“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” Tony Robbins
How do you feel about good things that come from a negative experience? What gifts has life given you? How much do you love yourself?
I love the change of seasons. They keep life interesting, even winter with its storms, snow, and extreme chill, for unlike spring when I can hardly stay inside, staying warm inside during winter is a pleasure. I curl up on the couch with a good book or sit at my computer writing for hours totally absorbed with a story and new ideas.
Many Gifts Are Unexpected
For example, I was looking for a file the other day, thinking how I seriously needed to clear out a lot of old folders, when I came across a folder marked “Affirmation Project.” To my surprise, I found a mock-up of a self-made book of affirmations that I had written. A few years ago, I gave it as a gift or was selling it at a bazaar—I honestly don’t remember, but I had forgotten about it.
I read through the book and liked what I had written, and now that I know about independent publishing, it occurred to me that I could easily publish it. I was so excited and immediately thanked Spirit for guiding me to this. “What a gift,” I thought.
Only We Can Choose to Live Well
Voltaire said, “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” So what does that mean to live well? I think it means to be the best person we can be: to love ourselves and others, to develop our talents so that we can contribute to the world and give back in response to the gifts that come to us.
Life’s Gifts May Be Hidden Beneath the Surface
Life’s gifts come in many forms, sometimes hiding beneath the surface of an experience that isn’t so positive. We may feel that the experience is dragging us down is certainly not a gift. It is only in retrospect that we can see the chain of events leading to a precious gift or an opportunity to become more.
A few years ago, I slipped and fell on ice and broke an elbow and pelvis. I was in the hospital and rehab for an entire month and still needed help after that. It was an awful experience that included a lot of pain. Without family in the area, I was very fortunate to belong to a spiritual community that had just formed a Circle of Care group that became my family and helped and nurtured me. In fact, so many people wanted to help that I had more help than I needed. Their love and attention healed me as surely as the medical care I received.
Among the people who helped was a woman who has since become a very close friend. Her kindness and generosity of spirit always inspire me. In addition, I learned that I could always call on my community in a time of need. That gave me a security I didn’t have before, and I made more room in my life to be active in that community. Recently, when a member I knew had cancer, I gladly drove her to chemotherapy. Again, there was a hidden gift as she revealed more of herself to me and our conversations created a deeper friendship.
To Live Well, We Must Love Ourselves
Part of living well or giving back requires that we love ourselves enough to value our talents and put them out into the world. I once had a friend who told me she didn’t have any talents. I knew that wasn’t true. She was a teacher, so every day she was giving to her students a gift that was most valuable to them. Sadly, she couldn’t see this value because she just didn’t love herself enough to value her own strengths.
Growing up in a family that saw life in a very concrete way, my desire to live a creative life was treated as frivolous although it was my parents that exposed me to the beauty of all the fine arts. They felt that the arts were inspiring to view, but impractical to do.
Our Greatest Gift Is Being Who We Truly Are
But at a very early age, both dance and writing seemed to be part of who I was. When I wasn’t doing either, I was fantasizing about doing them. At some point, I realized that these talents were spiritual gifts that I could not ignore. I became a dancer first because I needed a young body to do that, and in the process, I healed my weak body and developed a valuable mind/body connection.
Later, when I needed to give up the strenuous physical demands of dance, I turned to my second gift, writing. I realized then that my mother’s insistence that I always speak and write with grammatical correctness had been a gift I could now truly appreciate. Through writing I healed many issues and areas of emotional distress as well as expanding my ability to express myself intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
The More We Are Ourselves, The More We Have To Give
There is a beautiful freedom that comes with expressing who we really are. By becoming more of who we are, we have more to give others. And the more we become who we truly are, the more we have to contribute, in a positive way, to the life around us.
Love and Joy Expand Our Energy
My dearest spiritual teacher said that our purpose in this life is to expand our energy by experiencing love and joy. One way we can do that is to develop the spiritual being that we are, to experience gratitude for life’s many gifts, and by appreciating the opportunities that life offers for our growth and awareness. What can you do today to give something back to this life by becoming more?
© 2014 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5