Yes, I know, Yule is fading quickly beneath the onslaught of the coming sun, but I still have my litany of 8 blisses to share! So I’ll try and get them out in the next several weeks (this is me setting a realistic timeframe rather than the one I wish I could make but deep down know that I meet).
Understanding. One of my favourite things to do at this time of year (we’re pretending it’s still Yule time as I type this) is to give the “perfect” gift. The perfect gift isn’t in the item.
It is in how it is received.
When the other person’s eyes, face, body light up. When they get that grin or laugh, get teary or just really solemn before they give you a great, big hug, that’s when I know I’ve given a perfect gift.
Because it was something special to them not necessarily to me.
Giving the perfect gift requires seeing the other person for who THEY are, and not getting sucked into seeing on them reflections of our own needs and wants.
It is so easy to assume fall victim to the “I like it so they’ll like it too” attitude. There has to be more to recommend something as a gift for a particular person than just that I or you like it.
Giving the perfect gift is allowing yourself insight into the who of someone else. At the deepest level, you let go of your own ego to let in the sense of the other person, to understand what it is that would bring them joy.
Yes, knowing the person, their likes/dislikes, whether or not they have the same sense of humour as you, their complete addiction to My Little Ponies, these are all tells. We pay attention to the person, know what they are like, what they’ve shown preference for in the past, or not. We apply that knowledge in picking out the gift.
Some might say that this isn’t any mystical experience, it’s just good social etiquette.
Well, and it is. And when done out of duty, that’s all it is. But when it’s done out of love? Then it is a gift of love.
Understanding the other person is the gift we receive when we give a perfect gift.
Love is the gift the other person receives when they receive from us the perfect gift.
I firmly believe that we experience love through attention. Without getting into any real specifics: We give attention to people we love. When someone pays attention to us, we feel loved (whether we want it or not, though it always feels nicest when it is mutual).
When we fully embrace understanding (or love) then we have reached a mystical experience.
And when they open the gift, and their face lights up, and I get to see that I was right, that I had connected with that person, understood them, given even just one person a perfect gift for that year, then I know I have understood, truly understood and joy is then mine, too.