Since Christmas is coming, and I want to invest in the perfect gift for each person I love so much, I'm feeling the stress that a lot of people around me can share in: wearing the paycheck thin. For this reason, the coffee that I can count on every morning seems to be becoming more and more expensive. The other day, when I knew I shouldn't be treating myself to a nice big (and expensive) cup of iced coffee, I found myself in that drive-thru line again.
After ordering my coffee and rolling up to the window, I was told that the person in front of me in line paid for my drink. This meant so much to me (probably way too much, if we're being completely honest). The craziest thing is, I bet they have no idea just how much. After beaming and finishing my drink, I began to think more about who's around me, and how I can help bless them most this holiday season.
By doing good, we can never fail, but we all need some things more than others. If we all took the time to love how we can love best, how much more magical could Christmas be this year? While I'm sure we can all share in the struggle to make the most of our money with Christmas bowling toward us, some people need a little extra dose of blessing. For some people, a free latte might mean less than a smile, a small compliment, or even a short conversation. Remember, paying it forward doesn't have to cost money. The best means you have are your personal gifts.
If you feel like you're lacking in key areas of your life right now and it's zapping your energy away, you might feel like you can't give. Start by loving those around you! We're all people, and neither of us has ever been offended by a smile or hurt by a stranger's love. Let your heart go out to every person you see. I'm able to look forward to seeing my family and friends this season, and this allows me to beI'm reminded that several people face sadness and fear around this season for various reasons.
While I'm surrounded by people I love whom I can always count on, some people I see at the grocery store or in passing on the roads may be craving conversation that they haven't had in weeks. Thinking like this doesn't have to result in feelings of guilt for enjoying your blessings. Instead, use it to fuel giving from the overflow of joy that's welling within you this season.
Perhaps the most important part of paying it forward is remembering this: never try to fill a void within yourself by giving. Instead, give selflessly to the people around you, without expecting anything in return. A lot of times, people can sense altruism, and it will ultimately leave you feeling empty anyways. Giving selflessly is incomparably rewarding.
Lastly, you might be blessing someone else by receiving their selfless gesture. It's selfless to receive, just as it is to give. Maybe the only way a person felt that they could pay it forward was by giving to you, no strings attached. Just as the person in line paid for my drink and I was unable to return the favor to the family of six behind me, I used that kindness to be more in-tune to people's needs around me that day especially. You definitely don't want to spoil another person's blessing by turning it into a burden.
Let's all pay it forward this season, and remember that we're all people with needs. Love every person around you, appreciate your blessings, and have a very Merry Christmas!