Sometimes you look back and all you see is negative. The actions that were proclaimed to be done with love but hurt you beyond comprehension. All you see is disconnection, dysfunction and toxicity.

But what if you look back through a different lens…

What if you see that even in some of your darkest moments gifts of love were given to you?

  • The neighbour, who fed you and asked you to complete little tasks for her. What if she asked you to do those tasks, not because she needed you too, but because she saw that it was the only way you could connect with people.
  • The employers, who facilitated an education for you that would open up doors and possibilities that you couldn’t even imagine at the time.
  • The friend, who gave you her sofa and her time when you had no one else. Who giggled with you and together you created sparkles to distract from the perceived darkness of the world.
  • The friend, who included you in her weekend family routine despite your awkwardness and demonstrated how family could be.
  • The people, who quite possibly saved you from death when (you believed) there was no one else and no other options.
  • The women, who shared mutually raw, vulnerable, drunken stories with you on a Saturday night.

And what if, those gifts of love were not given to you because you were special, or neglected, or damaged.

What if they were not given to you because they want or expect something back in return. They were not given because you worked extra hard for them.

What if they were actually given to you despite your boundless, chaotic and sometimes toxic behaviour, because gifts of love are part of the nature of being a human?

And what if, all humans have the potential to give love and to give hurt?

What if, the responsibility you have going forward, is not to pay them back or sacrifice yourself to show your appreciation to them but to simply pay those gifts forward?

To be with someone in their awkwardness, their chaos, their ugliness and to love them, as best you can – within boundaries and limits that fit your own personal circumstances – just as people did and do for you….

To recognize, that sometimes people will see you as hurting them but it’s not because you are not doing enough for them – it’s because they have to dig a little bit deeper and the best thing you can do is take some steps back from them.

To realize that you, like everyone else, are a worthy receiver of love gifts…despite your imperfections, skills and abilities. You are worthy simply because you are human.