Your Gift to the World

Have you ever asked yourself what gifts are yours to share with the world? What’s your answer? Has it changed over the years, as you change, grow and evolve?

candleOver the years, through classes and programs taken, books read, as well as soul-searching contemplations and reflections undertaken, variations of this question had come up. By now, I have a fairly good idea what gifts I have to enable me to serve in different capacities. As a case in point, I’ve been a lifelong lover of the written word, which has been a special ally, confidante and partner to me. It was my companion when I was a painfully shy little girl, who felt like a complete misfit in this world. In my adult life, it has become a deeply satisfying creative outlet. More importantly, I know that I’ve been gifted this love of the written word so that I can use it to articulate and share lessons gleaned from personal growth and transformation.

That’s why I was quite surprised by what came up on Sunday in response to the question of what’s my gift to share with the world. This question was part of a guided meditation led by a beautiful soul at my spiritual center, intended to help us open our hearts and remember the love that we are.

According to my inner wisdom, the love that I am, my gift to share with the world is Patience. This surprised me because being patient doesn’t come naturally to me at all. I’m one of those Type A personalities for whom everything needed to have happened yesterday. Waiting is simply not something I’m wired to do. And yet, there has been so much waiting in my life. In one significant area, come this November, it’ll have been 6 years since I’ve been waiting. How much longer will I have to wait? I have not a single clue.

The Contrast of Darkness to Appreciate Light

At the moment in the guided meditation when Patience came up as one of my gifts to share, it resonated at a level that eluded my ego’s defensive watch. Patience is an essential quality I’ve come into this life to experience and express. To explain this point, allow me to enlist the help of Neale Donald Walsch in a great children’s book, The Little Soul and the Sun, an adaptation from Conversations with God.

NDW bookIn this story set in heaven, the Little Soul isn’t satisfied with just knowing that he is special. He wants to feel and experience being special. God explains to him that he can’t see the light that he is when he’s surrounded by light everywhere. It’s only when he’s in darkness that he can experience the light that he is. And when he can experience how special—not better—he is being the light in darkness in his unique way, he can then encourage others to recognize how they themselves are special in their own way. The Little Soul decides that he wants to experience special in the form of Forgiveness. For him to be able to experience that, he needs someone to forgive. In comes The Friendly Soul, who agrees to incarnate with him to serve as someone to forgive.

Can you see the moral of the story? In order to feel and experience the essential quality of Forgiveness, the Little Soul needs to experience being wronged in a human incarnation. Similarly, each and every one of us signed up for our own brands of hardship in order to experience certain essential qualities of our soul. Just like light cannot be appreciated without the contrast of darkness, a soul quality can’t be felt and experienced without the challenge and pain that catalyzes its surfacing and development in a conscious manner.

Truth, Not Ego

If Patience is what my soul wishes to feel and experience in this life, then repeated disappointments and chronic waiting—everything that tries patience—must be part of my human experience so as to bring forth this quality of my soul’s essence. And, part of my soul’s purpose in this life, apparently, is to cultivate graceful acceptance of patience-trying struggles and honor their place in this human experience. A “special” my soul signed up to experience is to embody and express in human form the truth of who I am, not the ego-constructed defense of being a Type A hard-driver. In my ego self, I have no patience for anyone or anything, not the least of whom myself and all the ways I’ve felt like a bitter disappointment and utter failure in this life.

If Neale Donald Walsch is correct, my willingness to accept the contrast of darkness so as to let my light shine is meant not only to serve my own soul’s evolution, but also to inspire others to recognize their own version of “special” in the contrast of their own version of darkness. Apparently, in resonance with Mr. Walsch’s teaching, my inner wisdom told me that Patience is a “special” I’ve come into this life to experience and express—a gift from the love that I am to be cultivated and shared with the world.

What about you? What do you think about the idea of needing to be in darkness in order to see your light? What do you think is your “special” to experience and express in this life? What are your gifts to share with the world?


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About Alice Chan, Ph.D.

Dr. Alice Chan is passionate about developing conscious leaders and organizations. Her path to serve her life purpose has included being an award-winning Cornell professor and a leader in the corporate world for nearly 15 years. She’s the author of the book, REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life, and creator of the program, 30 Days to Living Your Best Life. All content on this blog and website is her own, not the opinions of her employer.

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Hiten Vyas
Hiten Vyas

Hi Alice,

This was a very thought provoking post, my friend.

It got me thinking of those soul qualities that each of have but find it difficult to experience. We can use the challenges we have with these, as signs that is those very same qualities we need to focus on developing the capacity to experience.

I liked the way you explained needing the darkness to see the light we are here to shine. This is a very empowering perspective.

Thank you.


What an interesting reflection to ponder Alice.  : )  

While on the one hand, I can't personally say that I signed up for specific trials during my time here on earth.  That said, I have learned and continue to learn many things in the contrasts between light and darkness.  One of my favorite quotes from Carl Jung is this one: 

'My destiny is to create more consciousness.  The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.' 

This one as always resonated with me because it made sense in a way I could understand it.  I am able to see that each of can act as a light in this world; our own life force energy acts as a 'light'.  Many people that I encounter in my life, including you, serve as a 'light' that helps guide my own path in the world.  Some in big ways.  Others in little ways.  Some may be a great light that remains for a long period of time.  Others may be a fleeting moment or a single encounter.  All are treasured moments that have helped serve me in some meaningful way.  Even in terms of rekindling my own flame and light during periods where it was nearly snuffed out.  

Another idea your post conjures up for me is from another lesson I've been taught along the way.  The idea that we learn what we want to create from the contrasts we experience in life.  Combining this with another lesson that both dark and light are two sides of the same coin.  One cannot exist without the other.  We would not know or understand happiness without sadness.  There is no above without a below. There would not be a right without a left.  There is no father without a son.  And so on. 

You are definitely gifted my friend!  I love your gift of words and how you show up in the world.  And all the gifts whether that is patience and all of the many others that naturally manifest when the need arises.  

We don't always know how we will show up and serve in the life of another.  So perhaps even if we don't always know what our gifts are, specifically, it could be that having a heart that desires to be in service is the starting point.  The desire to serve can pave the way for the very essence of our life to be the gift that meets the needs in the lives of others.  In whatever way we are able to meet a genuine need in that moment.  

Thanks for sharing my friend! xo


Hi Alice!

Excellent article that raises lots of good questions and motivates us to be better at finding our purpose. This is not always a clear path and you've done a great job outlining ways to soul search yourself. Thank you very much for sharing!


DrAliceChan moderator

@Hiten Vyas Thank you, Hiten! I'm glad this post resonated with you. In our human consciousness, we don't think we signed up for hardship. Yet, our soul knows the contrast of darkness necessary to bring out our light. We can help to remind each other of that. Always good to see you here, my friend!

DrAliceChan moderator

@Samantha_S_Hall Many thanks for your detailed and thoughtful comment, my friend! Yes, to our human self, no one in their right mind would *ask* for hardship. It's our wise soul that signed up for these challenges so that we can evolve and inspire others to evolve in their own way. As for light and darkness being two sides of the same coin, I wrote a post exactly about that a year ago. Darkness has its place in our human experience. As always, really appreciate how deep you get into these conversations and how thoughtful you are. Thank you!

DrAliceChan moderator

@vripley Many thanks for reading and commenting, Vaughn. Yes, there are many different ways for our soul to reveal what's ours to do whether it's our purpose or something very specific to a time or situation. Thanks again for joining the conversation.

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