If there were but one

“The greatest gift one could ever give is rarely anything tangible”

Photo by Sonja Andersen

By John Dunia

The inspiration for my articles often comes to me while feverishly working on another one. In last week’s article (click here to read it), it happened again and I could hardly wait for this Sunday to arrive.

Perhaps the most difficult task I face in writing these articles is how to convey my experiences in a meaningful and thought-provoking way. The struggles I face are undeniably different from yours and making them relevant is a challenge I enjoy.

The previous two articles about giving generated many heartfelt comments and I certainly appreciated reading them. However, while in the middle of last week’s, I pondered the idea that what if, throughout our entire lifetime, we were only able to give one gift? What would that gift be?

Admittedly I am no big fan of these made-up scenarios which corner you into unreal situations, but this thought compelled me to contemplate on what it would be?

Had I asked myself this very same question a decade ago, I dare say it would have been a completely different answer. For the one gift that has been most precious to me in the last six years was when my therapist gave me the proper tools for better self-insight and introspection. He also helped me implement them effectively towards my healing and growth and it was nothing less than a completely life-changing experience.

Perhaps some of you are thinking that you know yourself pretty well and far be it from me to say you’re incorrect. Again, I can only share my experience. Early on in my therapy, I thought I knew who I was too. However, it didn’t take long for Shannon to ask me questions that began to expose things about me that in the past I overlooked and frankly, did not want to see.

I never realized how much shame – defined as believing the negative things about who I was and am – controlled much of the way I viewed myself. These destructive thoughts usurped my thinking and eventually convinced me I was unworthy, awful, or undeserving. It ultimately influenced decisions that would hinder, damage and even sabotage my own life.

True insight and self-reflection make it possible for us to see both the negative and positive aspects of who we are. Since we are also human beings, our experiences constantly evolve us and those changes necessitate amending that perspective of the person in the mirror.

Undoubtedly, insight and introspection are important to me because I know how essential it was for my growth and that passion resonates in my writing and just about every person with whom I connect.

At times it manifests as a physical feeling; not as though a weight was lifted from my shoulders but rather an opening or a lightness in the middle of my chest. It is literally something I wish I could give everyone but the only way to do that would be giving it as a gift.

As always, I look forward to your comments. Thanks again to Sonja Andersen for this beautiful picture. As always, I look forward to your comments.

Since 2007, John Dunia has written for many local Las Vegas publications. In 2013, he began blogging and sharing his thoughts on overcoming adversities with his unique approach in assisting the reader towards better self-awareness. In 2015 he completed his first self-help-style book, “Shame On Me – Healing a Life of Shame-Based Thinking” which was a semi-autobiographical account of how he overcame and heal difficulties from his past. It inspired him to branch out in other directions. He now consults with people one-on-one to help them find their own breakthroughs. He also is a guest speaker on the topic of shame and effective ways to heal. To find out more, visit www.gcegroup.net.

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