Image by Jocelyn Casey
Hello friends, I’ve got an inspiring gift story for you in our Present Perfect series today. It comes all the way from The United States. Jocelyn Casey is an interior designer and writer with a beautiful, beautiful soul. Her story of forgiveness is one I can relate to and I'm certain it will strike a chord with many of you. You can catch more of Jocelyn’s reflections on her blog, The Inner Interior, dedicated to the art of designing and styling a mindful life.
"A gift is something that has had different meanings for me in various stages of my life. As a child, it was the best day ever when a gift for me was presented and suddenly I had something all for myself and no one else. As I grew older, I slowly began releasing the need to be given special offerings in the form of material items; however, I loved giving people things when I could. Today, gifts are truly a meaningful and deeply connected form of offering love to myself and others. I sincerely thank Sarita for inviting me to share the best gift I ever received as it has allowed me time to get to know the value of gifts all over again.
When someone asks me a question that requires reflection I always ask for some time to sit with it and let it sink in or be revealed to me. You see, my mind is full enough, and if I respond right away the answer will more than likely come from my mind, not my heart. One day last week I went for a walk with my dogs early in the morning when the sun was just rising. The smell of the desert was intense with mesquite trees in full bloom. The orange trees are budding with next year’s fruit, which is always inspiring for me to witness. I decided to dedicate my walk to Sarita’s question, “what is the best gift you have ever received”? With each step I allowed the question to drop down into my heart from my mind and I knew whatever was going to be revealed to me was going to be coming straight from my soul-the only real me.
The answer didn’t come as quickly as I had thought it would, I hadn’t felt a “click” within me; you know that feeling when you just know something is right? At first I thought maybe this question was just too broad for me and then I went back to the true meaning of what a gift is for me.
A gift is not always wrapped perfectly; it sometimes doesn’t even come in a box or a bag. A gift can come in the form of a whisper, words in a song, an insightful meditation, the glance of your beloved, the gentle nuzzle of a horse’s nose upon your shoulder or even a walk in nature. It came to me; a gift is something that makes us feel with every part of our being. When the moon is full and bright we are blessed with the gift of being able to see another planet. A hummingbird moving our attention away from our busy minds is a gift of release even if it just for a moment. Holding a coffee cup filled with a pumpkin spice latte and watching the sun come up is a gift for me, I cannot help but feel alive during these moments. So, a gift to me is an action of sorts, it is what propels me to be in my body and in this world, mindful and aware of what I am participating in: life.
The best gift I ever received came from myself and it was in a beautiful yet slightly used package of forgiveness. As a child, all I ever really wanted was to be forgiven for saying something I shouldn’t have said or acted in a way that didn’t make others happy. For the most part I was forgiven by others, just not myself. I beat myself up for not doing things “right” and as you can imagine this grew into quite a beast as I got older. I was great at forgiving other people time and time again, but in my late 20’s I couldn’t bare to give myself a gift of letting go and allowing myself to make mistakes. It was too painful to admit I wasn’t perfect.
Today as I type this, I have been on a journey of deep self-discovery and I have found that all healing comes from forgiveness. First, I had to learn to accept that I am human and I will never do anything perfect but I can do everything with excellence and there is a big difference there. I forgave myself for saying a few things I shouldn’t have, and I know better now therefor I can do better. (Thanks Oprah!) Forgiveness is an act that takes place in my inner interior almost every hour of the day. I am aware of the ways I doubt my ability and skills, my hair, my skin, my body, my intellect, my speech and just about everything. I forgive my mind for being filled with social concepts and beliefs of how I should be. By forgiving and moving on I am able to continue my day in a way that moves me forward and I can speak and act from my highest self, which is all I ever really want to do.
A meaningful gift is also one that is left lingering when we leave the presence of another person, group, festival, home or office. As I have learned to forgive myself for my mind’s idea of right/wrong and good/bad I am able to do this for others. I don’t voice it, I just know it in my heart and that is very healing. One thing I have come to know is not everything needs to be voiced, I am not here to heal other people….I am here to witness the pure goodness in myself and every person I meet which is not always easy, but it is why my feet are on planet earth.
Gifts are full of wonder. Each offering brings out the goodness in the giver and the receiver.
I wish you and everyone in your day many moments filled with the gifts that make you feel alive and a part of what makes this world a beautiful one. There is beauty in everything, especially forgiveness."
“There is beauty in everything, especially forgiveness”. This is so true and yet so hard to accept for many of us. We find it so easy to accept and forgive the limitations others, but we are so hard on ourselves when it comes to our own. Thank you Jocelyn for sharing your beautiful story of forgiveness with us. I’m sure it will inspire many to gift themselves this act of inner kindness. It certainly resonates with my perspective on being kind to ourselves.
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