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Gift of Presence

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Gift of Presence

When it’s over, I want to say: All my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

–Mary Oliver

It’s easy to get so lost in the momentum of holiday activities and the seemingly endless to-do lists that we forget what the holidays are for. There is always more to do than there is time for, and probably never quite so acutely as during the holidays. Gift giving drives a lot of the frenzy and although we can point to all the cultural mania driving us to purchase our good holiday feelings, for many of us there is a legitimate desire to really give something that feels meaningful and is a true reflection of our love.

Every now and again we are fortunate enough to know of a particular thing that is truly desired…Better still when we have the exact make and model number…but short of those golden opportunities where the desire matches our ability to give, there is precious little that we can offer in the way of material goods that can communicate our deepest feelings. The power of advertising further complicates this by making us believe that certain gifts will speak volumes about our love- diamonds, flowers and fine chocolate are a few that come to mind.

While those are all nice gifts, I don’t know if I have ever gotten a more authentic sense of my partner’s love for me than when he has taken the time and gotten over the inconvenience factor to show up for me. Some years this has been in the small mundane tasks of trying to get gifts wrapped for our four kids late into the night. Other holidays, it was the nightly drawing a bath for me and reminding me to give myself the attention I so readily give away to others. A couple of romantic holidays ago, it was making a romantic bed by the fireplace. The best gifts have always been the moments of him giving himself. The gift of our presence is what we all want most: to know that we are not alone in the world.

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


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4:46AM PST on Dec 19, 2010

Thanks Wendy. @)--}-----

6:54AM PDT on Apr 24, 2010

"Presence" is really important to a person who really needs it. No words are needed to express one's support for another in their moments of grief.

8:46AM PST on Feb 8, 2010

thank you!

11:28PM PST on Dec 28, 2009

Absolutely! I'd rather have my husband's presence than presents!

3:12PM PST on Dec 24, 2009

That mushy kind of love does not exist for many. The holidays can and are a real downer for many. Not to mention the rest of the 300 something days of the year and, not having romance that some people have. Some holidays are about God thats what is important for believers.

8:27AM PST on Dec 21, 2009

Great article!

8:27AM PST on Dec 21, 2009

Great article!

7:58AM PST on Dec 21, 2009

The subject "Presence" seems to be lacking in the article and the comments. How sad.

3:08AM PST on Dec 21, 2009

Love doesn't exist. Why disturb anyone with one's presence, talking, etc.?

12:32AM PST on Dec 21, 2009

Nicely written, thank you :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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