At this most extraordinary time of Christmas we’re reminded of the story of Scrooge with his ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. These ghosts appeared to him to bring meaning, life, and light to his lifeless and dreary existence. In the end we’re reminded to keep an open heart and give subsistence, time, and love to others.
Yet what I’ve discovered is that there are three more insidious ghosts that can permeate us and tremendously limit our lives. These are the ghost of Jealousy, the ghost of I Don’t Count, and the ghost of I’m Not Good Enough.
When I was a little girl, the ghost of Jealousy resided in our home—filled the walls, saturated the furniture, and, unfortunately and most importantly, imbued our family. Because it felt like there wasn’t enough love to go around, family members tried to snatch pieces of love away from each other. The love was there; we just didn’t know how to share it. The ghost of Jealousy didn’t start with my family of origin, though. It had woven through generations of ancestors, twisting and turning until it landed squarely in our family unit.
The ghost of Jealousy wasn’t the only spirit to live with us. I remember one day as a child, standing in the dining room, and the only boy—my baby brother—was carried home from the hospital. There had been four girls up until then, and there was to be another girl after him. I was so excited watching my parents and their friends bring him into our home. His sweet little body was swaddled in yellow blankets; gifts of all sorts were bestowed upon my parents because they finally had a boy. I was most delighted because he was my charge. I would watch after him until I moved out. Yet it took me many years to discover what clogged my cells that day, blinded my eyes, and filled my mind. I couldn’t distinguish it at the time—I was just seven—but I knew something ghastly had happened. Something was different and I wasn’t ever going to be the same. Jealousy for that sweet boy wasn’t in my heart. It was something else, something more devious. It was the ghost of I Don’t Count.
The ghost of I’m Not Good Enough directed the next thirty years of my life, triggering within me the feeling that I didn’t have enough to offer and whatever was offered wasn’t nearly good enough. Anything I did, whether for my family of origin, my own family, or for work, proved to me that the ghost of I’m Not Good Enough was always the winner.
Fortunately I met something stronger than all of those ghosts: The Angel of Receiving. The Angel of Receiving is a significant, winged Being, shimmering of luminous light, and born of the Source, the Light, the All That Is. She moves through each person, permeating each with a glow of light, love, and appreciation when we let her.
All Light comes from the Divine, often through the Angels, and is the original gift. This loving Light is given to us, and if we don’t have walls it fills us with kindness. We then have something to give to others, to the world. Giving makes the difference because it makes the planet a more peaceful and livable place. But we cannot give unless we have first learned to receive. We can only receive when we free ourselves of ghosts that cause shadows and lifelessness.
It’s hard to speak with or give to someone who is closed to receiving, closed to the inoculation of beauty and tranquility from the Angel of Receiving. They have little or no appreciation for your gifts, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. I used to give gifts frequently until I learned that giving is nothing without the other half. One of my spiritual teachers stopped allowing me to do for her until I was able to permit my heart to receive. Best lesson ever. When we can both give and receive, the Angel assists us with self-worth and self-esteem. If we can’t receive, we have nothing to give. When we’re open to receive then we can give.
If I were to still carry jealousy, I couldn’t appreciate people. If I still felt I didn’t count, I wouldn’t feel worthy. And if I believed I wasn’t good enough, no gift of any form that I gave could be from a place of love. The Angel of Receiving trumps any lifeless ghost. It’s never too late to learn this valuable message.