I am giving myself a gift.
Well, actually a number of gifts.
Come to think of it, I have been giving myself gifts since I turned sixty.
Indeed, as I start to write this I realize that this has been going on for over a year. I guess at some point something must have clicked in my brain. I remember reading Gloria Steinem's Revolution from Within. She leaves a blank page for the reader to write down all the things physical or emotional that "you wish you had received in your childhood ... and did not." On the next page she writes: "You have just written what you should do for yourself" (Pages 104 & 105).
I think I must have taken this advice to heart. Although I read it sixteen years ago. Has it taken fourteen years for me to understand the concept?
Patience is a gift.
What's in a gift? A gift by any other name ...
Recognition. Validation. Acknowledgement. Sharing in others joys - or sorrows. I look it up in the dictionary, and am reminded that it is also a special ability or talent that one has or develops. I wonder. Do I have a talent or capability for writing? I certainly know that I enjoy it. Well, let me try and clarify that. It is much more than enjoyment. Indeed, it is a need. It is self expression in its purest form for me. Words tumble and jumble in my brain constantly - except of course when I am meditating. Then I am able, for moments, to quieten the train of thought, guiding and prodding it through mantra, or focus on breathing, like the calm of a river as it flows out of its rapids.
Sometimes, when I am making presentations, there are moments when the words are flowing out of me like a stream of consciousness. I have often been surprised to hear some of the things that come unexpectedly, spontaneously, out to greet me - us - the audience!
Perhaps a gift is also a reward. I know that when I was on Weight Watchers, and would achieve a goal of losing five pounds or so, I would feel worthy enough to give myself a small gift of some kind. A bar of lavender soap, earrings, or a bunch of flowers. More importantly, I would give myself the gift of love. Because most of the time I spend demeaning myself with insults and derogatory comments about how fat and ugly, stupid and lazy I am.
I do believe I am beginning to like my Self more, drowning out those inner ramblings of dark, disapproval, and replacing them with kinder, more loving thoughts.
Lately it feels like I am giving my Self gifts of self actualization.
These have been a long time coming.
Returning to school and acquiring degrees, even writing books brought me to the brink of this time - surely.
But, right now I feel poised, as if positioned at the top of a high mountain, wind streaming through my hair, arms outstretched ... preparing ...