Gifts and karma

Karma is not a bitch. She can be subtle and kind of cute. Recently, I gifted someone something I knew they wanted. Unceremoniously, roughly a week later the gift was returned to me. It was done with the intent to hurt. The intention was lost but it struck me as exquisitely rude. When I had received gifts that weren’t to my liking I passed it on. But like I said, karma is subtle.

It made me think about my relationship to gifts, gifting and receiving. I have long had an aversion to receiving gifts because my history associated with an expectation. And this expectation was often not something I wished to honour. In short, this made me particularly ungracious when receiving gifts, both physically and verbally.

Last year, someone told me just to accept the gift that was on offer. Not to promise something in return. (An unspoken attempt at not wanting to owe anyone anything.) Since then I’ve started accepting gifts quietly, without protest. I’ve even started asking for help when I needed it. (Granted the latter has not worked out especially well but that is beside the point.) I am open to receiving as much as I give. (This is a work in progress, but there is progress.)

Gifting and karma. A few years ago I asked my mother to stop buying me gifts. She gets it painfully wrong every time. It is an uncomfortable reminder that she doesn’t know me. When I, in turn, always get her gifts she wants. Perhaps we listen/hear different. But my request has meant that nothing between us is constant anymore. It also means that I can ask for what I want and don’t want in a relationship. It is an important marker for me regarding of what it looks like from the outside.

I wanted to gift a family for their kindness, their generosity. A turn of events made this impossible. But the gift had to be given. The one gift become smaller gifts.  I could not keep the gift because I had already intended it for someone else. I was honestly scared that the gift would become toxic if I held onto it.

It is almost like the gift of someone’s presence. When they belong somewhere else, with someone else, their presence becomes toxic.

These days I accept gifts with more ease. I also give with more thought. I allow the cycle to complete and restart. I recognise the gifts of karma.

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