The Gift You Give Yourself

There’s an oldies song that was a hit, though not for the holidays. On second thought, maybe it should be. Perhaps that classic tune just might become the carol you sing to yourself as you prepare for Christmas.

“Who are you, ooh ooh, ooh ooh, I really wanna know, who are you, ooh ooh, ooh ooh?” Do you remember it? Whether or not you recall the song, it’s a good question for all, especially as we search for the perfect gift for that special someone.

Wait. What are you giving yourself? Often we spend so much time considering who to buy what for, we often forget to consider what we want. That old Biblical phrase “love your neighbor as yourself” leaves many thinking of the neighbor. But if you really think about it, it’s a license to love one’s self too.

So the best gift you can give to yourself is just that: yourself. That’s as in the real you–the least identifiable you among all those under all the hats you must wear every day. It’s easier said than done.

Often we hide the lack of an answer behind the title on our business card. Or the ever famous “I’m somebody’s mom or wife.” No question that is part of who we are, but at the core, there is an important person who needs to be clearly defined, adequately attended, and in constant motion towards growth, purpose and fulfillment.

What do you wish you could do? We all have restraints and commitments, but what are you doing for you? Work out? Paint? Write? Golf? School? It can require planning while saying no to unimportant commitments. If you wait to pursue the “wants” in life until they are convenient, you will likely wake up one day years from now wishing you did a few things differently.

What do I wish to accomplish? Why is it that kids dream big, but adults rarely do? Because we get bogged down in what everyone expects to the point that we forget to keep our dreams alive by working towards them. Nothing creates envy more than seeing someone do what they love and are gifted to do. But that person knew what they wanted and worked hard to get there. Maybe it’s time to think big.

Who can help me? We all need mentors, strategically placed people who can push us beyond our limits. Not only do I have friends and family in this role, but there are certain experts I seek. Whether they write or speak, when they share, I listen because they have influence over my decisions. Find those who push you and pursue them.

Who brings you down? Have you heard the phrase “misery loves company?” It’s true. Miserable people don’t go around encouraging others; they want to bring others down so they can breed negativity. Keep a disciplined distance.

The most important gift you can give yourself is the right to be fully you. Think big, think forward, and think now. It just so happens, others will like it too!

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