Monday, November 1, 2010

Re-gifting as the highest offering.

Re-gifting gets a bad reputation as something to be avoided-something we only sheepishly cop to. But Bernadette got me thinking about the gifts we offer of ourselves last week, so I started thinking about it all from a Tantric perspective. At this point in my life, I'm pretty sure that I can't think of it any other way. Tantra teaches us that re-gifting is exactly the action of the Grace of this world. Each of us has come into this world complete with gifts, parts, instructions and all. While we spend a lifetime figuring out how to put it all together (I'm kind of sure my instructions came in Swahili,) we refine what we are and what we have to offer from ourselves. Get it? We receive gifts from the Source and then we offer them back out. We re-gift them. Isn't that easy?

Now, to take it a little deeper, you may say, "but I didn't ask for these gifts. Am obligated to participate in this exchange?" And the answer is emphatically-No. You don't even have to acknowledge your gifts if you so choose. But herein lies the rub, the gifts are still there. In your heart. Do with them what you will. Ignore them, shove them under the bed, or sweetly offer them back out. That's what makes it a gift of Grace. You didn't ask for it, you can't really repay it (not that it's expected,) and the more you pass it on, re-gift it, the more you have. The beauty of this elegant system is that the more you partake of and engage with your own gifts, the more you will have to offer. You don't give it away and get left with nothing. Grace is way smarter than that.

All of the gifts aren't lined up under your metaphorical tree, waiting for you to unwrap and assemble them for the offering, though. Sometimes we have to go searching for them, like I make my kids do for their birthday presents every year. (It's a little torturous for them, I admit, but it teaches them perseverance and the joy of discovery! And it's kinda fun for me too.) But knowing that what you give away of yourself will refill the well abundantly, isn't it worth the effort? It can be painful to give away things that we think will leave us without. No one wants to be without. But when we learn that it's really the opposite, that we receive more than we could ever give away, it becomes an exercise in abundance and gratitude. Now that's a gift worth assembling.

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