I just love the way children unwrap gifts. The first yell at receiving a surprise. Then the hurried tearing away of the packaging. And then the final shout at seeing the gift! Their joy and laughter are highly infectious. For many, this curiosity and joy at receiving gifts stay stays even in their adult lives.
When was the last time you gifted yourself something? It is always easy to gift ourselves material stuff – clothes, electronics, books, etc.…But what about a gift that touches your heart and creates a mind shift in your thinking? A gift that expresses love and gratitude for your own self and how you manage your life and how you have coped with the ups and downs? Are you able to recall?
The obvious question here is, what gifts can we give to our own selves? The answer is really very simple. Love. Acknowledgement. Acceptance. Ownership. Let us take each one of them.
Human beings yearn for love. Ironically, love is the only emotion that can be a strength and/or weakness for one. When was the last time you said, ‘I love myself’? What do you see when you see yourself in the mirror? Chances are, you don’t like what you see. Do you see a long nose, or a crooked face with a crooked smile? Do you see a tall/short you or a thin/overweight you? Do you worry about the colour of your skin? Now, how about if you shift your thinking to ‘I love what I am seeing of myself…’ What would you see then? What if you were to invest more in loving yourself? If you allow yourself to be in the moment, it will not be difficult for you to see your strengths and view the beauty in things around you. With this comes confidence, pride and self-satisfaction.
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Acknowledge the feelings that you are experiencing now. Whether they have to do with a bad day at work or a stiff with your boss or a disagreement with a loved one. The obvious reaction is to fight that emotion. When you do that, you only land up feeling worse. But what if you were to acknowledge your emotions? It is likely, you will experience change! What else can be a better gift for yourself?
It is human nature to want to eliminate the negative and the bad. However, the paradox is that when you do that, the bad becomes worse! Think of the disagreement you had at work. Did thinking more about it make you feel better? No! Chances are that you felt terrible! The only way to live with reality is to accept things for what they are, right now. This is possible when you gift yourself the ability to live in the present, in the moment.
When things do not turn out the way one hopes for, it is always easy to pass the buck to someone else. Recollect how often you have blamed someone else or some other department/function when you have failed to meet your targets. If you were to take ownership/accountability for the completion of a project end-to-end, you will notice a shift in your energies. Invest your energies where the outcome is a change in how you view things. Positive energy does not fade away. The more you take ownership of your actions, the more positive energy you will generate towards your own self. This gift takes a while to practice but once you embrace the thought behind it, it can quickly become a natural part of you.
Just as you focus all your energies on the task at hand, take some time off to focus on yourself. There can be no better healing than taking care of your own self.
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