The holiday season is upon us, with its attendant frenzy of gifting and—if we are honest—re-gifting.
(Never fear, this is not a post on the etiquette of re-gifting.)
Rather, I have been giving thought to the following line from Leonard Cohen’s “A Thousand Kisses Deep”:
“I guess they won’t exchange the gifts that you were meant to keep.”
“Why so obsessed?” you ask.
Because amid the maelstrom of holiday joy it’s more than likely some of us are being ‘gifted’ with experiences and emotions we would like to return:
Sadness and illness, loss and anxiety, frustration and fear come to mind.
“OK,” you may be thinking, “I understand wanting to return these. How can you call them gifts?”
Because within each of these emotions and experiences is a kernel of something you might be meant to keep:
Fortitude, self-respect, hidden reserves of strength, and unexpected sources of love and support come to mind.
So as you navigate this holiday season, with its attendant incidents, encounters, and adventures, give a thought to those things you initially wish to re-gift.
It’s possible some of them contain treasure you were meant to keep.
For more on gifts from unusual sources take a look at “What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do (Or, What I Learned From Being Really, Really Sick)”.