As I was driving to work, I was thinking about gifts. Gifts that I have received and those that I have given. I enjoy giving gifts, especially on just an ordinary day, no birthday or of any significance. It’s a surprise. We all love surprises, as such. Now if you jump out at me and scare me, that is one surprise I do not like.
I like to watch and listen, and if I know of a need or something that catches my eye and I know of someone that would like or benefit from, I will go on a search to find just that and give.
I wish I could do so much more of this, but I do when I can. I daydream of such at times of what I would like to do, which is fun to escape mentally the issues in front of me, as a break.
So as I was thinking of the gifts, giving and receiving, I pondered why I do such and enjoy both. I have always done this. Perhaps a coping mechanism although my mother was very giving. It’s not a bad trait, if you are making another happy. It was when I was asked by my counselor years ago why I was giving her a gift. Asking also what I would do and feel if she rejected the gift. It got me to thinking, I still do, I guess this is why I am writing.
Last question first. If the gift was not accepted, I would understand but I would be sad, depending on what it was, and dwell on it for a bit. When giving a gift, again it is something I thought would look nice and this gift in particular would match her sofa and bright wall color. It was just a sofa pillow. I was in her office weekly and this pillow pulled all the colors together. Just that, the matching and accent pillow brought me a peace, like comfort at home.
A little knick-knack that means something between a friend or family member, is also nice. To me that is what you do, or that is what I do. I want nothing in return. Just as with my counselor, a pillow that looked awesome on her new office sofa. Also, I enjoy searching for just the right thing, color, etc., to give to whomever.
In this session though of asking me why I do such and besides my input just written, she asked me this question. Do I buys gifts as such so I would not be forgotten. Good question, Counselor. As I gave thought to this, I know I enjoy giving but she was right, there have been many times for that exact reason, I did not want to be forgotten. Just for instance with the gift of this pillow and since she closed her private practice office, I do wonder if she still has it and maybe still thinks of me or will I one day see it in a bin at the Goodwill store.
So in regard to this pillow, although I could mention other gifts given through the years. I still think of the time spent to find just the right pillow, thinking of her, as it was fun and I don’t want to forget her. It’s two-fold, thinking of you, thinking of me. I don’t want to be forgotten. Am I though? As it is just a pillow. I may never know.
I have had gifts through the years given to me and I still have many of them, especially the knick-knack items I can pack away to keep safe. One is a ceramic little girl about four inches tall, given to me by my Aunt when I was around six years old. Packed away in safe keeping, even with dust showing. Embarrassing but hey, it’s old, but I’m old. Still, she is safely tucked away but I remember my Aunt giving this to me and how it made me feel, that I was special to her.
I still have my Ten Commandments little gold bracelet and cross from a necklace my grandmother gave me, I was young also. So many things like that hold so many memories for me. Just that today holding and looking at them, I have no doubt my grandmother prayed for me. My autograph book that young elementary girls had to have and for many to sign. I have it still, of course, safely packed away with my other treasures from youth. Many wrote in my book but because my fifth grade teacher signed it, I wrote about her, too, but to say I was special to her, made that book like gold to me (The Light is On). I cannot get rid of that. Maybe I have just been a sentimental old soul all these years.
I know when I die, a lot of my stuff will end up on the Goodwill shelves, too, or pitched. My boys, well they are boys, and my daughter-in-law will roll her eyes and hold open the trash bag. For now though, these little things and some bigger things mean a lot to me, even if packed away. I still have them. The sweet memories of just writing about them makes me tear up because of the one(s) who gave it. The item itself is just that, but I must have meant something to the person giving me a gift, perhaps so I would not forget them.
I did not realize until counseling with her asking me those questions plus being so sentimental, that is just me. I like that part of me. I don’t take our relationship as a friend or family member for granted. Somewhere in there, my heart was touched and felt care and love, which I yearned for as a child and still as an adult.
I am one that dealt with abandonment issues and fear. Even as much as four to five years ago, as an old lady that I am, this counselor helped me understand ‘me’ more. In my own research, outside of counseling, I learned about transitional items. The reason why items (gifts) are special to me. Holding onto an item is to keep a person near basically, in my terms of understanding. All of those items I have from childhood, these people are still with me. I have a part of them to see and hold, while they remain in my heart of deep felt love and appreciation. While some are deceased, it is also the same, as I have not forgotten them.
I remember this one counseling session, right before she was to leave for a two-week vacation. I hated her vacations although I understood she needed time away like we all do. Still, I was a mess due to the abandonment issues in my life. Two weeks felt like two years. It was this one session, I was aware now of a transitional item, a thing to help such individuals, as myself, adapt through a separation period. It for one is embarrassing, to realize and admit this is an issue when an adult but we worked through it. I had to but I did not like it. I remember saying to her, as I am sitting on the sofa, next to the pretty pillow, as she is in her chair taking notes, but before I left, I told her that I wanted her ink pen and explained why. The pen was held by her hand, writing notes about me while she is listening to me. I wanted that pen. Maybe a quick note was jotted down at that point… crazy.
Just in that, I was her only focus but I was going to lose her for those two weeks (14 days). That pen would have not left my sight or would have been in my pocket those two weeks. I would have given it back to her. Sadly, she did not give me that pen to hold and carry. I survived but I never forgot that moment in the session. It all makes sense to me now why I have done things in life, as such, even having a picture. This has been a part of me all my life, unsure when abandonment started but I now have a clearer picture of the questions behind it.
Whether it is an tangible item to keep a memory alive or just the memories, each and every person that comes into our lives is a gift, and we should be the same in return.
Most importantly, God’s love for us is a gift. He understands us when we don’t understand ourselves. He loves us unconditionally.
Are You a People Pleaser?
“If you are a People Pleaser your heart is in the right place. Wanting to take care of others is not a bad thing and if more people had a little bit of what you have, the world would be a better place. However, you cannot do this at the expense of yourself. A balance is needed.”
The song that goes like this, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right” comes to mind as I write, as I would say, “If gift giving and doing for others is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” I know, silly but true.
No doubt I was noted as a people pleaser, co-defendant, etc., or other labels in the counselor’s notes, as I remember questions asked, etc. So what! This is one part of me that I like. Giving did not put me into bankruptcy but gave my heart joy to give and bring joy to another. When I die, I would hope many would say I was caring and generous than mean and stingy.
Characteristics of Generous People That Set Them Apart
- Generous people care. People that give truly and freely do so because they care. …
- Generous people have no expectations. …
- Generous people are optimistic. …
- Generous people have humility. …
- Generous people are patient. …
- Generous people have purpose. …
- Generous people are energetic. …
- Generous people are leaders.