Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tickle Me Elmo

A year or two ago, I gave a bag of goodies to a teenager, someone I love dearly. If I remember correctly, it was a gift for her birthday, full of little things I had collected. None of the things cost more than a few dollars, but each of them was special in some way. Several months later, I was in her bedroom and, lo and behold, that gift bag was there in a corner, on the floor, the items I'd lovingly picked out still in the bag. I was hurt. Offended. Even outraged.

How could she think so little of my gift that she'd discarded it, untouched, on the floor and left it there for months? I wanted to pick it up and take it back. But, I couldn't. So I decided, after some agony, not to give her any more presents. To date, I haven't.

Fast forward to the present. Or more aptly, The Present. I am in an ongoing process of doing stepwork or, Selfwork. Right now, I'm looking at my resentments and the associated, underlying fears. Part of that is to look at my own behavior: where am I doing the same acts and actions that I'm resenting in others?

A dear friend, Karen Mead, of The Peaceful Journey, commented on my last blog post, What You See Is Not Always What You Get, and in answering her I got a big AHA. Here's the exchange, which can be found in the comments section of that post:
Karen said...
Darlin - you Rock! What a great post. Aren't surprises the best???

Olivia Herrell said...
Karen, great to have you here and thanks!! Surprises are, especially when I take the time to open them up and find the gift inside rather than just shaking the box and commenting on the pretty (or ugly) wrap job!
The Aha was, OMG, I'm guilty of not opening my own presents. Yes, I open the ones that people give me. But I'm not opening the big ones, the presents from the Universe, from God! WOW!

Case in point, my new front yard. Just before we moved in, the owner cleared all the pine trees, leaving us the space and sunlight for a small garden. That's my present, because I wanted one badly. Yet, there it sits, full of stumps and roots and rocks, because I haven't 'opened the gift'. I've oohed and ahhed and shaken my present, but I haven't even unwrapped it, much less taken it out to play. I love to dig in the dirt, to pour my sweat and labor in to it. I love to buy the plants and shake them gently out of their containers and place them in the soil I've prepared, then tend them with love and joy till they mature. What am I waiting for??

It's like getting a Tickle Me Elmo and leaving it in the wrapper. I don't get to experience the wonder of Elmo. I can't play with him. I can't enjoy his lovable, bright red face, nor squeeze him and listen to him giggle. He can't give me the joy he's meant to bring because he's still stuck inside that box.

But, even worse, the giver (God/The Universe) of my unopened Elmo Present will be hurt and offended and figure I didn't want it. If I am too busy or have too much disdain to enjoy The Present, if I don't even have the presence of mind to unwrap it, I most likely won't get anything else. Or I'll be given more things/events/people/stuff to disdain. And who wants that??

Are you fully enjoying your Present? Or are you, like me, shaking the box it came in, exclaiming over the packaging, then shoving it aside and opening your arms for the next gift, More, More, More?


A.T. Post said...

A garden! How lovely! And plentiful space and light...what a grand gift those are indeed! But I wouldn't worry about offending the man upstairs. He's got all the time in the world, and a good deal of patience.

Scandalous! Who wouldn't open a gift from you right away?!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful way to describe wonderful gifts. Seeds in a packet, flowers in a container, Elmo in a box.........I have so many gifts and toys in the box and I also rush to the next gift. Today I stayed home and took care of my home and myself. I have no regrets about it! What a beautiful Saturday to watch the day roll by peacefully.

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