The Gift That Matters

“If we have the opportunity to be generous with our hearts, ourselves, we have no idea of the depth and breadth of love’s reach.” ~Margaret Cho

 From a very young age, my oldest daughter has been a gift giver. Like most children, her offerings consisted of items that adults wouldn’t ordinarily classify as gifts. Broken seashells, traumatized frogs, dying weeds, and misshapen rocks were often presented in small, dirt-laden hands beneath a wide smile. In the past two years my child’s gift giving practices have moved up a notch. Gifts are no longer found in nature; they are found in our home. Yes, it’s re-gifting at its best—wrapping barely-used items and presenting them with great love.

I must be honest; I used to cringe at the sight of my child tearing through our (multiple) junk drawers looking for the perfect gift. When she found it, she would beam at the “treasure” as if she just knew the recipient was going to love it. Then without delay, she’d get straight to wrapping.

Although highly practical and earth-friendly, this gift-giving practice brought to mind words like “tacky” and “cheap.” But for some reason, the control freak in me kept her mouth shut. Miraculously I had enough sense to stand aside and let my child give as her heart felt lead.

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Words He Seldom Hears

This is how my daughter recently greeted her daddy after he had been away. This moment inspired the following message that is meant to be shared.

A critical part of living Hands Free to grasp what really matters is having awareness. I have realized I cannot fight the distraction that takes priority over my relationships if I do not allow myself to fully acknowledge my areas of negligence.

Typically, I write about my attempt to grasp what really matters in my role as “parent” or as simply as an individual. Rarely do I write from my perspective as “spouse.”

But today I am willing to go where I don’t normally go in order to bring awareness about a critical topic.

Yes, it could be considered a Father’s Day tribute, but I am challenging myself to make this an every day gift to my husband.

You see, this message is written FOR men, but it is equally important that women read it, too. Perhaps it is even more important for women to read it.

And by being open to the awareness this message brings, a greater connection to the one you love may be possible.

This is my message…

Today I am celebrating the “Good Guys” of the world.

And I am willing to acknowledge I don’t do it enough.

In fact, I am willing to admit I don’t express appreciation to the #1 Good Guy in my life, my husband, to the extent that I should or as often as I should.

But today, and in the days hereafter, I have the power to make a great man feel loved.

And so do you.

Don’t worry if words are not your thing; I’ve got you covered. All I ask is this: read the following message, allow a little “awareness” to seep in, and acknowledge the areas that could use some extra attention.

Because here’s the truth: Guys “Deserve a Day,” just as women do (see my popular Mother’s Day post for that message), yet guys often don’t get a day, let alone an hour, or even fifteen minutes. Many men do not hear words of kindness, love, or appreciation often enough from the people who love them.

Today can be different. And so can tomorrow.

Let it begin right here…

You Deserve A Day

You deserve a day void of criticism and blame,
A day when words of affection are attached to your name.

You deserve a day free from reminders of what you lack,
A day with the weight of the world lifted off your back.

You deserve a day when inner confidence never hides,
A day free from the pain of past sports and piggy back rides.

You deserve a day to be placed first instead of last,
A day to be embraced instead of quickly brushed past.

You deserve a day when you’re not racing against time,
A day when total relaxation isn’t considered a crime.

You deserve a day when it’s perfectly acceptable to cry,
A day to fondly reminisce the glory days gone by.

You deserve a day when someone else mans the barbeque,
A day without the words, “Honey, would you do…?”

You deserve a day when past mistakes are taken with the wind,
A day when the cuts on your heart have a chance to mend.

You deserve a day when you don’t live by numbers or lists,
A day when diets and high blood pressure cease to exist.

You deserve a day when you don’t have to be strong,
A day when someone else is the first to admit she’s wrong.

You deserve a day free from all your worries and fears,
A day when stress doesn’t take away your best years.

You belong in a tiki hut with scented oil on your back,
You belong in a racecar going 220 on an open track.

You belong on a lazy raft with a cold beer in hand,
You belong with a parachute and a soft place to land.

You belong in a convertible against a painted sky,
You belong near to a warm campfire as the savory fish fry.

You belong in a place of forgiveness and grace,
You belong with tender kisses on your face.

You belong with the freedom to be who you are,
You belong in the presence of a shooting star.

You deserve a day to be embraced without release,
A day of unconditional love that will never cease.

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Guys, if you received this message:

Someone thinks you are fabulous.
Someone thinks you are amazing.
Someone’s appreciates all that you do.
Someone is grateful for your presence in the world.
Someone can’t imagine life without you.

“You Deserve A Day” simply because you are a good man and have made a difference in someone else’s life.

Ladies, this is for you:

If you appreciate something your guy does, tell him.
If you are grateful for something he adds to your life, show him.
If you haven’t treated him the way he should be treated, apologize to him.
If you love him, talk to him and listen to him.

Open the lines of loving communication! Start by sending this message with a word of thanks to your special guy or any guy you appreciate. He does not hear these words often enough.

*If you think this is a worthy message, please click the “share” button. My hope is that Father’s Day 2011 can be the start of heightened connection between people who love one another, but often don’t take the time to say it or show it.

Give the gift of yourself; there is nothing in the world he wants more.