Gifts and gift giving can improve your spirit
I’ve heard people say to me that how can a person possible make money or be successful when they keep giving things away? While that is a very valid question, my answer surprises folks.
Recently my life has taken a front seat with planning a wedding, a family member being gravely ill, and life in general getting back on track after a trip to Brazil. My wedding is a bit more than just arranging flower deliveries, it involves borders, bureaucracy, different traditions, and international adventures. Sounds exciting? Trust me it is. My fiancé and I are also working out details of family members and where we fit into each other’s lives.
We have been dating almost 2 years long distance, but only in person for 2 months. Let me tell you that there are adjustments, but we are both happy to make them. The past few days, I am getting back into a work routine and have been longing to blog again.
Gift giving was more or less a part of our relationship. I would give gifts and he would enjoy getting them. When he could, he would get me something, but it wasn’t really part of who he was. Instead, he gave me his time which honestly is vastly more precious than a bracelet.
I adore gift giving and receiving always makes me smile.
I am the type of person to get a meaningful gift for someone for a birthday or special event. Holidays are important to me as well as deaths, births, anniversaries, and illness/accidents. In 2012, I was in a car accident literally right outside of my home. Another car hit my side of the car I was in. Luckily it was far enough away from my door that I only had minor injuries. The experience shook me. My day job kindly sent me flowers. These flowers just made my soul feel at peace.
Thinking of others before yourself has been talked about for thousands of years in story and song.
The Bible speaks about loving your neighbor as you would want to be loved. The respect we give to the folks around us helps the world become a better place. Yes, it is amazing when we can change communities, states, countries, and the world. However, that all really starts with the little gestures.
I am a tither, started doing this a few years ago. I did it because I wanted to donate the gift I was given for my hard work. No, the money I make is not mine, it is a tool. I cannot eat money, it will not go with me beyond the grave, and I cannot use money as roofing material. Money is used to buy food, flowers, and roofing tiles. This money can also bring hope beyond my wildest imagination.
Giving takes no time at all and the return is so great
It takes a bit to get the hang of giving gifts. I use a calendar to remind me or the local stores are sure to sell me on the next holiday bonanza. Sometimes friends or family will remind me. Whatever it takes, I know that little gesture can make a huge difference in the lives of my friends who suffer from depression or are grieving. Having a birthday does not equal joy. Sometimes it hurts when people forget so I try my best to make an effort.
People remember the kindness
Time and time again, people tell me how kind, caring, thoughtful I am and it almost always brings me to tears of joy. I don’t give to get, I give because I haven’t gotten. I make an act of kindness because I would love one back. Or maybe I randomly was given a gift and I need to pass it forward. I don’t expect anything in return. That makes the moments someone gives me a big hug or a free coffee all the more precious.
The biggest lie is that we all live in a vacuum
Growing up in this American society, there was a phrase in the 1980’s that stated a person could never be too rich, thin, or young. This ideal made a person into a commodity and completely self-centered. More recently, I constantly hear “I deserve this”. I feel we deserve nothing but are given much.
Once you can break free of focusing on yourself, it is astonishing how beautiful the world around us shifts. It’s as if God opens up doors to those who think beyond themselves because it is not the goal to receive.
Quote after famous quote speaks about selflessness, but drawing the line is required
Giving is amazing, but knowing when to say “NO” is also part of the equation. I speak from experience when I say that there is a limit both physically and spiritually when the giving needs to stop. I’ve had moments when I am sick, tired, and literally falling apart from the amount of giving I’ve done. Healthy boundaries are needed. That way there is a balance of health and kindness that doesn’t send you to the poor house.
So how does this all affect a career?
Simple, once you stop living for yourself and start living for others, others will start living for you. It is not magic nor does it take overnight. Smiling and getting a gift to someone in need could land you a record deal. In business, people work with people. Who wants to work for a diva who screams that her dress is all wrong? Not me. I much rather work with a producer who will pay for the coffee this time because my paycheck hasn’t come in yet.