We Each have a Special Gift, What is Yours?

Last week we talked about a very powerful concept, the power of our inner dialogue or self talk. How did you find the idea of the connection between what you are thinking and what you are feeling? I hope you are able to see the value of being aware of your thoughts and keeping them as accurate as possible. We were delighted to receive quite a number of very insightful comments about the significance of this concept. Please continue to listen to your inner dialogue, or more often your inner critic, if you are feeling distressed!

This week we are going to focus on a dimension of ourselves that may be a little more subtly but very powerful, none the less, it is our unique gift!

Sohail and I believe that we all have a unique gift, a passion or talent that is special to us. In psychotherapy, we help people find that specialness inside them and nurture it. We strongly feel that sharing this gift is an essential way to share your true and authentic self with the world. And amazingly, being your authentic self is deeply central to your happiness. In fact, one of my most cherished teachers, July Fraser, considered expression of the true self so important that she would often say that, depression is suppressed expression!

The challenge with this issue is that these gifts we have inside are often not the ones that our families and communities consider important, because often times they do not allow us to make enough money or if they do, they are not in our Dear One’s view of what they want us to do with our lives. As a result, they steer us in the direction of what they think will be best for us. They are eager to see us become a physician or accountant because, ‘all of our family has been in that profession for generations’.

As most people do, I needed to learn what my special gift is. A number of years ago, as I was doing some soul searching about this issue, I realized I had a special relationship with color and through out all of my life I always had a hobby that in some way used color. Whether it was interior decorating, sewing my own clothes or handicrafts, color was the most central element of those pastimes. Currently, my passion for the last 9 years has been Stained Glass, giving life to the beautiful colors in glass. I have made a number of windows but now I am making lamps for our clinic.

So, now it’s your turn. Between now and next week ask yourself, what are the things that I naturally do well? What do I love to do? What is my passion or special gift? And how can I use my gift to express my authentic self?

Until next week, wishing you peace in your Green Zone!

Warmly,

Bette Davis RN BN MN with

Dr. K. Sohail

11 thoughts to “We Each have a Special Gift, What is Yours?”

  1. Hi Bette,

    I’ve been enjoying your posts and the insights you offer into self-awareness, and this one resonated deeply with me. Like you I was steered towards a profession I had no appetite for while my natural talents were suppressed. My mother was adamant I would be a lawyer and forced me to sacrifice Art for Law. When the time came for me to enter university I yearned to study Literature and Creative Writing but ultimately buckled under the pressure and chose Criminology instead.
    Although I found it interesting, it never gave me the satisfaction I got from drawing and writing. Still labouring under the legacy of an abusive childhood, I found I was incapable of helping those in a similar situation because it was all too raw and subjective for me.
    It’s taken many years but I’ve come to recognise the value of self-expression in the language most natural to me. Now I am more mindful of making time to do the things that make me happy and validate my Self. But there is still huge pressure to set aside my own desires in favour of activities deemed more responsible/mature/materially valuable.
    Often I think it’s jealousy on the part of those whose lives are largely unfulfilled by their work, and I remind myself I only have this one shot at life and I need to make the most of what time I have left.
    I spent too long living someone else’s dream. Identifying our own drives and desires is something we should be encouraged to consider more often. Thank you for giving it the attention it deserves.

    1. Dear Aisha! thank you so much for sharing your beautifully articulated thoughts! Our Dear Ones are often so well-intentioned but do not realize the struggle to work in an area that is so incongruent with our inner self.
      I was very fortunate to have found mental health, an area of nursing in which I can satisfy my other love, that is developing healing and caring relationships with people.
      I admire your wisdom and commitment to cherishing your gift and finding time for it. Please continue to share your thoughts with us!
      warmly
      Bette

  2. Hi Bette,
    It’s wonderful that you discovered your special gift of using colour effectively. This has led to your passion for creating exquisite works of art in stained glass, a love that has immeasurably enriched your life.
    But while important to you at this stage of your life, this passion has not been the major focus of your life. Would you mind sharing what gifts and talents led you to choose nursing and psychotherapy as your life’s work? And how did you discover them?

    1. Hi Gary! Your question is an excellent example of what we are talking about in this week’s Blog.
      I got involved in nursing because I was given the choice by my family at 16 to be a teacher, secretary or nurse! They wanted to make sure I would be well employed. I chose nursing, without really having any idea why. But Nursing is a profession that provides vast options, so after working in a variety of areas, i.e. orthopedics, surgery etc. and different roles, i.e. manager, educator, etc., I realized I had a special passion for Mental health and received considerable gratification from doing therapy. So almost 40 years ago I began working in that area. I have not regretted it!
      However, if I had someone to help me understand my true passion at 16, I would more likely have been an architect or designer of some sort, no doubt incorporating extraordinary colour.
      Thank you for your question, Gary! It is always wonderful to hear from you. You have a lot to offer our readers as you write exceedingly well and are very thought provoking.
      Warmly
      Bette

  3. Hi Sohail and Bette

    You’ve touched on a vital issue, one so many of us ignore until we find ourselves at a crossroad of disillusionment and sadness.

