A perspective that I shared with someone yesterday is that some people are in your life to receive your gifts; others are in your life to assist you to develop them by their very inability to receive them. Say that you have the ability to offer great advice and perspective that can assist someone to make changes and move forward. Often we mistakenly believe that we are supposed to offer that gift to everyone, including our family members. That if we have it, we are here to share it. What this expectation sets us up for is not only disappointment, but also frustration or even anger. When we don't realize that we have an investment in someone receiving our gifts (supported by the belief that it is our responsibility, duty, role or obligation to deliver them), and they refuse to receive them, it can lead us to wanting to push more, or reject them or write them off. It can save us immense pain if we acknowledge that it is not our duty or responsibility to share our gifts, it is our choice. The moment it becomes our choice we can become aware of who to offer them to and when. When someone shows up in our life asking for advice, we can provide it. When someone desires to be heard, we can listen. If someone is asking for healing or support we can provide it. Essentially, if we have a gift and someone arrives in our lives asking for it, we can happily offer it. That space of gifting and receiving, whether we are receiving or gifting, or both simultaneously, is what can bring tremendous joy. I say yes to living in that space!
I know for me, I'm coming into a phase that I've named re-claiming my gifts. There were certain things that I had given up on, dreams or potentials that I had given up on, based on repeated experiences of people not being there to receive them. After enough times of there being a mismatch of what I desired to give and what someone was asking to receive I decided that in order to "be successful" I had to cater to the needs of other people and try to line myself up with what they wanted. For instance, at one point I shifted by business from coaching and counselling to relaxation massage. There were more people asking for relaxation than for change and transformation. Now I’m blessed to have more people in my life now who say yes to change, yes to letting go of patterns and belief systems that are in conflict with what they desire to have, and yes to exploring what else is possible, and welcoming in new experiences. And I’m blessed to be receiving that too, people around me contributing to the change and transformation I’m experiencing. So, in this process I'm re-claiming my gifts and no longer discarding them, just because other people did.
I can now see the fallacy in expecting someone to want what I wanted, or trying to share my gifts with everyone whether they were asking for them or not. I can also now see how so many people assisted me to develop my gifts by their very inability to receive them. When I was invested and believed that I had to or was supposed to give what I could to them, and they didn’t or couldn’t get it, I would try another way. It’s like having this belief that you have to get into their house (especially if they are a “loved one”) and make their lives better, and if they don’t let you in the front door, you try the back, or climbing in a window, or hide in the basement pretending that you are not there, sneak in quietly, say a few words and then hope they will want to hear more, pound on the door when they are saying no, pretend to walk away with threats of never returning if they don’t let you in. It’s quite hilarious really and a little insane! Moral of the story, if they don’t invite you in the front door, maybe it’s not the house you are meant to deliver your gifts to. With a client recently we did this exercise of imagining where her gifts were, in her parents basement thrashed and tossed aside, thrown out by a sibling, rejected by a lover or a close friend, dismissed by workmates etc. and with the innocence of a child saying, oops, I guess those weren’t meant for you, my mistake, and welcoming all of them to return to her, and acknowledging that no gift ever has to be given out of duty, obligation or necessity. When they are requested, they can be lovingly offered. When people have gifts for her that she has asked for, they can be lovingly received.
So, an exercise you can play with is to become aware of all the times you went to give someone something that they didn’t receive. If you were invested in them having it, and you attempted again and again in all sorts of creative ways, thank them for assisting you to develop your gifts and discover so many different methods of delivery. Now, take a moment to welcome your gifts back to you. As they return, you can take the time to energetically re-wrap them, wipe the dust off, repair those that have been ripped apart, dismissed or taken advantage of, and restore them and re-introduce them to your life now. You have the choice of who to gift them to and when. You can gift them freely, and have no attachment to whether or not people receive them, or you can cherish them and gift them in moments they are being asked for. There is no right or wrong, just a choice of what works best for you, and for me, it’s healing to know that I haven’t failed when a gift wasn’t received, or succeeded if it was, and more so, I continue to have more and more opportunities to play in the space of gifting and receiving for the fun and joy of it and I love it!
Christine helps people to navigate transitions with love and wisdom. offering presence and care she can assist people to play an active role in their mental, emotional and physical health no matter what is going on in life. With all of the different tools, methods and wisdom she has access to, she inspires, encourages and makes it possible for people to really love and honor themselves, and thus be more able to love and honor others. Through her patience, kindness and astute awareness of the body, mind and heart she accelerates people's self-healing journeys and makes the inner and outer world a whole lot easier to navigate!