Presents Vs. PresenceDec 18, 2020
The Best Gift You Can Give Someone Is The Gift Of Your Presence -Deepika
In light of the holiday season that is upon us, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss our relationship with money and gift-giving since this time of year tends to trigger people financially. We have been taught to believe that Christmas is all about presents and that the more you have to give, the better you have done for yourself this year. The better or bigger the toys you can give to your family, the more successful you are. This tends to make the people who see December as just another month with income, expenses, and bills to pay feeling like failures. They’ll say to themselves, “why didn’t I put a little more aside, how do the holidays seem to get here so fast every year, and how can I possibly take on the role of Santa when I have so little extra?”
Let me ask you something, do you remember your Christmas gifts throughout the years? Do you remember what you got every year? Before the age of 13, around the time holidays become kind of uncool anyway, do you remember all that you received? I don’t; I remember one year, my mom got me a G.I. Joe tank. That is the only toy I remember out of all the years from all the family members and all the presents. Just one, and I don’t remember asking for it. My point is children are not going to remember what they got just like you don’t. What they will remember is that you were there. That they felt loved and appreciated, and that they got to be around all the people that were important to them. You are the most important gift to give anyone, especially your kids.
What they really want is your time and attention. We have been trained to think that they want the latest toy, the newest video game, and that hot must-have item, but that’s just stuff. By February, every gift you give will be gathering dust more than likely. They will remember that you thought of them, that you took the time to be with them, and that you showed your love by giving them your presence. Not by being on the phone or distracted by the news or work, but really with them in the now.
This time of year, most people tend to spend money they don’t have on stuff no one needs. If you really want this year to be the best year of giving bake cookies. Read them a story, decorate the house, sing songs, tell stories of family members and holidays that have passed to keep their memory alive. Make experiences that will be remembered throughout their life. Give them you, all of you. Without social media, without news, without distractions. It’s what they really want anyway
This last year I gave my family the greatest gift I could think of. I took the TV off the wall in our living room and threw it away. I gave my family me, my complete focus in all the abundance I could -Kyle Cease
It has been said by someone wiser than me that what love really means is letting everything else fall away. We love someone because of their ability to bring us totally into the now. Where the past falls away, you stop thinking about the future, and you are just with them in a state of bliss. It is not just people that do this but things as well.
If you love cooking, or hiking, or sports, or singing, or dancing, or whatever the thing you love doing is it is most likely because you forget all your worries, all your stresses, and are completely lost in time when doing that thing. This is what is known as the flow state. To lose all sense of time and space and become completely intertwined with what is in front of you. For me, it is writing. I’ll sit down to write and finish a thought or rant and be completely baffled by how much time has gone by. Also, I’ll be startled at what I wrote as if it comes through me, not of my own conscious thinking. I love this state, and I love to watch others in theirs as well. When you see a dancer who loves to dance, there is a blurring of reality, and you can’t see the separation between the dancer and the dance itself.
Human beings crave this state. We get so caught up in all the trappings of life. The running around, getting things done, the errands, the constantly looking at the clock that we forget to leave time to lose time. This present moment is what is most important to all of us, and children fall into this state rather naturally. We call it play. There is no place for them to be, nothing to do, nothing to accomplish, and they can’t do it wrong. They are not judged; they are not timed; they are just free. As we grow older, we forget how to play, and we forget that this freedom that we used to have is what we still need. So we find other things that bring us into the present moment, some destructive and others constructive. Everything from vices like gambling, drugs, alcohol to positive nurturing playful things like music, art, or nature.
Sex, for most people, is a completely natural way to get into this state. Everything falls away, except you and your lover. There is no tomorrow or yesterday, just the two of you in an eternal cosmic dance of reality. We even call this act, making love because love and sex share this intimate bond of getting lost. People think they crave love in this way, but I believe they crave the present moment. What most people are seeking when they want love is to let go of time and space and all this incessant running around to get things done. They want to be in flow, in presence, in their own hearts, feeling fulfilled with the life force moving through them.
Look at the things or the people in your life that you love and ask yourself why? Do they provide an element of nonjudgement release from time and space? Do they help your problems melt away? Do they bring you into the flow state just as you are without having to prove anything or be anyone else? The next time you say, “I love you,” see if you could interchangeably say the words, “I’m grateful you bring me into the present moment with you just as I am.”
When You Love Something, You Disappear -Lisa Cairns
What is almost paradoxical is that we remember the things the most that bring us into this state of loving bliss where there are no memories. It’s as if this place of present moment awareness makes all others pale in comparison, and we are always trying to get back there and always remembering when we were there.
Think of the most powerful memories you have of love. Maybe a moment where you fell in love or where you found joy in an experience. You remember the feeling to be sure; it is anchored in your psyche and possibly even your body’s energy as well. But also remember how in that moment there was nothing else. Everything fell away, and you were completely in the now. No responsibilities, no endless nagging thoughts, no mind at all, the heart had completely taken over.
So then, the only way to make a memory is to lose all sense of time and space. To be so focused on the thing or person you’re with that, it lets go of everything else. The last time I was head over heels in love, I could feel the time drawing to a close. I knew that the trip we were on that was to be our last moments together was the end of the relationship. Instead of pleading for it to continue or attaching to it with tons of pictures, I simply studied her face. I can still picture every crease that her smile produced. I was present with our conversation and did all I could to make her laugh. I remember what’s important about that final day together because I surrendered to the present moment and let everything that didn’t matter wait until tomorrow.
I believe the reason I remember so much the G.I. Joe tank my mom gave me is because she took the time to play with me. That is something she so rarely ever did. But that Christmas, she laid on her belly while I squatted on the floor and played with the tank. We made sounds together and laughed when I ran it into the wall. She was present with me, that is what makes the memory. That is what all of us are seeking, for someone to be there with us fully. That is what all the children of the world want from their parents and family. They don’t want the toy; they want the memory; they want the full attention of the people they love. Love is giving our focused awareness to that person.
When you go shopping and spend time picking out a gift to show someone how much you care about them, remember that the joy is being present with them as they open it. To see their faces change and their hearts race. If you feel you can’t afford to give people anything this year, remember that what they really want is you, your full attention, your focused awareness. They want you to make them forget that there is anything but this moment in their life. That there is nothing but unconditional love. You can give everyone in your life that just by being you and being present. If you can’t be present, do the next best thing and pick up the phone. Merry Christmas!
If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything -Thich Nhat Hanh
My Unconditional Love To You, Thank You For Letting Me Give My Gift. Good Journey My Friends.