Happy New Year, 2015!!!
Time to write those “thank you notes”. But before I review the tips, I want to say a few words about the gesture of receiving. How comfortable are you in getting a compliment? Do you feel awkward when someone gives you a present? What if the gift is something you don’t like, can’t use, is the wrong color, style, or size? How do you address your thank you?
This past week, I received a thank you for a Christmas gift. The sentence started out something like: “Thank you for the beautiful blah, blah…I can’t use it, so I am giving it away”. Yes, she was being honest, but I felt a peculiar rejection in her admission. Beyond feeling angry and hurt, I chose to self reflect and review my history of gift-giving.
As a child from a turbulent home life, I would give gifts so people would like me. I learned that that was manipulation, and with therapy, I learned to be more mindful and conscious of when and what I gave. Finally, a wise man told me, “Your presence is a gift”. With that statement my energy in gifting,completely shifted.
I see giving as a way to give back. For example, I feed stray cats- every day. I feel fortunate to have enough money to share, so I care for about a dozen homeless cats with daily food and shelters. That’s 365 days a year!
I see my approach to giving as symbolic of a connection offered. In The Optimist article (see attached link), a gift is described as energy from Spirit. I recommend this article for anyone who feels uncomfortable with the whole process of giving and receiving…
Of course, I am given things that I can’t use. However, stepping beyond that detail, I see a gift as someone’s offer of a connection to me. It’s a sign of generosity. Who am I to refuse their heart’s energy? I am always grateful to be appreciated. I word my thanks with acknowledgement of the gift received and heartfelt thanks for the giver’s thoughtfulness. Simple, sincere, sensitive. You can quietly re-gift the items later, without offending the giver by mentioning it in your note.