A delicate pink box with a paper butterfly sat on the dresser. It was so pretty in its special place. I wondered what was it in and who it was for, but for the longest time I was just too shy to ask. Had it ever been opened?

Finally, curiosity got the better of me. Hesitantly I posed the question. My friend listened and smiled. Then she took down the box and gently opened it.

Inside, nestled on a bed of crinkled pink tissue paper was a small note. it read: ” The most precious of gifts is the gift of time, love and caring. May they always be yours.”

I don’t know if I was disappointed at first, that the mysterious gift box, sitting unopened on the dresser, did not contain some sparkly piece of jewelry of some other trinket. I dismissed the thought and focused in on the message of the note.

As I turned the note over in my hand, I wondered …Do I give myself the gift of time, love and caring? As sure as I was about trying to give these gifts to others, I was not as certain or sure that I gave permission to do the same for myself.

What would the gifts of time, love and caring look like? Here are some of my thoughts.

The Gift of Time

How often do you find yourself in the course of a day lamenting that you don’t have enough time to complete a task? We get so wrapped in in the minutiae of our “To Do” lists that we can miss out on the most meaningful gifts of time.

When I allow myself the time to truly see something beautiful around me, my spirit feels renewed. It could be a sunset, someone’s smile or music. The gift of time could be time spent listening to a friend or helping someone in need.

The gift of time is one that is equally given and received. It can warm us both ways.

The Gift of Love    

When you think of your loved ones, what happens inside you? Do you smile, feel content and happy? Perhaps you enjoy some laughter when thinking of being with someone you love. In order to be able to open up in the fullest way to the gift of love, we need to find it inside ourselves and spread it outward. This gift of love is so powerful in how it can heal our hurts and soothe us in hard times.

The Gift of Caring  

As with the gifts of time and love, when we care about ourselves, we are best able to care about others. If you have harbored thoughts of feeling it is selfish to care for yourself, take another look. If we don’t care for ourselves, we can’t extend that caring to others. Our caring for others cannot come from a wholehearted generosity of spirit if we are feeling depleted and uncared for ourselves.

The note was still in my hands. I read it once more before gently wrapping it in the pink tissue paper and placing it back in the box. The message continued to resonate within me. “The most precious of gifts is the gift of time, love and caring. May they always be yours.”

My gift for you in this New Year is my wish that this be a time of new beginnings in which you reap the precious gifts of time, love and caring. May they always by yours and may you find wholeness and joy within them. If you need help in finding your path to this message, know that I am here to help.