A few months ago I sat on an outcropping of rock in the Grand Tetons, and looked out over square miles of Wyoming landscape stretched out before me. Philip and I had hiked for a good two hours to get to that vantage point (called Inspiration Point, ironically), and as we sat to rest and take in the view, a light snow began to fall.
I say ironically because in that moment, sitting there on that rock, I found inspiration. I began to see my life in a way I never had before. And I want to share that with you.
I don’t recall exactly how my thoughts got to this, but I do know that very suddenly I had a very clear picture in my mind, and it was this:
Even though we come into this world with nothing, physically, we come with an abundant supply of gifts that we can give. These gifts are things like kindness, patience, gentleness, thoughtfulness, self-awareness, empathy and the like, each of them springing from that vast sea of love from which we ourselves come.
As I sat on that rock with these thoughts flowing through my head, I wondered: what if we are here simply to give away as many of these gifts as we possibly can? To dig as deep as we can within ourselves, to bring forth the treasures within, and with them decorate the whole world?
I describe these things as gifts because it is precisely when they are given undeservedly that they are most powerful. Showing kindness and patience in spite of well-justified anger is giving a gift — one that I have received, unearned, many times.
Sanctuary is one of these gifts. But I see so clearly that while it is important to give the gift of sanctuary, it’s also important how I give the gift of sanctuary: with kindness, with patience, with forgiveness, with love.
I thought about how some of the most deeply successful people I know give these gifts to those around them with utterly startling abundance. I know too that we seem to develop some sort of field around us in which these very things we’re doing happen more and more often, “pressed down and shaken together” as it were.
And if nothing else, maybe we simply receive the gift of becoming the person we have always wished: generous, loving, welcoming to the world and every experience, and in love with the sacred beauty of life itself.
My head is still reeling with this line of thought, but I have started asking myself, “What gift can I give right now? What gift can I bring to this situation?”
There is no challenge here, no call to action. The season of giving is upon us, and in that spirit I simply wish to share where my thoughts have been, and where my heart is now.
I wish you a most abundantly blessed holiday season.
With love and gratitude,