**Warning: some naughty language ahead!
The best thing we could ever give to anyone, to the world is—ourselves.
Our real selves.
Not the bullshit selves we dress up with never-ending glitter, sequins, tacked-on stickers and fluffy magenta feathers, because we’re scared shitless to be vulnerable—or genuine.
No—our real selves.
The glistening, jagged, raw selves we hide—because maybe we’re ashamed of how imperfect and shaky and we are.
Unzip your heart’s hard shell, remove your pretty mask and pierce the gossamer veil of your fantasies and delusions.
Step away from that cracked, shiny shell of falsity.
See the juicy truth.
Holy shit—you’re beautiful!
Give yourself this holiday season.
Your real self.
Give from your broken, beautiful, imperfect, juicy, struggling, seeking heart. Give from the harrowing depths of your delicious soul.
It is only in this way that we can share with each other the gentle joy and the tender terror of being human.
And isn’t that what the holidays are really about?
Knowing that we are all in this together—that we all struggle, we all succeed, we all fuck up and we all smile. We all have beating hearts that sometimes seem so fragile.
Yes, we are all in this together.
So, this holiday season, let’s honor that. Let’s honor togetherness. Let’s honor each other—deeply and profoundly. Instead of buying pricy presents that come from stupid department stores, let’s give beautiful non-gifts and spread oodles of love and joy and truth and beauty everywhere we go.
Here are a few ideas, sure to make any heart skip a beat:
Make cookies from scratch, wrap them up in festive little bags, and hand them out to passers-by on the sidewalk. Watch as their faces light up.
Spend an afternoon smiling at a strangers—with your whole heart. Make eye contact—see them. Really see them. Take in their brilliance. Yes, even if you think you look creepy and dumb.
Tell your best friend—or husband or wife—how much you love them in a five page letter, written in midnight blue ink and laced with splashed tears.
Turn off your phone and computer for an entire day and spend it with your family. Talk to them. Go ice skating. Ask them how they are. Be present the whole time.
Offer a real apology to someone you’ve hurt deeply.
Buy a hot chocolate for a stranger.
Make imperfect, beautiful, homemade holiday cards with sweet, personalized messages inside.
Send a thank you to everyone who has been a source of beauty and light in your world this year.
Write juicy, inspiring messages, and leave them in the most random public places—like bathrooms or parking garages.
Hold gentle space for someone’s pain. Don’t fix them—just listen tenderly to what their heart needs to express.
Encourage everyone you meet to chase their wildest dreams.
Be an unwavering force of love—and dare to love yourself madly.
Dare to find something lovable and strong and beautiful in everyone you meet.
See that spark of wisdom, of promise, of soulful beauty in every single person that passes you on the street.
These ideas are so simple—and in my mind, that’s what makes them so damn good
The smallest, simplest gestures often aren’t so small at all. They’re life changing, world shaking, mind-blowing in their simple sweetness.
They are the things that make cold hearts melt and tired hearts wake. They are the powerful sprinkles that make sad hearts skip a beautiful beat and weary souls learn how to trust life’s crazy song again.
The best thing you could ever give to the world is yourself.
Your real, genuine, messy, imperfect self.
So give from your heart—give from your soul.
Give boldly, generously and enthusiastically to the world.
Your presence alone is a present.
This holiday season—may we all share in the gentle joy, the tender terror and the beautiful chaos of being human.
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ~ Mother Teresa
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Troy Tolley