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Gifts or Burdens??

Is it a gift or is it a burden? How do you know the difference? What do you do with it, once you’ve determined its appropriate category? Does it really matter how you look at it? What are the qualities that make one thing a “gift” and one thing a “burden”?
So many questions to ponder! I assure you, these questions may come off as a burden to begin with, but they’re truly a gift. 😀 Lets jump right in, shall we?
According to Merriam-Webster, a gift is
: something that is given to another person or to a group or organization

: a special ability
According to Merriam-Webster, a burden is
:  something that is carried :  load
:  duty, responsibility
:  something oppressive or worrisome
According to Jill Thompson, the only difference in these 2 ideas is how you choose to receive whatever it is that you are given.
 Lets use this first, in the context of the upcoming holidays. A gift card. Someone gives you a gift card as a holiday gift. What is your first thought?
1) “WOW, COOL! Now I get to go to the _____ store and buy myself the _____ that I wanted!”
OR
2) “okay, now I have to add a trip to _____ to my ever growing list of things to do, so I can try to pick something out that I can use.”
Gift or burden?
In this example, as with everything else, its all in how you look at it.
Someone at work shares their heart with you. Gift or burden?
A neighbor gives you a holiday present. Gift or burden?
Your kid needs a ride to his/her friend’s house. Gift or burden?
A friend of yours says, “I need someone to talk to, do you have a minute?”. Gift or burden?
These are common examples, just to set the stage, because I’m about to “go big” with this idea, so brace yourself. I want to make sure that you get the entire concept of ‘gift or burden’, because it covers just about everything that we encounter during any (and every) given day, and I think a clear understanding of the GIFT of choice can truly help make a difference in your day…every day.
Now, lets go BIG!
Your skills. Your dreams. Your interests. Your special qualities.
Does it stress you out, trying to pursue your passion, or does it come easy for you?
Does it bring about worry to pursue your interests, or do you find joy in that process?
Are you ‘fighting’ to live your ‘purpose’?
I’m a sign language interpreter. That is a passion of mine. I learned the alphabet from a lady named Holly Hugdahl when I was in 2nd Grade. I spelled EVERYTHING until I met Stacy, my first deaf friend in college. I spelled everything to her, and in a very short amount of time, she said, “This conversation could take forever, so let’s teach you signs, okay?” OKAY!!!!
I learned from her (gift), then was able to test out of ASL 1, and ASL 2 when I transferred to California State University, Northridge (gift). I took several more classes at CSUN, and graduated with an Associates Degree in Deaf Studies. Since then, I’ve been blessed to have several jobs as an interpreter, as well as many “in the right place at the right time” occurrences where sign language was needed. For me, sign language is a huge Gift. It took some work on my behalf to get skilled enough to be fluent, but never once has it created stress, worry, panic, or up-set in my life. Its never been a struggle, and I’ve never felt ‘guh, why do I have this burden to carry?’ One of the (many) greatest memories in my whole life, was standing at the stage, at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, interpreting for recording artist, Jewel, and having her watch me ‘present’ her songs in a way that went far beyond the auditory senses.
My reason for using this example is because I do know several people who see ‘knowing sign language’ as a burden. They ‘had’ to learn it because they have a deaf parent or sibling. I know a couple of parents of deaf children who refused to learn sign language, because they wanted their kid(s) to learn how to function in the ‘hearing world’. One mother actually told me “it would have been too hard to learn a whole other language as an adult.” For me (and MANY others!) learning sign language opened so many doors in my life, that may not have been opened otherwise. Some of my dearest friends are deaf…and if I hadn’t learned to sign, that may not be the case. But there are plenty of other people who see sign language as a burden, or something that they ‘have’ to do, because of other circumstances in their lives.
The minute you receive something, a present, a phone call or text, an idea, a dream, an insight, epiphany, or realization of your inner-self, you get the opportunity to see and accept it as a gift or as a burden. That choice is completely YOURS. How you choose to receive it will determine your path for handling it.
Going back to the Merriam-Webster definitions, I offer this.
A “gift” is
: something that is given to another person or to a group or organization

: a special ability
:  something that is carried :  load
:  duty, responsibility
that makes you happy, and brings joy to your life, and consequently to the lives of others
A “burden” is
: something that is given to another person or to a group or organization

: a special ability
:  something that is carried :  load
:  duty, responsibility
that causes you stress and disharmony, should NOT be passed on to anyone else, and should be discarded and/or eliminated as SOON AS POSSILBE!
Take a burden and drop it like a hot potato, or change something about IT or YOUR THINKING, and make it a gift.
Whether we’re talking about a personality trait or characteristic, a job, a task (or a whole list of them!), a person, a dream, an idea or an opportunity, the choice is YOURS to receive it as a gift or a burden.
Choose wisely because therein lies your journey.

Have you got something that you see as a burden, and cannot see how you could possibly turn it into a gift? Comment below, or shoot me an e-mail, I will be more than happy to help you reframe it, and make it work in your favor!

Wishing you an amazing selecting process, and days filled with joy, love, happiness and GIFTS!
Jill

DrSeanAndJill@TheNaturalBodyWorks.com

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