The Gift of Giving

Last month I had the pleasure of going to see Oprah Winfrey speak live. With the release of my new book I wondered if it would be possible to give her a copy. I had no idea how to do this. I was sitting in the upper level of the stadium and wouldn’t be allowed onto the floor as they always have it staffed with security guards. Nevertheless, I decided to be prepared. I signed my one and only author copy, wrote a card to Oprah, and tied it up with a bow just for a little added prettiness.

The traffic was crazy and even though my friend and I left an hour early, we didn’t find our seats until it was 10 minutes before the show was to begin. We looked at each other and decided if I ever was going to have a chance to get my book to her, I had to go to the floor at that moment and see if anyone would help me.

As I walked the steps down to the floor, I was thinking about what I would say to get past the security guards. Miraculously, as I approached, one security guard had left to show a person to their seat and the other was engrossed in conversation with another person. I walked right past the gate without being noticed, made my way to center stage and left my book somewhere where I was sure Oprah would see it. I walked back to my seat and was thrilled that my book sat on stage the entire time Oprah was speaking. It was also obvious see saw the book.

Then panic set in. I became very worried that she wouldn’t pick the book up and that it would just stay there in no man’s land. I tried to calm myself down by talking to myself rationally. My inner dialogue went something like this. “What if she doesn’t pick up the book? I’m no worse off. She didn’t have it before today and I was fine. If she doesn’t have it tomorrow I will still be fine.” But when I sat and truly was honest with myself, I realized what I was afraid of was that my gift would not be received. I was afraid of being rejected.

This is when Spirit popped in my head and asked, “Are you willing to receive the gift you have to offer? Are you willing to receive your own gift?” This hit home. I realized I was using other people to validate my worth. I realized that my book was a gift to whomever was lucky enough to read it, because I put my heart and bared my soul in that book. Perhaps that is why it makes me so vulnerable. When I realized the preciousness of what I had to offer was enough, I relaxed and truly enjoyed the rest of the evening. When I admitted I had given something precious to me to someone I am inspired by, I felt gratitude. I was grateful for what I had to give.

At the end of Oprah’s talk, one of her staff members picked the book off the stage and I saw it make it’s way backstage. My gift was received! Even more importantly, my gift was received by me.

Are you willing to acknowledge the gift you have to give, whatever that is? I can guarantee it is enough that is, if it is enough for you. When we take time to appreciate our offering, knowing that we do have something special to offer, something miraculous happens. We become secure. We wash away any need to continually try to be something more or different than what we are to please others. In truth, it really doesn’t matter how other people receive the gift we offer. The only thing that matters is how we receive it. If we believe and appreciate our offering, so will others. If they don’t, it won’t matter.

Give yourself the gift of your own offering this month. Do so, and you will be richer and more abundant than you ever thought possible. Trust me, hands down, it is the best gift ever.

Fay Thompson