Opening our hands and hearts to embrace the unexpected is when we often receive gifts beyond our expectations.
The Christmas rush is officially on along with the pressure to purchase the perfect gift ― the one that will make the recipient beam with pleasure.
When I was a kid, there was always that one gift I simply had to have in order to be happy ― maybe a pair of roller skates, a Barbie Playhouse or a Chatty Cathy doll (to really date myself!). Whatever it might be, it was usually a toy I’d seen advertised on TV or something already in the possession of the most popular girl on my block.
I insisted on sitting on the lap of every department store Santa and drove my parents crazy in an effort to make sure I’d get that one magical item that would bring me supreme happiness and the envy of all my friends.
But what would happen is, I’d either get the coveted gift and after a few hours be hugely disappointed that life still looked and felt the same as before, or I’d get something I didn’t even ask for ― like the time my dad gave me a little tape recorder. At first, I was sorely disappointed. What is this thing? And then, once I was shown how it worked, spent hours fascinated by a little box that could capture the sound of my voice.
The irony of this has continued throughout my life. I can make my list of wants, do all I can to force them to fruition, and be frustrated when they don’t materialize.
Time and time again, when I accept the fact that controlling the process doesn’t work, and I decide to be happy without it (and without the hope of getting it) I often end up with something better than what I wanted in the first place.
When I open my hands and my heart to embrace the unexpected, I receive gifts beyond my expectations. But the challenge is being willing to do that ― to let go of what I think I want and be willing to accept something else.