Gifts. Gifts do not always come in a beautifully wrapped package with a bow. In fact, most of the time they do not. Instead they may come as a gesture of kindness, an offer of help, a hug, or even just a smile. But not all gifts are gentle or even happy. Sometimes in life the biggest gifts wallop us over the head and break our hearts and leave us to question something we held very dear. I have heard it said that to be open is to be vulnerable and that leads to getting hurt. I understand that fear because I have lived in that mindset before. As I wake this morning, I am grateful for new definitions. Openness does not require a destruction of us. Being open does, however, allow us to grow and learn more about ourselves. There is so much to be learned in our interactions and in the love we give and we choose to receive. Vulnerability is no longer defined to me as weakness but rather as the heartbeat that I play to those I love. It is a different kind of music that is uncensored and raw. And hurt is a gift that is just harder to see. Sometimes the ones we love most, the ones we are completely vulnerable with, are the ones that SEEM to be able to hurt us the most. But if it is truly someone that loves us, what hurts is the truth we were not wanting to see for ourselves. It is a gift of growth. At times that gift can be accepted and incorporated and other times that gift is the gift of freedom and the paths must divide from each other to fully honor what has happened. I do believe everything happens for a reason and our challenges ultimately lead to our success (if we let it). I'm grateful for these gifts. I'm grateful to be open even when it does not feel the best. I'm grateful to give love not only to others but to myself. I'm grateful to know that the heart is resilient and I believe that, when we do not cut ourselves off from it, it mends in a way that allows it to be stronger than before. I do want to add a disclaimer to this though. When I say stronger I do not mean tougher, or walled off... I do mean more vulnerable and more knowledgeable. And if the same person causes continuous pain, it may be in the only way they know how to give love, but it is no longer a gift and it is ok to give that person freedom. Everything is a give and take and just as we receive gifts, sometimes we must also give gifts that cause sadness but ultimately allow growth. Give these gifts from the heart, not from pain. I'm grateful for the gift I received last night though it was extremely painful. I'm grateful for honesty. And well, let's be honest, I'm glad that while I can see it as a gift that not all gifts hurt...that some do come as a loving gesture or even with a bow on top. What is your most painful memory? What gift did you receive within that situation? It is different than we are taught to look at it. It is harder to look to ourselves or look for the good when we have been taught to point the finger. I sometimes struggle in asking for things but in this moment I want to ask you to truly look at that situation and see the gift in it and see within the person that gave it the love or fear they exposed in that action. Please forgive if there is any anger you hold in that memory because anger will only hurt you and you, my friend, deserve only love! Thank you for tuning in today... may the sun warm your heart and the wind clear your
I believe the way to a better future starts with gratitude today.