You are a gift to the world.
It feels both ridiculous and daring to write that. Of course, you are a gift to the world. Hasn’t everyone who knows you, who really knows you, told you that every day of your life?
I hope so.
But come on, we are broken. Life is hard. We don’t always acts like we are a gift to the world. We don’t remember the most precious truths about ourselves. We fear our own pride and ambition. We know we haven’t been a gift some of the time or most of the time. Often, we don’t feel like a gift. Especially to ourselves.
With my heart racing, in the midst of the safest women on the planet, I just recently found the courage to confess out loud that I am a gift to the world. Not until the moment I was forming my words did I realize this is the most daring truth I could speak. And when I asked the other women in the group if they were willing to admit that they are a gift to the world, it seemed to be just as terrifying for some of them.
I have been wondering, can we align with this truth if we do not allow ourselves to be a gift to ourselves?
In 2014, my one thing was writing a book based on how I had personally integrated religion, therapy and reality. What I didn’t know then, but can now see clearly, is that I was writing it for me, to me. I spent over a decade wrestling with life and then writing and sharing everything I was learning.
Then I typed these words:
This is the day that the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day that we don’t have to be afraid of how the world responds to us, receives us or rejects us. Because we know what the world doesn’t know. This is the day we get to choose to surround ourselves with people who believe in us and the story God is telling through us. This is the day we get to hug tighter and and keep eye contact longer until another soul sees God’s unfailing love pouring right through us into them.
This is the day when we get to let go of what really doesn’t matter. This is the day when we can give our full attention to slicing vegetables, balancing our bank accounts, and reading a really good book. This is the day when we have all the confidence we need to advocate for someone else, when resources line up to support whatever we put our hands to.
This is the day when we become free to be exactly where we are: fully present with ourselves, fully known by God, and fully embracing anyone placed in our path.
I can’t imagine what your life will look like when you live fully loved. And neither can you.
You know what happened next?
As soon as I typed that period, I heard, “You have to stop talking about this. You can’t teach one more person how to live this way until you live it yourself. Stop trying to convince other people that this is true so that you can have company on this path for one. If you really believe it, and I believe you do, start unapologetically living this out.”
So I did.
From that day forward, until now, I have asked myself this question:
“What would you do today if you knew you were fully loved?“
Sometimes the answer is nothing. Sometimes the answer is one thing. Sometimes the answer is that I get to participate in things that exceed my wild dreams.
I wanted to be a gift to the world so badly.
I have misunderstood how I could and couldn’t be a gift to the world too many times to count.
Only through true humility and excruciating self-awareness can I actually know I am a gift to the world.
What I didn’t understand, what I am only beginning to absorb into my soul, is that I simply am a gift to the world because I exist.
And so are you.
Do you believe you are a gift to the world?
If so, what obstacles keep you from living out this truth?
If you really knew that you are a gift to the world, would you make different choices?
Do you believe everyone is a gift to the world?
What baby steps could you take today to practice being a gift to yourself?