“Giving others all that is alive in us – our interest, understanding, our knowledge, our humor, everything in us that’s good. In doing so, we enhance the sense of aliveness in others while enhancing our own. When we give, we get a “heightened vitality” of what it means to be human.” – Erich Fromm
Being very curious by nature and lately reading and studying a bit the Buddhist cult and meditation, one of the things that really stayed with me was the importance of giving. According to the Buddhists, each individual is a small part of the universe and in order to keep the energy going, one needs to give as well as to receive in order to feel happy and complete.
Giving is a way to share with the rest of the world a smaller or bigger part of who you are. Now we are in full holiday season, celebrating maybe the biggest Christian holiday – the Birth of Jesus – and this celebration is very much around being good, humble, and with an open heart. We express this by helping the ones in need by charity work and gifts, but we also give presents to our dear ones as a token of our love and gratitude for their presence in our lives.
Giving presents has been something many people always loved doing for the ones they know and love in a way or another. Knowing how to make them smile and begin able to do it is an act of selfishness that indulges you in a happy state. The happy state is then contagious, spreading to the ones receiving the gifts.
The act of giving a present is comprised of priceless moments. Starting with planning the gift and brainstorm ideas, to the moment you either shop or make it yourself till it’s ready, and then when you enjoy seeing the smiles on the dear ones faces when they receive it. When the gift is made with an open heart, the connection with the receiver is stronger and the gratitude and happiness for it is true. That’s why doing your best so that the presents you give are either very personalized or have a meaning is quite an important part of giving.
Because presents for me represent that I am giving a part of me in a way that the loved ones can enjoy, the best way I can do this is by either making them myself, or buying them but adding a personal touch that make them special.
For example, one thing I am super proud of is using my little sewing talent to produce personalized hand bags for the colleagues in my team at work. Each bag was handmade, sewed by me and embroidered with a message that suited their individuality. I really enjoyed doing them and I got a feeling of happiness when I saw their faces when receiving them.
Most of the times though, the most appreciated gifts are not the material ones, but things such as being there when the other needs you, giving a supportive hand, paying a compliment, helping with an advice or word of encouragement or simply giving a hug and a smile when everything expected is indifference or hate.
Coming back to the Buddhist teachings, they say every life is like a constant river of energy that flows within us. If we don’t give, we stop the river and it gets flooded, stagnant and muddy. On the opposite, if you keep giving, your river keeps moving and stays clean. I really love this parallel and even if you are not a Buddhist believer, it is somehow fascinating how their teachings actually make sense. I think everyone just feels better when they do a good deed out of their heart or a gift – even if their name is not mentioned or the receiver has no idea who was the author of the present.
Thanking you all for being here and reading this, I do consider my blog as a gift for myself and for the others reading it as well. I was encouraged recently to share the beauty inside me because one never knows when someone else might need it. And that is my motivation to keep it alive, besides being far from perfect.
All in all, these lines were merely an excuse to express my gratitude and wish you all a warm Christmas and Happy New Year! 2016 was harsh, and beautiful. Was full of challenges for the world, but also full of learning. And it was the year in which I feel I’ve grown the most. I hope 2017 to be better for the world, and for all of us living in the now. Enjoy your loved ones and the quiet holiday season. To many experiences that lift your life and keep you in balance with your soul!