Sober From Clutter - Part ThreeBy: Janet L. ... heard the old saying, " The best gift to give someone is ... you would like or buy for ... WRONG! We are ... and we each ha
Sober From Clutter - Part Three By: Janet L. Hall
You've heard the old saying, " The best gift to give someone is something you would like or buy for yourself." WRONG! We are individuals, and we each have our own personal style, wants, desires, and needs.
But it can be so wonderful to receive a gift! Especially if the gift is something you've been yearning for or needing.
And one should always accept gifts and give gifts FREELY.... without any strings attached.
If a gift giver gives you a gift, FREELY, then it belongs to you and only you. You can do with it whatever you want! It's yours; you own it now. It's now your property!
But on the other hand, if the gift giver gives you a gift with strings attached, then they really didn't give you a gift.
You know your gift has strings attached if the gift giver:
>>Expects you to keep it forever. >>Expects to see you enjoying, using, or displaying their gift. >>Asks, "Where is such and such?" >>Asks, "Why don't I ever see you using such and such?"
Instead of a gift, they've given you fear, guilt, and a burden that you must keep their gift, carry it around, and display it.
Many fear they must hang onto gifts given to them. Even if never used. Even if they don't like it. Even if it doesn't fit their needs. Fearing by giving it away they will betray the gift giver...guilt! So they continue to hang onto those gifts, even if that person is no longer in their life! Oh the power they have over you.
Many times, as we get older, it's hard for others to know what to give us. Especially if you just tell them, "nothing," or "I really don't need anything," when asked what you'd like.
With responses like that the gift giver has no way of knowing what you really want. And besides that, it puts them in an awkward position--What to buy you!
So the gift giver buys you what THEY believe you might like or need, trying to please you, and by the way, spending their hard-earned money on a "special" gift for you. Their perception of what you'd like or could use is their personal belief - not yours. Again, look at how much power you are giving a gift giver when you don't tell them what you really want!
Terry Cole-Whittaker states in her book, "What You Think Of Me is None of My Business," that there are only two types of guilt: "...real guilt and false guilt. False guilt is that guilt which is laid upon you by others in their efforts to control you and to make you responsible for their lives....Guilt-false or real-is a personal burden, it creates a vicious circle. To free yourself of guilt, you lay it on to others, who, in turn, give it back, and so on and on."
If you give away something that was given to you, and then the gift giver makes you feel guilty, this is false guilt, in the sense that you didn't do anything wrong by not using, displaying, or giving the gift away that you should feel guilty about. It became your property, to do with what you want if given to you freely, when given to you. Period!
The next time a gift giver asks why they don't see their gift or you ever using it, then you'll know the gift wasn't given FREELY.
Do you ever look for the gift or inquire about a gift that you gave someone? Do you do the same thing to others when you give gifts, making them feel guilty? Be aware, and stop asking. Give your gifts freely, no strings attached, no preconceived notion that they will keep and use the gift forever.
Did your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and friends give you their personal belief system regarding gifts, such as NEVER EVER get rid of a gift given to you? Sure they did and they might still!
You may be carrying around other's personal beliefs that are causing these guilty feelings:
When you were a young child, did someone scold you because you voiced your opinion of an unwanted gift or of not getting what you really hoped or asked for?
Were you punished to the point that you vowed never again to voice your opinion, let alone your desires?
What are your beliefs regarding a gift given to you? Meaning, what would you like to do with your unwanted gifts?
So what does one do when they receive a gift they dislike, or don't need another one of? Do you grin, politely say thank you, and toss it onto the pile of other unwanted, unused gifts? You couldn't bear to give it away to someone that could use or love it. You feel guilty if you do.
There's no one here to judge you. What do you feel like doing with all the gifts you've gotten and never used?
How can you stop feeling guilty of holding on to piles of gifts that are unwanted by you but that might be treasures to someone else?
1. Stop living with the fear that the gift giver might inquire about their gift. As Paula Langguth Ryan talks about in her seminar, "Break the Debt Cycle for Good,"..."If the gift giver asks where their gift is that you have given to another, you might reply something like: So and so admired it so much or was in need that I gave it to her."
2. Choose not to feel guilty, and give up blaming others for your guilt beliefs. Today, choose your own beliefs of what you can do with gifts that are given to you.
3. Take the risk today of overcoming your fear of losing the relationship with the gift giver, and of overcoming the guilt of giving the gift givers gifts away. If your relationship with the gift giver is good and supportive, I believe they will not judge you but rather support you in your choice to share your gifts.
4. Replace your negative feelings, guilt and fear, with positive feelings. It's really okay to let go of things that belong to you that you no longer use or have a need for.
5. Give yourself permission TODAY not to feel guilty and to let go of all your unused and unwanted gifts.
6. Have the courage to get rid of the gifts that are taking up your precious space.
7. Don't judge yourself or let others judge you for sharing your gifts with others.
8. Remember the gift givers aren't responsible for your happiness or your stuff...YOU are!
Tips to help you receive the gifts you REALLY want:
>>Start keeping a gift list of every dream, desire, and whim of things you want or need. Don't think of the cost, and please don't think you are not deserving.
>>Share your gift list when asked what you want. Don't be shy about this.
>>Be specific, if you want a particular book, list the author and name of book.
>>List your sizes, and color preferences.
>>Give the gift giver three to four choices with different price ranges.
>>Don't give the same list to everyone.
Following the above steps will lift the burden of the gift giver of trying to stand in your shoes, and decide for you what you need or could use. And believe me, the gift giver will appreciate a gift list more then a, "I don't need anything." Don't forget to get the same information from others when you become the gift giver.
The things you have around you should nurture you, and give you positive energy. So, clear off the tops of your closets, the corners of the basement, and the attic of all the gifts you've stashed away, never used, and give all that stuff away, today, freely, and hang your gift guilt beliefs up forever!
**** For additional help: The Organizing and Feng Shui Wizard, Janet L. Hall, FSII has a FREE newsletter, OverHall IT! at http://www.overhall.com/newsletter.htm and many organizational products for your office, home, and computer at http://www.overhall.com/products.htm Janet is a Professional Organizer, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, Speaker, and Author and can help you regain control of your life, your time, your stuff, and your environment.
Copyright ” 2001 by OverHall Consulting P.O. Box 263, Port Republic, MD 20676 All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce, copy, or distribute so long as article is kept intact, this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached.
For additional help: The Organizing and Feng Shui Wizard, Janet L. Hall, FSII has a FREE newsletter, OverHall IT! at http://www.overhall.com/newsletter.htm and many organizational products for your office, home, and computer at http://www.overhall.com/products.htm Janet is a Professional Organizer, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, Speaker, and Author and can help you regain control of your life, your time, your stuff, and your environment.