We are made to be receivers and givers of life, love, beauty, truth, hope and joy. As human beings, we are naturally designed to be and bear the fruit of peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When you think about who we are and how beautifully and wonderfully we are made, then it should be easy to see that we have received everything we need to be givers.
Perhaps, more than ever, we need to be reminded of exactly what it is we can give or actually who it is we can give. But to do so, we must remember that We are The Who. We can give ourselves and in giving ourselves, we can give the greatest gift of all and we can give what we know to be true-our stories. I am not talking about our opinions, I am talking about our life story. Every person has a story that is worth more than every single opinion that has ever been given. Our stories are valuable, because they are what we know to be true. They are our personal “experience, strength and hope” full of highs and lows, regrets, successes, failures, doubts, hopes, joy and most importantly, they contain the encouragement that we have been encouraged by.
The light that we need right now is not found in information and opinions and it’s definitely not found in products. Rather it is found in people, who are willing to share their stories and remind us of who we and how we are naturally designed. Therefore, it is the person willing to share themselves and their lives who can help us remember that we are naturally designed to be receivers and givers of life, love, hope and truth.
Perhaps, the most beautiful community that I am aware of that helps people remember who they are is AA. From what I know…this community encourages its members to gather together as much as possible and share their “experience, strength and hope.” In so doing, these vulnerable people become the place that encourages and nourishes real life and real relationships between real people. It is only through men and women giving themselves in this way that truth and loves flows to heal and connect people, so they become the community that human beings desperately need to be known and accepted, to share the encouragement they have been encouraged by, and to move to give their time, talents and truths to love an encourage others.
It’s very easy to forget who we are when we do not live in community and we do not give ourselves and our stories. When we do not have places to give ourselves and our stories, then we not only forget who we are and how we are naturally designed to be healthy, whole and holy human beings, but we start to fragment, disconnect and lose our position, place and purpose. Consequently, in fragmentation and disconnection a space begins to grow that we will try to fill with our opinions and with stories that are not our own. The result is that we lose our memories, traditions and truths. Such losses are detrimental to our communities, friends, families, our homes and to us.
From listening to what we talk about and comparing that with the health of our spirits, hearts, minds and bodies, it is easy to see that we are not telling our stories, and thus we have no idea who we are and how we are naturally designed to be receivers and givers of life, love, hope and truth. Before we leap to offer our opinions on anything, give some piece of information or tell a story about someone we do not know, perhaps what we need to take a look at ourselves. Are we healthy? Do we know how to love and care for ourselves? Do we know and are we sharing our own story.? A story that contains failures, regrets, mistakes, and the encouragement that we have been encouraged by.
We have to find places to give ourselves and our stories, if we ever want a chance to be healthy. It is vital to the life of all creatures and all creation, and for us to remember who we are. We are not consumers. We are not purveyors of information and our hope of being known and loved is not found in our opinions or on social media platforms. Our place is in community with other living, breathing, thinking and feeling human beings, who are vulnerable, fragile, weak, sensitive, transparent, desperate and dependent on Love and Truth, just like us. Yes, we all have the most amazing gifts to give. They are our presence and the honest telling our story that gives hope to hopeless, healing to the broken, nourishment to the hungry and encouragement to those desperately needing to know that they are not alone.
We need you and we need you to tell your story. Remember who you are- tell your story and give yourself away. This will naturally create the space for others to give the greatest gifts they have been given to give-themselves.