Last Minute Gifts

I look at the calendar – two days left to find last-minute gifts. I search my mind. I search the mall. I find nothing. I surf the web, and find too much, too late.

The last-minute gifts are usually for people who mean the most to me. For those not close to me, gifts are easier – I detach, I see my gesture as more important than the actual gift. But, when emotion is strong, I make the actual gift more important than my gesture.  Attached to the reaction – wanting surprise/happiness – hoping to avoid disappointed/indifferent. I look for the “perfect” gift. When I don’t know what to get, I stress. Procrastinate. Two days before the holiday, panic forces a decision. I buy something way too expensive to over-compensate, know it wasn’t what the other person really wanted, but I was too afraid, to say – the truth.

I thought, I should know, what is perfect for someone I love. Inexcusable, that a person I love, is on my last-minute  list. I thought the truth of that, was tacky. But Flying, I learn, in my struggle with perfection, that there is peace in surrender. That there is freedom in truth.

It’s okay, to say, I fell behind. I procrastinated, seeking something special and was caught in perfection. It’s okay, to say, I found this, didn’t order it early enough; it will arrive after Christmas. OR  I found your gift, the cost is exorbitant –  I will send it, after Christmas, when it is half price. OR Tell me, what you’d like. OR I haven’t been well – I’d love, to have a gift exchange next month, when I am back on my feet.

The reaction? I am broke  – would you mind not exchanging? OR I am away until after Christmas so  –  save rush-shipping money and my neighbor will not have to drag packages inside. OR Let’s forget the gifts and go out to dinner next month – that would be nicer.

Not one person said – it’s terrible, that you’ve not gotten my gift. No one said, it’s rude.   No one scolded me for disorganization or said I am disappointed in your imperfection.   No one lectured me, for being sick or broke.

And I realized – I am the one, who says to me – those miserable things. It is me, who will not give grace to my imperfection. It is me, who has no compassion for myself. I thought showing respect for others, meant giving it all, perfectly. That’s because I only found respect for myself, in doing it all, perfectly.

Releasing gift-perfection, with honesty,  I can give the truth, with love. It’s in that moment, of Flying, that the real gift appears.

Susan

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