This Christmas my husband and I exchanged gifts in a rather unusual way.

“Here is everything you ever presented me with. Thank you very much, but it was never mine to have. It is yours. Here are your gifts, they belong to you. I want you to have them back, enjoy them like you never could, and share them again with a new sentiment.”

Relations of any kind are very often the opportunity to borrow something we really, really want but which we can never seem to get by ourselves.

Whether it is our spouse, our children, or our friends, we turn to one another in the hope to find what we have always been missing inside.

“Oh I fancy a little joy. And I could do with a bit of confidence, and calm, and safety. I tried to get all these things by myself, but I suppose you’ll be happy to share them with me, won’t you? You have so much of it, you won’t mind, will you?”

We often take possessions of someone else’s qualities believing that what we lack of will eventually become ours too. Same as we believe that letting them have our gits is the way to support and cherish them. Eventually we realise that no gift feel special any longer, and what was missing has never been found after all.

Because we are the only ones who could ever look for it. Whatever we wish, we have to go and get it ourselves. Make it our own and then share it with pride, generosity, and a little care.

I am one of those blessed with a solid and safe union. Which means that I am one of those able to allow things to come undone, reform, and take new shape. Although scary, this is a necessary process for anyone wishing to live from the heart.

At the end of what has been quite an unforgiving year at times, looking at my beautiful man one evening, I had to come clean about our “gift swapping” tendency.

We have always felt so close and comfortable, it just seemed normal to borrow a little of this and a little of that from each other through the years. Just enough to stand strong in life. Just enough to never go lost in the world. Suddenly, I saw how our lovely gifts were all over the place, no one was enjoying them anymore, or even seeing them.

“Baby what would you like for Christmas?” my husband asked me lately.

“I want all my gifts back, my love. And I’m gonna give you all yours back. And then the ones I really, really liked…Well, those lovely gifts you always had and I wanted for my self…Well, I am going to go and look for them. Learn to make them my own, so we can enjoy them together.”

My husband smiled and gave me a real big hug.

“I understand baby. I understand. You are just jealous that my gifts are nicer than yours.”

This Christmas, take all your gifts back. Whatever little piece of yourself you left in someone else’s space, go and get it. Whatever need, quality, or fear bring it all back to you. Own them and transform them. And when you are ready to share them again, trust that they will be truly appreciated and never forgotten.

 

Antonia Lyons

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