Today was the second day of the new year and my favorite store celebrated by giving those over 55 a discount….Yea for discounts. I used my gift certificates and chose items that I would not usually buy for myself. I treated me. Yes, I saw many things I could give someone else but part of the gift giving is allowing myself to receive the gift. How many times I saw others refuse gifts like they were doing the gift giver a favor? How many times was I told that I was undeserving of the gifts given. Part of finally loving myself is to graciously receive and enjoy gifts. This is also true of compliments. My counselor would compliment me, I would start a lengthy rebuttal as to why I did NOT deserve the compliment. He would let me talk, he was really good at letting me talk. Then kindly remind me the appropriate response to a gift or compliment is Thank you with no but, explanation, or disclaimers. Learning to appreciate gifts and not feel guilty receiving them is a challenging lesson to many abuse survivors. When given a gift enjoy receiving it…..if it is not from an abuser with strings attached. Truly there are some gifts that come with a price tag that is way too high. Use you best judgement and sometimes check in with your designated safe person to help recognize dangerous gifts. Testing the waters slowly in the new year. Allowing myself to sleep in a chair or on the couch as needed. Self care comes in a thousand different ways. Choosing self care as one of this years main challenges covers a wide spectrum. Gift receiving is one of those things. I am thankful for the lovely gift cards that will allow me to enjoy things that I don’t usually do.