Determining and finding the perfect gifts for loved ones can sometimes be a maddening venture. We start out with what seems like a really fine intention–to find the perfect, thoughtful object that will bring that person joy. Wanting to provide joy for another may be a noble starting point. But, sometimes our subconscious motivations for wanting to find the perfect gift are actually operating in less altruistic ways. In such times, egoistic desires or aversions may be running the show without the giver’s conscious awareness. Such motivations may include:
- Wanting attention from observers in the room as the recipient opens the gift
- Wanting validation, praise, and/or attention from the recipient
- Fearing potential anger, resentment, or some other negative emotion from the recipient if the giver “gets it wrong”
It may be useful, therefore, for the giver to have an honest conversation with herself before she begins the search. If the giver asks these questions, it is my belief that the intentions driving the giving and the receiving may be more refined:
- What are my true motivations for giving?
- Would such and such a gift serve the recipient’s highest good?
- What gift may I give that may benefit the recipient’s highest good?
- What gift may I give that may benefit my spirit’s highest good?
- How may my gift-giving be of service to another?
With some deep honesty and real examination, the giver may come up with some surprising results. Will a gift idea, for example, serve the recipient’s (or the giver’s) vanity? Or, will it serve as a tool for the recipient to make the best of at least one moment in his/her life? Sometimes, the giver may find creative ways to give to a recipient that actually serve others’ higher good, too. Here are just a few ideas:
- Instead of buying your spouse a random piece of diamond jewelry from the internet, do a little research into semi-precious stones, which have amazing and subtle healing properties. Is your spouse stressed and over-anxious? Perhaps a stone that has a calming and grounding effect (like agate or aquamarine) would be helpful. Maybe you can even find a local artist who would design a lovely piece of jewelry from that stone for you. Then, your gift to your spouse has been of service to a local artist, and your spouse receives a gift that will promote subtle healing. Having a calmer and more grounded spouse may also be of benefit to the giver.
- Ask yourself to what cause the recipient would give if s/he had abundant resources. Then, give to that cause in his or her name, either financially or by volunteering. Maybe sponsor a child through the ChildFund International or the Tibetan Children’s Village. Or, if the recipient loves animals, volunteer at your local Humane Society. Not only will you help others, but you will also extend the range of the recipient’s capacity to give. This is a really wonderful way to honor the recipient’s passions and generosity.
- Make something with your own hands that is made with meditative mindfulness. Those last two words are critical, because in mindfulness, the intention of love is present. Every moment of meditative mindfulness is of benefit to the giver, and the recipient receives an object that carries with it the energy of love.
Readers, perhaps you have other suggestions, too? Please share them in the comments!!
Most of all, though, it’s important to keep in mind that a gift given carries the energies of the giver’s intentions. The intention is what really matters!!
Happy, harmonious giving and receiving to all!!