I’ve had multiple conversations the last several weeks with a friend about how important it is to receive fully from the heart. What I mean by this is to fully allow yourself to take in the gift in the moment, to feel the love, to feel the giving and to receive the gift with an open heart.
This is different than receiving something and thinking about what you have given, what you haven’t given, if you are giving well, right, correctly or what have you.
Becoming a good receiver takes practice. From the time we are tots, we are taught how to give to others, how to say thank you and to acknowledge what we’ve been given, but how many of us have actually been encouraged to take in the gift, snatching every juiciness from the moment? To be celebrated at that level has likely not happened since we were toddlers when everything we did was ADORABLE!
Last week, I went to two different get togethers with two new sets of friends. I showed up at one to see gifts bulging from a booth. I showed up at the other to see gifts lined up on a table. My own hands held none.
The first time it happened, I immediately felt I had missed the boat. It literally had not even occurred to me to bring gifts despite the fact that I ADORE these women and we’ve exchanged gifts for birthdays! Inside, the idea tugged at me for about a minute, and then I knew I had to let it go. I couldn’t sprout a gift.
As it so happens, I was in the middle of wrapping up some huge soul, heart and mind loose ends personally. Before I arrived at the lunch, I had talked to a friend who was the right person at the right time for me to mull over what was going on at the deepest part of who I am. I had actually called her for something, and ended up realizing I needed her to listen to me, to be there for me and to hold space for me to process. In that moment, I felt I had taken something, and there was a part of me that felt bad for imposing myself on her. Then, as we were about to hang up, I thanked her as I felt so much better, and she added, “It’s my pleasure. I’m glad I had an opportunity to do something for you finally.”
The finally helped me see, in that moment, that though I have consciously made an effort to accept people’s offers of help, I rarely reach out to anyone except for a very small band of people close to me. In that moment, I sensed what I’ve known…receiving is every bit as noble as giving. And, being a gracious receiver is a gift in itself.
As I drove over to the lunch, I was lost in my world of realizing a new energy that was here to play. To release into it. Then, I walk in and wham-o, another lesson in becoming a gracious receiver. Don’t you love it when the lessons come one after another?
My friends could tell I was grappling with my own concerns and asked, “Would you like to talk about it?” And I received their invitation and shared.
A couple of hours later after three courses, we dived into gifts. “I didn’t bring any,” I said flatly, stating the obvious. Then they chimed in, “And, if you go buy one later, we won’t take it!” The other said, “You brought us gifts last time!” Of course, this I did not remember because last time I had felt inspired to bring them … and, of course, I did not think or expect them to bring me one, either! Why would I impose this crazy thinking onto myself!? LOL
I left without a shred of guilt, shame, regret. I felt loved, seen, acknowledged, adored and full of friendship.
Then, the next day, it happened AGAIN! Buoyed by my experience on Saturday, I swallowed and received graciously and accepted the gifts and put aside my concern of feeling a need to reciprocate. Though I did have the inspiration the night before to create a gift for each of them, apparently, the time wasn’t right since I overslept!
And that reminds me that receiving from others is similar to receiving from spirit…we receive best when our hearts are open, our minds are clear and our bodies are light to move with inspiration.
I’m grateful for these lessons in receiving…thank you! Givers are great at giving and tend to be not so great at receiving. Becoming a gracious receiver allows God to return the love you already are in abundant ways!