On Mother’s Day a few years ago, my girls asked me what I wanted to do. I told them I wanted to give them massages. Some may see this as strange or weird perhaps…maybe thinking the girls should have been giving me a massage…but for me, spending that precious time with my girls, one at a time, loving and nurturing them was how I received. The greatest gift they could have given me was the time spent together. That is what truly brought joy to my heart.
When we break down the word “forgiving” we literally see the words FOR GIVING. How cool is that? Forgiving is truly FOR GIVING. I am no exception to this. Like many others, I have been through some significant struggles in my life, but I honestly have to say that being able to FORGIVE has helped me receive more grace than I could have ever imagined possible. Forgiving is a choice, and it’s one that doesn’t come easily for most.
Another choice when something doesn’t go our way is to complain and whine about why we’re not getting what we want. We say things like “Why does this always happen to me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” We see people airing their grievances and have heard many judge others and criticize them for choosing to complain about their struggles. You see, the problem is not that we are not “getting”, the issue is we are expecting to “get” and therefore aren’t focusing on “giving”. Popular speaker Zig Ziglar had said it best,” You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Giving is receiving.
Keep in mind, giving isn’t just for others. You can GIVE to yourself as well. Try giving yourself things like grace, love, forgiveness, and compassion. Give yourself the gift of time alone to rest and relax…to just rejuvenate your heart and soul and mind. Read a book or journal…whatever it is that you like to do that is just for you. You will be pleasantly surprised at the difference these simple acts can make in your life.
Today as I celebrate my birthday, I would like to give you a gift. My gift to you is that I wish you much peace and happiness in your life. My hope is that through my work and your presence with me on this journey, together we may become instruments of peace, forgiveness, and love in this world.
I’d like to share with you a beautiful prayer that truly speaks to this message of giving, FOR GIVING, and peace…
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O, Divine Master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.