Being Seen

Christmas catalogs cram into our mailbox their colorful pages invite me to join the “season of sharing to dazzle and delight others.” Do you love glancing through catalogs with all their enticing gifts? I am beguiled by this or that but in truth my heart cries out for gifts that offer something more.

Don’t get me wrong, I love receiving shiny things found on those glossy pages. I love receiving them especially when the selection shows that the giver truly knows me. I also love giving gifts that hit that spot for a recipient. It is a sign of a caring relationship.

Yet, under all the tinsel and wrapping paper we each have a desire for real connection. 

“Many of us long to hear these simple sentences: I see you. I hear you. What you are saying makes a difference to me.”  The above is a quote from my book Unfolding in a chapter entitled Reaching Our Core. We reach our core by acting and having those actions reflected to us by a generous witness. Something inside of us relaxes when who we are is accurately reflected back.

How do we show our loved ones what they mean to us and that we see who they really are?

I have, along with Don’s input, begun writing personal letters to our four granddaughters each Christmas. Don and I spend time thinking about their challenges and growth over the year. We do this out of our love for each of them and the delight we take in watching them grow. We give the letters to them to read privately.

This process is a  gift to us as well. We stretch the walls of our own heart as we search for just the right words.

Simone Wiles, French philosopher, said “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” As we think of being generous with those we love, how about telling them how much they mean to us.

Words that come straight from our hearts have a power that Hallmark can never capture. And yet, our own heartfelt words are often hard to offer. Why? We must reach inside, under all protective layers, to places of vulnerability. It takes courage. But when we look there, we discover our bond to others and ourselves. 

What if you took time this gift-giving season and told an important person the gift, they are for you?  How might that touch them and change you?  Giving of ourselves is much more costly and more valuable than anything found in catalogs.  
Words from your heart might even become someone’s favorite gift.