礼品之路 ( Lǐpǐn zhī lù ) – The Gift of no Entitlement

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I am entitled to nothing.

This is a tough gift to receive.

Deep inside our being we want to be able to claim.

To feel, at least something, is owed to us.

But it isn’t.

No one owes us anything.

Receiving the gift of understanding this has enabled me to live more at ease.

More comfortable.

More at peace.

It is, without a doubt, part of the gift of happiness, waiting to be unwrapped.

If I am owed, if I am entitled, God and people are constantly indebted to me, because they did not pay what is or was due.

Be it love, or friendship, or money, or a promise unfulfilled.

If it becomes me, then there really is nothing to be grateful for, for I receive my due.

I receive what should be mine.

The salary.

The loan repaid.

The friendship in reciprocation for friendship given.

The loyalty.

The respect.

In a trade of one for the next.

Or payment due for who I am and what I have contributed.

A long time ago I read the prayer of a Shepherd King: ‘Do not give me wealth or poverty.  Just give me what you have measured for me.’

But even that, that which has been measured by our Origin, is not due.

It is not owed.

And so I live.

Elated to receive my Zuko’s love and any friendship offered.

Not a debt repayed, but a gift given.

Not a transaction’s return, but generosity offered.

Ecstatic about the meagerness which allows me to clothe and feed and look after my family.

Jubilant about the opportunity to awake and breathe and taste delicious food and laugh and feel my lover’s skin against mine.

Joyous for that moment in which I can feel the sun on my face.

The moment I can fall asleep at peace.

This is not a barren gift.

It is a gift which lifts the veil and tears it appart, so that the beauty of love and kindness, of care beyond imagination and happiness unimagined becomes so apparent it can never be unseen.

The immensity of Gift revealed.

They do not owe me, yet they choose to bring me in good places.

She does not owe me, yet she chooses to love unconditionally.

He is not indebted, yet he gives me friendship greater than what I could ever hope for.

And I am glad.

Filled with felicity.

For even if I do not have what others might think is due to me, and even though so many times I pay the debt incurred to others’ gain, and despite the fact that loss is often mine, it is no loss, for it was never mine to claim.

My words my prayer.

For me and for you.

That we may see.

The beauty of being stripped of a heart which believes it is entitled to anything.

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