The other day I read the best article by Martha Beck, “To You, From You,” published in the December 2014, Volume 15, Number 12 issue of The Oprah Magazine. Martha and I have something in common – we both have a dislike of the holiday gifting ritual found at this time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I think a few presents are fine. I just do not advocate going into debt over a holiday – every year. How many times have you felt drained from all the gift giving at Christmas?
Martha has a great solution. For every gift that you give someone else – also give a gift to yourself. Nothing extravagant or ridiculous, simply something that you really want. What do you really want?
(Image credit: Presents)
According to Martha’s article, a poll was taken on Facebook to find out what are the best gifts that you can give yourself? Interestingly, almost all of the respondents asked for the same simple, inexpensive gifts: time, less-stuff, and acceptance. These are some pretty basic requirements, and if you think about them they apply to all of us.
Do yourself a favor – give yourself permission to accept the following gifts:
1. TIME. Time to do what you want, when you want to do it. Try 10 minutes a day sitting silently, meditating, praying, whatever gives you inner peace. Don’t squirm or think about what you have to do, or what email needs to be sent, or what bill to pay. Just sit there quietly for 10 minutes. Set a timer on your stove or phone so that you can experience 10 whole minutes to yourself. It is pure bliss!
2. LESS STUFF. I loved this idea. The absence of things really is a good thing, even though it seems like we spend our whole lives accumulating stuff. The last couple of years, after our last move to Florida, I purged things that I had been dragging around with me for years. I cried when I got rid of some of old books, although I made sure they went to a good cause. I found out that if I stored something in a bin in the garage for a year and never went out there to get it for anything, I really did not need it. I donated many things to charitable organizations, or friends, or family in need. Less stuff = less cleaning! A real plus in my book.
3. ACCEPTANCE. What a wonderfully novel idea, give yourself permission to accept who you are, and who you have become without criticism or blaming yourself for past decisions. When we attack ourselves we accomplish nothing except tearing down our own self-esteem, which only demoralizes us to the point of no return. Stop that. Accept that you will do some things wrong in this life. Learn from those mistakes and move on… just don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again. That is redundant and will cause you more pain.
The end result from the acceptance of these gifts to yourself is a sense of gratitude and self-respect. I personally cannot think of anything I want more than that from myself, for myself.
Many thanks to Colline’s Blog and her Gratitude Project who reminds me each week how thankful for life I really am.
Thanks for reading and stopping by. I love seeing all of you!