Helen Marie Szollosy encourages readers to take a fresh look at life. She advises people on how to see life situations from a perspective of gratitude and flexibility.
I tell people I teach what I need to learn; and share because I care. I come from a background of good, hardworking parents; dealing with personal struggles, but living with good intentions. On top of that, there were seven children in my family, and an oldest sister who was hit by a drunk driver at age 20, surviving with front lobe brain damage. I was around 8 years old when that life event happened.
Learning to take care of my own needs at a very early age, I tended to exist in a daze, in my own world. I was in a state of numbness at times. It was interesting going to school and being seen as the unkempt, outcast, at times bullied, kid. It was also interesting watching the television commercials advertising all the wonderful toys kids should be writing to Santa about, to receive for Christmas.
After one attempt of writing to Santa, and receiving a plastic iron and ironing board instead of the latest Barbie craze I had requested, I learned to stop asking. It was difficult going to school and having to reveal I had not gotten the gift requested from Santa, embarrassed as the other girls (some, the bullies) excitedly chatted about their gifts.
I hated going to birthday parties, showing up in my Sunday best, when the other girls were all wearing casual clothes ready to go out and play, because the message hadn't been received by my mom, causing the 'birthday girl' to be angry that I had ruined the party.
Years later, I learned of challenges that occurred in the lives of some of these girls. One, particular, an honors student, didn't go to college due to her older brother being harmed by drug use while attending college. I had attended the School of Hard Knocks early on in life, which prepared me. One of the other girls dealt with a pregnancy in highschool. I often felt my hard, early, life lessons, protected me - in a way. My outcast nature, kept me safe, in a way.
I was able to forgive the girls that had bullied me, seeing that they had their own life challenges. It's all about walking in someone else's shoes.
But, back to THE GIFT! I was the type of person to receive a gift; and had the misfortune of a very readable face! While I didn't say much, the giver of the gift would see the blank look, etc. and realilze I wasn't thrilled. It wasn't a purposeful thing, I just didn't see the point of 'wasting the money' when the giver didn't really know what I wanted, or needed. I also had low expectations of deserving anything.
I know, just keep reading ...
One day, around age 40, I had an Ah! Ha! moment! I was sitting in my home and suddenly realized what the phrase: 'The Gift is in the Giving!' really meant! I became teary-eyed, and felt the warmth of the scene in The Grinch that Stole Christmas, where he hears the villagers singing despite having their material gifts taken away.
I realized: THE GIFT is that I had been HELD, WARMLY in one's thoughts! I suddently thought: 'Wow! Someone took time out of their day, out of their life, to think about me and want to bring me joy!' While I might not undertand why they chose to give me what they did, it was that they 'had' thought about me and chose to give me the gift!
As life goes on, the gifts get to be less, and the cards received are less, making the receiving of these gifts and cards all the more PRICELESS!
Gifts come in all shapes, sizes and forms! I received the gifts of the mean girls, early on in life. Life lessons are learned in many ways. I now teach Good-Hearted Living (by Steve Wilson), which shows the Priceless gifts of Compliments, Kindness, Forgiveness, Gratitude and Flexibility! I often tell folks, there is no recession nor income issue when it comes to the giving of these gifts!
In gratitude and warmth, I am thankfull for this blog opportunity and all those who read and are inspired by it. Thank you for having held me in your thoughts.
Published in Fresh Outlook on Life: A community blog