Who doesn’t love the thought of a present? Who doesn’t remember the weeks leading up to our birthdays, Christmases, and of course other occasions when we, as children, looked for hours at those seductive and brightly wrapped packages that set our minds into fantasy land? I remember dreaming of books and art supplies, and indeed I got those things, but I don’t recall ever making a list or even pushing my desires on my relatives and parents. What I DO remember about those times was the magic of how the acts of giving and receiving could stir the imagination and bring out the best in everyone. As I got older, and we moved away from the ceremonies of the seasons, I lost some connection to the humanity and emotion that represented the true meaning of gratitude. I began to miss the presents themselves rather than the celebrations that surrounded their arrival. I began to equate the absence of things with a certain lack, and this shift of misunderstanding how the cosmos always offers more than we can take, and asks less than we can offer, almost destroyed me.
All the “stuff” I longed for as a child and teenager I eventually went after in a bigger way as an adult, and every bit of it has been crap. Most items have been broken, left behind, and forgotten. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my toys and conveniences, but as far as true abundance goes, they represent nothing. Their value is superficial and fleeting. What I search for now are those elusive inner qualities that are priceless. I want those attitudes and beliefs that kings and sultans could never hope to buy. I seek what must be earned; and so far the hunt for treasure has been extremely rewarding.
One of the first gifts I’ve made use of, and continue to exercise, is ANTICIPATION. This might sound funny, but quite often the journey leading up to the event (whatever it is I’ve planned and worked for) can be very enjoyable and fulfilling. Having goals and working towards a vision is what keeps my world from becoming dull and repetitive. I swear I have just as much fun planning our vacations as I do taking them. Whenever I draw or paint it’s often the process I seek more than the product. This blog is the perfect example of my conviction. I would never continue with it if the ONLY goal was the eventual publication of my book. I actually like the trip; it’s fun, productive, and surprising. I’ve also gained an inner satisfaction that’s intangible. I can’t point to it, put it on the shelf, or show it off. It exists, it’s real, and it’s completely immaterial.
The second gift I’ve nurtured is APPRECIATION; and you might be surprised what I’ve come to appreciate. I of course express this emotion to those people, things, and events that have raised my quality of living, but I also express this for those people, things, and events that have threatened my sanity, health, and even existence. The most valuable thing I own is my recovery. It’s been the most horrific road I’ve ever walked, but in doing so I’ve gained the power of perspective. I was lost in an ocean of misery with no thought of rescue, yet here I sit in spite of the odds. I’ve stated this before and I repeat it now, “I would not give up one moment of suffering for the promise of eternal bliss.” Why? Because I would rather know what can be overcome, than foresee what I might face. I don’t invite uncomfortable or unwanted situations just so I can gain strength and insight, but I don’t avoid them either. I feel that appreciation exercised properly equals both patience and wisdom; two things that only practice can gain.
The third gift is the joy of GIVING. Here I speak mostly of actions; little of items. When I do it expecting some sort of repayment or recognition, I lose the benefit of my intent, and almost always I end up disappointed; and yes, I still do this on a regular basis. However, when my mind is in line with the correct philosophy, I invite surprising and magnified fortunes. I give credit where credit is due. I often give beyond what is expected of me. I give prayer to everyone. I give praise to my opponents and acknowledgement when they impress me. I give the benefit of doubt to those who are ridiculed and judged, especially if they are unable to defend themselves. I give to myself as well; permission to change my mind, occasionally a nap, sometimes solitude, and always dreams, laughter, comfort, and love.
The fourth gift is ACCEPTANCE. My definition of acceptance is simple. Everything is always exactly as is should be. Another way to look at it is, “nothing happens that isn’t supposed to.” IF something were to happen that shouldn’t, we would have to accept that there’s more than one point of origin to the cosmos. This is of course a completely illogical statement. When I actively believe this, my inclination to judge is eliminated. I still need a LOT of practice with this one. All too often I try to impose how I think the world should be when God (or the universe as a whole, if you prefer a more scientific picture) is doing just fine without my input. Do I still want to change the world? You better believe it, because even though pain and suffering exists as God allows it to, so does God allow my desire and efforts to end it as well. There’s a dichotomy for you.
The fifth gift is CREATIVENESS. I have been blessed with an active mind and active hands. This means the tools necessary to take whatever I can imagine and make it into reality is no further away than planning and execution. I have a list of the projects and adventures I will continue to move forward on. It grows daily and my future promises to be greater and more expressive than where I’ve been and what I’ve done. Creativeness to me, is the power of God; it is the power of manifestation. God thinks a thing and then it happens, and so do we. The tendency of life is the reconstruction of the world around us to reflect how we feel and think. The more I do it, the more I find my purpose. All visionaries have been nothing more than dreamers who took action, and everyone who has ever moved this planet has followed the same path.
The last gift I’ll talk about is FORGIVENESS. Here is the seed of love. With proper tending it’s growth will produce complete peace and harmony in life, for surely resentment will cause nothing but distress and chaos. There was a time when I refused to forgive. I held grudges towards others and shame for myself, and suffered because of my refusal to let go of the past. Please read this entry on my blog- https://danielandrewlockwood.com/2014/03/07/44-change-your-life-lose-your-luggage/ It explains in further detail what can and must be done to eliminate the self-constructed shackles of life.
