Helping Yourself

At some point, the “Genie is out of the bottle.” We all know what we need….it’s no mystery. We can plan, train, take courses, but at some point we must take one step forward each day on the road to fulfillment. Mankind, in many cases, is his own or her own worst enemy. In the blink of an eye a person can go from feeling totally fulfilled to being lost. Many times we so easily gravitate to the meaningless and things that are bad for us….while ignoring the keys that unlock the doors of our hearts. Why do things look so complicated, when the answers are always quite simple?

This time of the year we scour the stores, searching for the perfect gift to express how we feel about a loved one…hoping that out there is that one object that can best describe how much we care about someone. This week I watched a two block line of people lining up to purchase their piece of the Pokeman Phenomenon…believing that without it Christmas just would not be the same, while their children gazed on in amazement. Can material things really express our true feelings? Is a diamond really a girl’s best friend? All of these items are temporary. How many of us on a Christmas morning have watched a child play with a toy for fifteen minutes, then disregard it and move on to the next? Yes, we do need to purchase gifts, but we have to be careful not to get too carried away. For some of us, it’s easier to try to buy presents that we think express Love, then to just plain say it.

So how do we help ourselves? Why are we so preoccupied with the temporary? Our needs for inner peace and long-term happiness seem, in many cases, put on the back-burner. Do we really believe that the new car will change our lives? Perhaps what we’re really doing is continuing the process of searching for the answers in the wrong places. Come January, we look back on the holiday season with a stream of bills, wondering where all the money went? Most of it spent on the temporary, with tomorrow never an option. We are left with the age-old dilemma….do we buy for our bodies, or for our souls?

So this holiday season, let’s try to give a gift that lasts more than one day…perhaps a meaningful book, an educational game, or something that inspires the imagination….or a memorable dinner spent with a close friend? One last thing that should always be on our minds is visiting a nursing home or an orphanage where there are many in need of a kind smile or someone to dry a tear. You will not only be helping others, you will be helping yourself.

Simple Gifts,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

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