    I feel privileged because from the time I left the Catholic convent when I was 19-yrs old, I had a fascination and passion for travel. I couldn’t get enough of it, It started before I even finished high school, when I was 16-yrs old. I had this desire to see the world. I, always being a rebel, purchased a motorcycle and travelled across America. Not only did this open my mind but doing it with my family, taught me vital lessons that have shaped me into who I am today. This itch never left me and no matter what my family told me, I made up my mind to make my career in travel. They never thought this career path would get me anywhere and they tried to persuade me to get into the insurance business but I was determined to pursue the travel industry as my career path, even if it didn’t pay me what I could earn in other fields.

    That was over 35 yrs ago and I’m still in travel. I’ve made into quite a lucrative career but have always believed that if you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

    Of course, the path of following your passion isn’t easy. There’s resistance at every corner. I also know that many of us struggle to know what our true passions are but when you see yourself doing something that you can’t get enough of, where you feel you’re contributing and helping others, it’s at that point that you are on the right track.

    Too many of us become lost in trying to please others, our parents, spouses, friends, employers and family members. By trying to be what everyone else wants us to be, we become lost and lose track of who we are.

    The first step is to be aware of what gives us the greatest joy and to admit it to ourselves. After that, pursuing this passion should remain our focus. Even if we have to sacrifice certain things to pursue what we love to do, it’s worth it, as long as we’re aware of it and don’t try to be disillusioned with the down-side of pursuing our passions.

    The artistic, creative personality will suffocate in certain structured work places and even if these positions pay well, such a creative person will never thrive in an environment that doesn’t stimulate creativity and growth.

    So, in closing I urge all Sohail and Bette’s readers to spend some quiet time, away from the clutter of day-to-day living to really discover what your greatest passion is. No matter what it is, never suppress pursuing it. No matter what others tell us, make sure to take the chance to keep that passion alive

    1. Dear Linda, Thanks for sharing your story. I am sure it will inspire many of our Blog readers to follow their hearts and offer sacrifices to make their dreams a reality. Stay in touch.
      Peacefully,
      Dr Sohail

  4. Hello Dr. Sohail and Bette,

    Once again you have brought a vital topic under discussion. Indeed we all have some special gift that we go about refining but lose it on the way. Reminds me of an old Bollywood song, please pardon my translation:

    The way is the same,
    And the traveler too,
    But a star is lost somewhere,

    The world is the same,
    And the people too,
    But how would one know,
    That one has lost all he had,
    Ramaya wastavaiya…

    It seems to me that the special gift we have requires a special world where it can be practiced. Those of us who take this fact for granted, are deprived of it. Those who don’t settle until they carve that world out and protect it are the ones who get to practice our gift within it.

    Wishing luck to all in search of our worlds…

    1. Dear Jahanzeb!
      Thank you for your wise feedback!
      Your statement, “Those of us who take this fact for granted, are deprived of it. Those who don’t settle until they carve that world out and protect it, are the ones who get to practice our gift within it.”, could not have been more insightful and profound. It speaks to honoring and advocating for yourself in your life!
      Continue to share with us.
      warmly
      Bette

  5. Hi Me! I don’t think it is unusual at all to take some time to figure these things out!
    However,I think one of the best ways to do it is to consider how you spend your time and what kind of activities you are drawn to. One other way is to ask your Dear Ones, such as your close family or best friends. They will often have a different perspective than you! That’s how I figured it out! A close friend one day said, ” Have you always been so fascinated with color?”
    I hope this helps! Please continue to stay in touch on your journey!
    warmly
    Bette

    1. Dear ME, I like your honesty. You are not the only one, there are many more in the same boat. One philosopher said, ” Most of us die before we are fully born.” Let me share my thoughts on the subject. We all see how children love to play. They enjoy playing because it gives them pleasure and it expresses their creative side. The Creative self is expressed in what we like to do and what we love to do. It starts as a hobby, then becomes a passion and finally a dream that is meaningful. If you have not figured out your gift why don’t you start with a Green Zone Hour in which you do what you love to do and if you are consistent, you will gradually discover your gift. For me it started with reading and ended with writing. I love to write and share my writing with my creative friends. That helped me create my Family of the Heart. Keep us posted.
      Peacefully,
      Dr Sohail

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