Here again are my six gifts in summary-
- Appreciate………the moment and the past
- Give………………without want
- Accept…………..all is perfect
- Create…………..anything you want
- Forgive…………..and Love
I welcome you to share what gifts you have discovered in your life. Perhaps together we can find new ways to increase our abundance.
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With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood
Ok! I’m finally able to write a little something back, haha! You first started out your post talking about holidays… and how you initially were more connected to the celebration aspect of it, and as time passed, you became conditioned to equate the gifts themselves with the celebration feeling of the event. I’m glad you admitted that, because I feel MANY people have done the same! It isn’t “bad” that people have done this (myself included in the recent past), but it is a natural byproduct of conditioning. When we feel happy (and our brains secrete dopamine), we pay attention to what we were PHYSICALLY doing and pair that with the happy PSYCHOLOGICAL feeling. It’s normal! But I’m glad that you drew out that connection to show how easy it is to forget that what you desire is the FEELING, more than the material (though gifts are nice).
I was also happy to see that you mentioned the concept of focusing on lack. When you didn’t receive the gifts (which you had associated with being the CAUSE of happiness), you began to feel a lacking. The Law of Attraction which rules this universe states that “where focus goes, energy flows.” When you focus on lack, you will attract that into your experience. It is very easy (and common) to shift into this mental space, and it has a very upsetting outcome…. As you described with your adulthood experiences: “superficial and fleeting.” (The gift of Giving that you mentioned is this same concept. With the Law of Attraction, the more you give, the more you receive. When you give to others, they/the universe will give back to you. Giving (something – doesn’t have to be money: love, trust, etc.) is the ONLY way to receive! I also think the gift of Forgiveness is applicable here too. Forgiveness, really, is nothing more than LETTING GO OF YOUR FOCUS ON LACK. When you hold grudges, instead of forgiving, you are holding onto your grief… which is nothing more than your focus on what DIDN’T happen, what they SHOULD’VE done, etc. Your feelings of grief are nothing more than a reflection of what LACK FEELS LIKE within the psyche. When you hold a grudge, you are holding your focus on lack. When you “forgive” the grudge, you are releasing your lack mentality and shifting into the allowing mentality. You are releasing attachment to the past and allowing the Now. You are releasing resistance to the past, resistance to lack. Releasing resistance IS forgiveness.)
As for the other gifts that you outlined in your article, I’m very excited to see that you listed Anticipation!! As I’m sure you’re well aware, being that you know about metaphysics, one of the first things we are told when we begin our journeys into “manifesting our realities” is to VISUALIZE what we want, ALONG WITH FEELING as if we ALREADY have it. So if you want a new car (material example, but you can pick an non-material example too), not only should you visualize yourself driving that car, but also visualize all the happy, feeling sensations that you would experience when you are driving that car. It is as if you are seeing your dream and ANTICIPATING the feeling state of that dream. Anticipation is a huge gift!! Open your heart chakra by feeling as if you already received exactly what you asked for! (To me, the gift of Creativity is also in this same vein. Creativity is thinking outside the box. Creativity is limitless. Creativity is acknowledging that YOU have the POWER to DESIGN. So when you are manifesting your life, this is the BEST time to utilize the gift of Creativity!!!)
I love that you mentioned Appreciation, because the metaphysical vibration of Appreciation is actually very similar to the vibration of Love. Appreciation and Love are nearly identical constructs. To appreciate is to ALLOW yourself to experience WHATEVER IT IS THAT IS IN THE “NOW.” Instead of feeling a negative emotion and saying to yourself, “Oh no! This doesn’t feel pleasant, so it must be bad! Let’s do something that changes this emotion!” Instead of condemning that negative emotion, first find a way to appreciate the negative emotion for what it is there for. For example, your spouse yells at you, and you feel emotionally negative and triggered. It reminds you of how your parent used to yell at you as a child, and makes you feel weak and small. Instead of saying, “What a bad emotion! I must change it immediately!” You can say, “Thank you Spouse for mirroring to me my childhood trauma, so that I can be aware of how I am still a match to these experiences today. Because I see that this doesn’t feel good, I am now aware enough to do 2 things: 1. Set personal boundaries with my Spouse, to let them know how I expect to be treated, and 2. Deal with the childhood hurt that I still remember, instead of repressing it and allowing it keep festering the rest of my life.” As soon as you appreciate that the negative things are actually POSITIVE things – red flags that need attention, you can quit running in fear of them, and USE them for what Spirit INTENDED them for… to HELP us! (This is also along the lines of what I think about when I think of the gift of Acceptance that you mentioned, too. Acceptance is the natural byproduct of Appreciating what is Now. When you appreciate ANYTHING that you experience Now, you are saying, “I don’t condemn you. I accept you.”)
All in all, I absolutely LOVED this entry!!!! These are exactly the concepts that I think about on a daily basis, and it’s so wonderful to see other people in other places doing the same!!! Thank you for this one!!
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This is probably my FAVORITE entry of yours that I’ve read thus far. This is VERY good material!!! I’ve got a lot more that I want to add to this, and I will at my next open moment. Stay tuned for another comment that more fully expresses my thoughts! 🙂
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Love you too and thank God 🙏🙏 you