Gifts from the Heart
‘Tis the season to give and receive. But perhaps it’s also the time to examine your gift-giving motives. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you shop for gifts that will make you look fabulous and generous?
Are you giving out of a sense of obligation?
Is your giving motivated by what you’ll receive in return?
Do you over-give as a way of making yourself feel better?
In effect, is your “giving” all about you?
Genuine giving involves putting a lot of energy into someone else’s needs and perspectives. Often, the most important gifts aren’t the ones that come wrapped in beautiful packages, but the ones that come from the heart in the form of a sincere effort to show love and support.
For example, do you have a friend who is struggling with young children? How can you lighten their load? An offer to babysit might be the very best gift you could give that parent.
Is there an elderly or ill person in your life who would love nothing more than an in-person visit from busy old you?
Do you know someone who’s just created a website or is starting a new business? Have you visited their site, read their materials and tried to spread the word?
Do you give candy or chocolate to someone you know is struggling to control their weight?
Do you make a point of responding to people who take time to contact you?
Do you offer encouragement and compliments freely and liberally?
My point is that it’s easy to get caught up in giving things that reflect well on you as opposed to putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and creating a gift of yourself that is truly meaningful to them.
Go forth and give of yourself with authenticity and good cheer.