My mother gave me a huge gift for Christmas.

I called her on Christmas day as I walked outside on a quiet dirt road. Against a stark blue northern Minnesota sky, jagged swamp spruce punctuated the horizon. The sound of my hiking boots on a dry layer of snow, plowed almost to the gravel, was the only sound in the air other than our conversation.

We rambled a bit, making small talk and reverting to politics. At some point, she got a bit more philosophical, observing that I’d been married for 26 years and that it “seemed to be working.” And then from there, somehow, she observed that I’ve always “made my own rules.” She said it neutrally, without judgement.

A HUGE gift, because:

  • It acknowledged something so intrinsically me, I don’t realize I’m doing it/being it. It helps me understand myself better and think about choices in the future that might support this quality.
  • It was a gift of self awareness. There are a few times in my life (I can count them on one hand) where a beloved mentor or friend has said something so compelling that it truly crystallized a new awareness or self realization. This was a time like that.

She may have no idea that this had an impact on me, or why. It doesn’t matter. It’s mine to take with and run.

Less struggling, less fighting, more insight.

Thank you. And Namaste.



“Gift” by asenat29 is licensed under CC BY 2.0