A Gift You Cannot Buy
Contributor
Written by
Susan Cardia Quint
December 2011
Contributor
Written by
Susan Cardia Quint
December 2011

Here it is, once again, the season that both excites us and depletes us, as we hurry along day after day, formulating lists, scurrying along from store to store, buying, purchasing, wrapping and waiting. We wait for a day in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, with our family and friends, unwrapping gifts, singing songs, and eating a bounty of food. I myself have been caught in the excitement, moving from one store to the next, looking for items that will bring a smile to the face of my husband and son on Christmas morning. Along with these activities that lead up to Christmas morning, I have been spending time with my self, sitting in the silence, listening. One of the gifts I want this season is peace and love. There is a woman at work that has been disturbing my peace- or more accurately- that I have been letting disturb my peace. When I speak with Martha and tell her about some of the projects that I am working on outside the office, such as my cooking classes, often she will respond with a comment such as this: "Did you know Susan that Diane, in finance, makes the best  homemade jams and has a successful web site where she sells her creations!" I  then stand there with my mouth hanging open, responding, "Oh-that's great."

For months I have prayed about the situation, as I dodge her in the hallways of our office. This morning, as I sat in the silence, a light bulb went off. The past six months I have been judging Martha, her comments, and asking myself, "Why does she always mention another individual that is more accomplished than me?" I thought to myself, "Could it be something within myself that she intuits when we are together that brings forth these comments?" Maybe instead of pointing my finger at Martha, perhaps I might look within, in a loving, forthright manner, and see what I find. So instead of rushing out this morning to join the masses at the mall, I did some searching.

As a young girl with no sisters and a female cousin my age that I visited frequently, both of our mothers would engage in competitive conversations about their respective daughters, myself and my cousin Mary. Naturally, over time, I found myself comparing my achievements with Mary's. Mary was smarter, Mary had more friends then I had, these were the thoughts that played over and over in my head. Could it be that I viewed Martha as I had my cousin Mary, and when we were together she sensed my feelings of doubt concerning my accomplishments, which in turn brought forth her statements. In the book, Zero Limits, by Joe Vitale and Ihaleakala Hew Len, it states, "Our thoughts create our world." For months I have been judging Martha. By not accepting my own gifts, and having thoughts of being "less then," possibly Martha was reflecting her own feelings of "less then" back to me. If I could love and forgive my self, my judgements of Martha, then perhaps I could love and forgive others, including Martha.

During this holiday season, as we rush to purchase the perfect presents and cook delightful meals, let us take a few moments a day to sit in the silence. In the silence, if we listen, we may be given a gift more precious then one we may unwrap. As I did this morning, ten days before Christmas, in realizing that as I forgive myself and let go of my judgements towards my fellow brothers and sisters, opening my heart to them in love, they can in turn forgive themselves for their judgements and love themselves a little more. Perhaps this is the true meaning of Christmas.

Let's be friends

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