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  • Marilyn Young

The Greatest Gift


This week, Spirit has whispered to me a wise discussion about ”the greatest gift.” But what is “the greatest gift”?

As we approach Christmas Day, Christians around the world often refer to God giving the world a Saviour in Jesus as “the greatest gift” giving the world His everlasting love and the gift of eternal life. Many believe that the tradition of gift giving at Christmas is a reflection of the gifts that the three wise men brought to baby Jesus but, according to the Bible, God gave the first gift. It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Truly, this can be thought of as “the greatest gift – the love of God and life itself.

In addition to the Christmas story, we have reminders of “the greatest gift” in other holiday traditions. One such tradition is a well known movie from post World War II. Some of you may know that “The Greatest Gift” was a story written by an American author, Philip Van Doren Stern in 1943. He had worked on the story for four years but could not find a publisher so Christmas 1943 he sent 200 copies of his 21 page booklet to his friends as a Christmas present. Through a series of events, the story came into the hands

of a film producer and three years later premiered as the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” For those of you who are not familiar with the movie, it is about a man named George who contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve. He is approached by a stranger (who some think was an angel) who grants him his wish of never having been born. George then sees how the lives of his friends and family were changed by never having him in their life. Their paths were worse for not having known him. George then returns to the bridge and questions the stranger about his experience. When he learns that he wanted more than he already had, the greatest gift of all – the gift of life, he begs to have his old life back. When that second wish is granted, he returns home elated and with a new appreciation for how precious life is. The film was recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 Best American films ever made and is currently still listed as number one on its list of the most inspirational American films of all time. (Sources: Wikipedia: The Greatest Gift; AFI Catalogue of Feature Films) This is no surprise as being written over the years of the second world war and debuting one year after the war ended, I am sure many viewers resonated with cherishing “the greatest gift.”

The gift of love abounds at Christmas with time spent with loved ones, gift giving as an expression of that love, more contributions to charities and those less fortunate, and often a palpable sense of compassion on the streets themselves. It is a time when we can take a pause in our busy lives to really feel the love for one another in our hearts. There are more live theatre and songs with messages about the love we should and can spread around us and across the world. For instance, the play A Christmas Carol where miserly and solitary Ebenezer Scrooge learns the gift of the love of family and his fellow man. So many Christmas carols reflect the love and beauty of the season. Are you allowing yourself to feel the love of

the season? Are you taking time to be in the moment and feel the love filled embrace of friends, the genuine smile from a store clerk, or the absolute love for life in the gleeful squeals of children as they run and play at the toboggan hill or squish their hands in the soft dough that is soon to be baked into shortbread cookies? Where can you see and feel the love in your life? I bet, if we actually pay attention, we can feel it in every moment of the day! We can feel it from others around us and of course, from God\The Creator\Source and our spiritual team of Guides, Angels and passed loved ones.


As we talk about “the greatest gift," Spirit wanted me to remind you that one of the greatest gifts to you and to the world is YOU! Just as God gave us Jesus, he also gave you to humanity. We all come from the same loving source. We are all God’s\the Creator’s\Source’s precious gifts. Spirit wants us to remember how special we are and how loved we are. We each have a unique role to play in this gift of life. We need to understand and believe how important we are. We also need to value and love ourselves as much as God\ the Creator\Source does. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But for some, the prospect of valuing and loving their life and themselves is a tall order. Those feelings have been lost in belief systems that have developed over a lifetime that contradict those two simple things – to love our life and ourselves. Many people are the most loving person alive to their family and friends but don’t know how to give that same gift of love to themselves. What about you? Do you truly love your life and yourself?


If you can answer ‘yes” to the question above, celebrate! Celebrate yourself and your life this season and every day of your life. You are awesome! You have found the secret to true happiness! Secondly, help someone in your life who has not reached your milestone yet, to get on track to reach that goal. Share your secret of how you learned to love yourself and your life. On the other hand, if you are not sure or can absolutely say that you don’t love your life or yourself; that you are “going through the motions” and may even have trouble liking yourself let alone, loving yourself, you are not alone. Many people today, have never taken their foot off the gas from the hectic pace of their lives, to really check in with themselves and how they feel about themselves. Some avoid it altogether because they have feelings of not being worthy of loving themselves.


If you feel you are in the second group of people, Spirit wants to remind you of how truly wonderful you are. You are “the greatest gift." Your life and your love are so important to everyone you know and meet and even those that you don’t. We know that everything that we do and say has the potential to have a ripple effect both physically and energetically. For example, when you make a monetary donation to a Christmas charity, you may be buying a meal for a hungry mother who then has the strength to care for her children and keep them safe. When you smile at a stranger, that could be the one thing they needed to feel better about themselves so they can reach out to their isolated mother and brighten her day with a loving conversation. Even sending love or prayers or well wishes to adverse events, be they around the world or closer to home, has a positive impact on those events. Just think of the love expressed by the singing village of Whoville and how it melted the heart of the Grinch in the story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Just like George in “It’s a Wonderful Life," you positively touch many lives every day that would not fare as well without you.

So, Spirit would like you to take this season of love and turn inward and appreciate “the greatest gift." Meet the you that everyone else knows and loves and that you can love too.

Start by acknowledging your gifts, your strengths, your positive attributes. Having trouble thinking of anything? Think about what other people have complimented you on or even ask a friend or loved one and write those things down. Believe them. See those attributes in yourself. It is not false pride or conceit. It is simply truth. Don’t add any “buts” in there such as “She says I’m smart but that’s only because I got a B+ on my last exam.” The “buts” are an attempt to diminish the truth. Leave the truth as is – plain and simple. When you have the list, read it to yourself, looking at yourself in the mirror. Before you start, look at yourself and smile as if you are greeting a dear beloved friend, because you are! Then read the list and allow yourself to accept the characteristics as true. If it is difficult, or your mind interrupts with negative thoughts or memories, tell your ego politely that you are not dealing with those thoughts at this time. If things come up that really stop you from loving yourself, perhaps something you have said or done or believed in the past, consider reciting the healing prayer from Ho’oponopono, on a regular basis until those negative thoughts are released. A friend recently reminded me of Ho’oponopono which is a Hawaiian practice for reconciliation and forgiveness that in some arenas today has been modified into a simple practice to clear negativity and bring about healing. The prayer is simply "I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you." (Source: Wikipedia: Ho’oponopono) As you heal and learn to love yourself and your life, you will find life feels more positive and proceeds more smoothly. There will still be bumps and lessons to learn but you will have the strength to work through the lessons to their rewards. Also, as you grow in this practice of loving yourself, your spiritual team is always there to help – they are just one request away. They already love you, so they know how easy that is to do!

So, remember, YOU are a precious gift and you deserve to live your best life filled with love.

When you witness the beautiful moments of this season filled with joy and love, allow that feeling in your heart and hold it there, for yourself and all you come in contact with. Acknowledging who we are and how amazing we are, loving ourselves are all part of this beautiful journey we call life. I hope this Christmas season you accept with love “the greatest gift” of YOU! I will leave you with a link to a beautiful song entitled “The Greatest Gift” by Andrea, Matteo and Virginia Bocelli. Please enjoy as a gift to the amazing you.


Lots of love and hugs,


Marilyn


Resources


If you would like to learn more about some of the ideas discussed above, here are a few resources I have found helpful:


Authors:

How to Be Your Own Genie by Radleigh Valentine


Intuitive Counselling and Angel Card Readings


If you have the need a helping hand to discover and love your “greatest gift” I am offering intuitive counselling and angel card readings online or in person (in Calgary).




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