Gifts

by tamarjacobson

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 …