The greatest gift we can give one another in this and any season is the gift of relationship.

As usual I find myself scrambling to consider gifts for this gift giving season.

I have been given any number of ideas online and from TV advertisement. That new Lexus for the little child in each of us. At only 0% financing. Very tempting!

Of course the one item I have considered is the one item that every one else has considered, and managed to purchase by getting to the store apparently hours before me.

So, as opposed to continuing to worry about gifts I decided to go with Rebecca, as a part of our Christmas preparation, to a class entitled “Trauma Transformed.”

Nothing says “holiday” celebration more than attending a day-long workshop about trauma and how it affects us as human beings. And yet, we know that it is during holidays that our youth feel the triggers more acutely, being reminded of the trauma that they have and continue to experience in life.

We were reminded during the training that trauma can be “healed” and that the elixir for alleviating the effects of trauma in children is to have caring adults present in their lives.

The class went on to examine the biology of humans by sharing a report that we are relational beings. Our nervous systems are healthier – indeed our whole self is much healthier – when we find ourselves in relationships with others.

It seems to me there is absolutely nothing wrong in spending time scouring empty shelves looking for a gift that says to someone that you care about them. Gifts are a natural way in which we let people know that we are in a relationship.

But, it is the relationship that is the fundamental gift.

The meaning of our lives is not challenged when our toaster finally gives up the ghost. It is accurate to state that our lives are incredibly challenged when a relationship we value shifts or ends. We have all experienced this pain and through it likely have a empathy for our youth who have experienced this at a profound level.

Giving our youth a gift this season is appropriate. But, please let us remind you that YOU are the ultimate gift to your youth and to your team. By being in relationship with your youth alongside your teammates your youth is literally having their biology rebalanced and their nervous system reconstructed.

However, I am not a biologist and while I embrace and love the physical world I have spent my life dancing in and through the spiritual realm. So, if you will permit me I need to dive into that world for my last words of 2017.

You are a gift not only to your youth and team but you are a gift to the world.

I am convinced that each of us carries within our self a piece of the divine and that the more we are a collective the more those pieces come together and a larger picture of the divine emerges and can be experienced. Sort of like putting a puzzle together.

So there exists within you a unique piece of the divine that is uniquely yours, uniquely you. When you come together as a team you bring four unique pieces, four unique gifts into a collective or communion-ity that allows for goodness and compassion and empathy and patience and joy and love to be seen, witnessed and experienced more fully. You reveal the divine more fully.

It also allows for something equally as powerful: it allows for that piece of the divine that belongs, uniquely, to your youth and that is buried under the dross and detritus of trauma to begin to be awakened and encountered. For by witnessing that spark of the divine within each of you, it allows for your youth to discover the divine within their self, and through that discovery begin to be re-created.

You are the gift.

Nike sneakers for sure are great.

But, you are the ultimate gift to this child and to this universe.

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