The old adage goes, “Do not look a gift horse in the mouth!” What is your gift experience? How do you receive gifts? Do you quickly return gifts or treasure the gift with all your heart? Do you use the gift right away, or set it aside, unused? Do you share your gifts with others or hoard them for yourself? Do you set aside the gift without a bow, but open the beautifully wrapped one first? Do you re-gift? Are you a gracious giver? Are you a grateful receiver?
Gifts come in all sizes, various prices, and varieties. A gift once opened may be treasured the rest of your life. A gift maybe treasured because of the giver. My husband surprised me one birthday with two unexpected presents. I was overjoyed. The gift he gave was a pair of pink skinny jeans and a blouse. It meant something, though not because pink is my color and I love clothes; it was meaningful because it was the first gift he had purchased in over thirty years.
You know, people are a lot like gifts. They too come in different sizes and personalities. Each person you meet can become a treasured gift to you, if you open the “gift” and get to know their story. Yes, everyone has a story to tell. If you take the time to listen they will usually open their hearts to you. If the gift is left on the shelf, it will never be unveiled. You can actually damage the gift if misused, whether it is a stranger, a friend, a child or spouse. People need people to become alive.
You need all kinds of people in your life to thrive, and to be healthy and whole. Some people are encouragers. You especially need these people when you feel that there is a black cloud trying to rain on you. You can easily spot them because they smile as they say things like, “We need the rain.” Some people are exhorters, who point out your defects. You need them to rub off your rough edges. These people are a blessing in disguise. They say things like, “Are you going to wear that blouse?” You do not have to ask, “Why do you like it on me?” because of the way they say it, you know. Some people teach you skills. Some share their talents with you. Some people are just good examples. You will want to follow in their footsteps. Some people you can laugh with. Call them when depression tries to set up camp in your heart. Some people you can cry with. These people have climbed the mountain of suffering and made it to the other side. They are also the people who give you a hug when our hearts cry out, “Does anybody care about me?” They are usually the only ones who notice you have a tear in your eye. Some people are too busy to notice, usually because they need a hug themselves. When in doubt, hug the busy and grumpy people, just in case. It may help them to open up their heart. Love heals!
Do not miss the gifts within your own home. Maybe you have never taken the time to treasure the gift of your child, your parent, your siblings or even your spouse. Maybe even the gift you have failed to unwrap is the gift of yourself. Take the time today to do it, because it is never too late. Slowly, carefully, and diligently, unwrap the present in your heart. Then go and make a difference in the lives of others.
As you journey the path of your life, look for the treasures in the hearts of the people you meet along the way. It will be amazing how many gifts you will get to know if you take the time! When treasure hunting for gifts, don’t only open the ones beautifully wrapped. All gifts count, even the ones without the “bows!” You may find a bigger treasure in the one wrapped only in white tissue paper. Once built up with love, a less-noticed gift can grow to be the most treasured gift of all. Take the time to unwrap the gift slowly and carefully so that you do not break it, or crush the inner treasure of the heart, or ever get to really enjoy the inner beauty. All gifts should be treasured, not re-gifted, or set aside alone on a shelf to collect dust. Shower all you meet with encouraging words, listen to their story, be the good example, and let them know you care.
Everyone has a story to tell which is worth listening to. Everyone has a hurt that needs healing. Everyone has a gift to share with the world. Everyone is on this earth to make a difference. As we treasure the gift with love, and pour out our gifts upon them, we enable their gifts to grow. They then become confident enough in their gifts to share them with the world. Go on a treasure hunt; see what gift you can discover each day. Take the time to look beyond the outer wrappings to see the hidden person within. Once these gifts are revealed you yourself are more empowered to make a difference in this world. Who knows? You may even be able to throw the world one big surprise party, with gifts alive everywhere. Until then strive daily to treasure the gifts in all you meet. This is what makes the journey of life charming and worthwhile. Journey on!
photo credit: 05 01 2016 No 5 via photopin (license)