On Gifts

It’s no secret: I pride myself on being a terrific gift-giver. Now whether that is actually true, or whether the recipients of my gifts are just stupendously generous in flattering my ego, who knows! Either way, gift-giving and receiving as one of my biggest love languages can get quite tricky.

Irenekly - On Gifts

Take this vase for example. Gifted to my momma for her 50th birthday, I was confident she would totally love it. She loves flowers, loves pretty things, and loves me – there was no room for failure. But that last bit, the loving me part, is what makes my gifts to her the most precious. More than the fact that she now had a hand-crafted Heath ceramics vase, she was ecstatic to receive this gift and every single one of my gifts to her because they were an extension of myself. This open-arms reception is something I am just barely beginning to understand as I realize the skewed ways in which I receive gifts from others.

Without going into the nitty gritty, a certain gentleman made an extravagant gesture to celebrate our two years of dating, and it was so difficult for me to fully receive it. Here he was, with an extremely thoughtful and sweet gift, and I could only say, “Oh dear me no, it’s too much!” In a subtle but real way, my inability to receive at that point became an inability to receive him – which is the last thing I intended, but sadly inflicted. Thankfully, Garrett keeps his heart and ears open, even when my flaws rear their ugly heads.

Turning gift-giving and receiving into celebrating me, twice over, rather than being able to celebrate the other and receiving the other’s love is so terrible! Though stated to be a love language, it’s not impervious to perilous selfishness that quickly shades it to become something other than love. Oh, to learn from more selfless givers and receivers like my momma (and Garrett, and wait, all my inspirational beloveds), and be willing to receive graciously and freely outside my own agenda! Conclusion: love the gift because of the giver.

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