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What You DON'T Deserve

When it cones to surprises My father is just as much a Chatty Cathy as my daughter. The difference is my daughter is almost six. My father is pushing eighty.

For Christmas this year he went above and beyond just adding to the check my mother puts in the customary cards she puts in the mail to me. He potentially got me something BIG, not in size but value. And it's value to me could prove to be priceless.

I yelled for him to stop talking and begged him not to send it --- whatever it is. In my head I heard myself saying I don't deserve anything except for that which I earn on my own. My parents have been there for us during the rough patches of our transition out of NYC to ATL so how could I accept anything from them? I simply don't deserve it.

Or do I?

I'm not going to run down the laundry list of things I do. That's between me, God, my family and those whom I try to help outside my home. But what I will say is that putting myself last as Man, Dad and Husband to make sure everyone else's needs are attended has become as commonplace to me as breathing. This to the ire of my wife makes me an terrible gift-receiver.

Should I then change my thinking to believe that because of what I try to do in the lives of others I should in turn believe something is due me? Absolutely not. But maybe instead if shunning the things that come my way maybe just maybe these are the occasional rewards that are in fact intended for me.

Unable To See From Inside The Frame

My mom will always be MOM. But it was my father who found the music school for me to learn piano (which I absolutely MUST return to soon). When I began to debate whether or not I should take my writing seriously it was my dad who pointed out to me that as a second grader I wrote and directed my own version of A Charlie Brown Christmas. And in recent years my father sent me a big, clunky camera with a whole bunch of lenses and a whole of of instructions which made no sense at all. I called him on the phone demanding an explanation. He told me he liked the pics I was snapping of my daughter and wanted to give me a real camera. He gently commanded, "Try it out and see if you like it." I was horrified and thought. I don't deserve this.

I've been taking pictures ever since and in some instances getting paid to do so.

I thought about all of this, last week when I was speaking with my father and backed off my campaign to tell him not to give me anything for Christmas. I told him, "Thank you" and just asked that he stop killing the surprise. He only partially agreed. 

Thinking you deserve things can often be a cocktail for failure and dashed expectations. But thinking you don't deserve things is thinking that can literally cut you out of your own destiny, preventing you from experiencing and enjoying what life has determined you deserve.

Open yourself up to receive gifts from others. Ignore the source and consider the gift. It may be the answer to your prayers, the connecting dot to the rest of your destiny. You never know and you never will if you coach yourself into believing you are undeserving at all times.

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