When you hear “You are a gift to the world” do you confidently say, “I am! Thanks for noticing?” Or is there a part of you that thinks, “That is a nice sentiment but some people have better gifts to offer than I do!”? Or do you hear “Who do you think you are? God’s gift to the world?” as the sarcastic question often thrown out when someone is acting as my mother used to say, “too big for their britches.”
Most of us agree that babies and children are gifts, but we may have doubts about our own gift worthiness. Shakespeare said “Our doubts are traitors. And make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” Doubt about our personal gifts keep us from being fully present in the world and offering what we have to share. Such doubt often leads to overspending at the holidays as we try to fill what we think we lack with material things. Believe me I have no problem with a nice gift from anyone but so many friends and clients I know overspend because they want to prove something. How much authentic interaction is lost when you think the thing you buy for someone means more than the time you spend together?
I’ve spent a good portion of my life, walking the self improvement path—thinking that if I just fixed myself enough, healed another wound, and got a little more confidence, I’d understand what my gifts were and be able to share them. I realized I had it all wrong. Our gifts are not revealed when we wait to show up until we feel we are perfect. They are revealed in showing up and working with what we were given with love.
How much is lost because we think we have to get really good at something before we can share? We might say, “I’ll just play small until I figure it out.” Or even worse, “I’ll let someone else use their talents for the world, mine aren’t that special.” Have you ever been in an art museum and thought—I could do that? Why is that hanging in a museum? Regardless of whether you like what the artist created, that artist got out the paints or the sculpting materials or other media and actually made something. That artist also took the risk of showing other people what he or she created in smaller showings long before his or her art hung on that museum wall. The artist didn’t just think about bringing his or her gifts to the world, he or she took action.
Henry Van Dyke, (1852 –1933) American author, educator, and clergyman, said, “Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.” In the natural world every animal has its place and role. For example the bees pollinate our food; bats get rid of pest insects, etc. All the worlds are interdependent. So too, each of us has our own role or a certain medicine to bring to the world. There is something about the way that you are configured that is a perfect gift for the world right now.
As we navigate the changes in the world and step into 2012, the world needs all us to find our song and sing it. Even if you think there are others who have better talents, your talents are needed or you wouldn’t be here. Your gift is how you show up in the world—fully as the authentic you. Have you been holding back your love, your talents or your gifts? It’s time to put them out there! Remember the gift your family, friends and the world needs most this Holiday Season is you!
The following five minute meditation is designed to help you own your light, your beauty your gifts. It is my gift to you. Please share with your friends.