As part of our WIN challenge this week we have to identify four things about ourselves that we love. I am a big believer in positive affirmations, so I am struggling with the fact that I find this challenge difficult. I think it's because for me I don't like to come across as boasting, or bragging about my traits. It's one thing to repeat an affirmation to one's self, but it's another to blog about it and say "look at how great I am!"
But...why? Why am I feeling this way? There's nothing wrong with being fulfilled with certain things about yourself. There are certainly enough things that we aren't happy about in our lives. Why not reveal those things that we are happy with?
Another part of this challenge is to let those in our lives who mean something to us just how much they mean. Now this is easier for me. This, I like doing and it's a good reminder to tell those we love more often and to let them know that they are making a difference in our lives. Now why can't I do that for myself, too? I think it has to do with loving ourselves and also with confidence, both things are areas in my life I need to improve on. So here goes. Enough introspection about this.
My first trait that I love about myself is that I am a GIVER. I always have been, and I believe this is my natural tendency. I won't go into too many details here, because I don't believe in "giving and telling", but when I got my first job the first thing I wanted to do was to give some of that away. As a high school student I began to sponsor an impoverished child that lived in the Philippines. While others were buying things only for themselves, I wanted to see what I could do for others. There is something so gratifying in that, in helping someone if you have the means. Now I'm not trying to say I didn't buy myself things that I didn't need, like lipstick, trendy clothes and books. I did. But there's always room to give.
Now we are a single-income family and we don't have much. But what we do have, I share. I give as much as I can and thank God that I am blessed enough to be able to give something away.
My mom still asks all of her four daughters for Christmas wish lists. And she tries to buy everything on it. She's a giver, too. But when I try to tell her this makes me uncomfortable she understands, but tells me that for her to give to me fills her heart with love. I've tried putting others on my list instead of myself. One year I wanted her to buy a goat for a town. Another year I wanted donations sent directly to the poor. But those things wouldn't fulfill her. I needed to understand that. By not giving her a list at all (which I've done in past years unsuccessfully), I am depriving her of her joy. There are all different types of givers. I bet you are a giver, too.
I'm teaching my daughters how to give now, too. And that sometimes to give means to give something away that you may want. Something that you may cherish and love. I overheard my 4 yr. old daughter with my mom the other day, she walked up to her and handed her a cherished candy cane pen that my husband had given her. She loved that pen! But I overheard her tell my mom "I want to give this to you. I love it, but I want you to have it. Mama taught me that."
I was overwhelmed with pride and also joy that my daughter would give so selflessly. Now my mom didn't take the pen, she tried to explain that it's good to keep things for yourself, too. Which it is. But it is the thought that counts, as they say, and my daughter had a giving heart that day, she was in the Christmas spirit.
I struggle with sometimes buying things for myself that I don't need. When I find myself going there, I ask myself, could someone else use this? If it's something I've already purchased I will try to give it away, unopened, and make someone's day.
I need that reminder that life is not just about ME. There are so many other people in the world, people that could use a hand. Why shouldn't it be mine?
There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.