Christmas Unwrapped

Christmas is fast approaching and I'm over the moon about that fact because I LOVE CHRISTMAS. There, I've said it!

Having grown up in the UK, Christmas conjures up childhood memories of snowy days, sledging, snowmen, bright twinkly Christmas lights, roaring fires, hot chocolate and of course gift giving.

And there is my weakness.... giving. I adore the feeling that giving gives me, especially gifts. I love everything about it from choosing the presents, to wrapping them beautifully. Then comes the best bit! The actual giving of the gift itself! It fills me with complete excitement and joy and not for any reason other than it is one of the ways I enjoy expressing love.

I really don’t mind if my gift giving is unreciprocated. That’s not the point of my gifting in the first place. As Lao Tzu teaches us, we should, “act without expectation”. In any event, receiving is another of my weaknesses. You see, throughout my life I have struggled with receiving, no matter what that may consist of. Whether it has been compliments, gifts, surprises (don’t get me started on that one!) money, love, kind words or me time. I have had to work hard on the emotional response that is triggered by receiving.

The common ailment of ‘receivingitis’ afflicts many, especially at this time of year. I have found that curing this ailment begins by stripping back the layers of life. It’s just like unwrapping a present that has been covered in multiple sheets of paper and wrapped in a tangle of ribbons. One of the best tools I use for delving deeper into anything is the 5 Why Technique. As kids we were naturally experts with this process but we lost the knack as we aged and were persuaded that we were insolent! The technique begins with one simple question and allows the root of the issue to be uncovered by asking “WHY?” after each answer. Sometimes more than 5 “whys” are required and sometimes you may get stuck in a loop, but the answer will come if you delve deeper and deeper answering honestly.

From applying that technique to my ‘receivingitis’, I was able to uncover old attachments of embarrassment, shame, unworthiness and abandonment. As each layer was unwrapped, another presented itself until all of the layers had been removed and the bare bones of the matter lay in front of me like a stripped turkey on the Christmas dining table. The removal of many layers had exposed a level of consciousness that led me to experience healing, forgiveness, personal growth and freedom.

Now, that was one colossal gift of self- love that I was long overdue in receiving and so I welcomed it with open arms, an open heart and a bow on top! It doesn’t end there however as each time I receive I now remind myself that I am grateful and worthy. Practice makes perfect as they say.

Take some time out as the silly season approaches to stop thinking about giving to others. Instead look inwards at the gifts you may be denying yourself. What are you failing to give to yourself? What are you failing to receive and why? Make the most of this pre-Christmas time to strip back the layers and uncover some inner gifts of healing for you. To start the coming year with a new perspective on life and with freedom in your heart may be just one of the best gifts ever.