All the gifts.

Lovely friend. I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful season of sharing. May you find new and joyful ways to support, nourish and encourage one another.

Then maybe you take it all a step further. Maybe you begin exploring the various ways you and your loved ones offer gifts to one another. And the ways you might prevent yourself or each other from receiving them.

I mention this because I noticed a personal pattern in the gifts I shared this Christmas. The pattern is this: I’m pushy. I want so badly to see my friends and family deeply settled into experiences of comfort and joy that I impose a certain spin on whatever it is they might really love and I give them what I love instead.

You want a Ferragamo belt? Tough. I got you a book about freedom by Pema Chodron!

You like vape things? That’s cool. Here’s an essential oil pack for clearing your space.

This isn’t new. Decades ago, I gave my nieces and nephews, who did not want for much, a book about children around the world, who did not want for much in very different ways.

Well. I do my best. We all do. In every moment, whatever it is we do is really our best for that moment. The pinnacle of our ability just then. It doesn’t mean we can’t do better; just that the moment we have is meant for reconciling whatever we know with whatever is happening. And that’s the best we can do just then.

So here’s how I’d like to do better. I’d like to offer the best gift I know, in all moments, all year long.

I’d like to offer my loving attention. I’d like to be one in the family and a friend among friends so that whatever else is exchanged between us is always a tiding of comfort and joy. To me, this means I put aside whatever ideas I have of myself and your self and situate myself beside you as a soul with a soul.

So to all of my friends and family, please pardon my personal best and know that I promise to always do better. Let me just get on out of the way of the steady improvement we all discover when we stop trying so hard.

May you enjoy the harmony of all as we move into another year. And may we offer our loving attention to all those wonderful creatures in our lives who are the greatest gifts we’ll ever receive.

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