be from the same persons but come back to me it does. Have a watch of this video and share your giving experience with me in the comments below:
Stop Giving a Shit
Unlike the first lesson, I cannot pinpoint the exact moment that the reverse-programming began. See, my mother had modelled for me that it is good to receive and then ask for more. Actually, beg for more. This is not another “blame the mother,” episode, it is really what happened. That I do not blame her for but was ever so grateful when my eyes opened and the “stop giving a shit about what people think of me and however I choose to live my life” started and put the ever so important pep in my step.
I was always a free-thinker and risk-taker. Both attitudes got me in trouble and very hot waters many a times, even to this day. However, I would not have it any other way. It became even more important when I learned to give freely, without strings or conditions and to give only what I could give without a second thought.
An example of this is that I will not lend money to anyone who asks me. My hard-earned philosophy is this, if you cannot give someone X amount of money, then do not lend it. [tweetthis]Don’t lend money that you can’t lose…you’re not a bank![/tweetthis]
Money is one of the things that you and I have to learn not to give a shit about – how much you have, how much you want and when it will come. Until we do, we will stay in the “giving a shit “ what people think trap.
Read a most interesting article on this earlier this year. I invite you to sit back, click here and have read. Some of it is humorous but look beyond that to the heart of the matter. Make notes and develop an action plan about how you can stop giving a shit about these 21 things.
As you do, your ability to give to others freely and at any time of the year, not just Christmas, gets stronger. You will no longer equate giving to money and see that your gift of Love, expressing as respect for strangers, loved ones, colleagues, anyone you meet, is the only present you need to unwrap and share.
Have a blessed rest of the Sunday! Do Subscribe and let me deliver straight to your email daily updates, tips and resources that will help us all live the life that we have already created in our minds.