In the second part of Words To Live By: Giving/ Receiving, I wanted to focus on the other part of the concept – receiving.
As I said in the previous post, what goes up must come down. What goes out must come back. As Deepak Chopra says ‘In reality, receiving is the same thing as giving, because giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy.’
For many of us, myself included, the first posting is often the hardest – giving. My natural personality is that of being a quiet person when in some situations and that also translates to holding back – and I don’t naturally give as much as I want to – also probably due to some things I learned growing up. Likewise I’ve had some financial tough times not long ago and in the back of my mind I know there are still thoughts and limiting beliefs around scarcity. Hence I don’t give as much in the material world as I want to do.
But, for many of us, Receiving is very hard. How many times are people given a compliment only to turn it down. “You look nice.”…other person, “Oh this old thing? I think it makes my butt look fat.” OR “You did a great job on that project.” ….other person “Yeah, I could have done better on the last part though….”
Take the compliment! Take it when you can get it!
I know that when people compliment me about work or parenting I seem to want to disqualify it.
We need to receive gifts in our lives, such as compliments, to complete the energy flow. There are many parents that have given all of their lives, and now children or others can and want to give back but the parents have a hard time receiving it. Without being too specific, there is a very nice lady I know who always makes food, treats, and desserts for many others. When we try to do for her, she won’t accept and insists that she does it instead.
She won’t receive the gift we want to give her. So in some ways she is taking away the pleasure and joy that we’d get from giving her something – although I know that she does not mean to do this nor means anything negative by it. I must confess, because she hasn’t accepted our gift over the years, it has diminished the value of her ‘gift’ of food and treats, at least from my perspective. The flow of energy isn’t there. She is a wonderful person and gives and gives but sometimes we must receive to make it complete.
Chopra says that we need to “gratefully receive all the gifts that life has to offer me…..gifts of nature: sunlight and the sounds of birds singing, or spring showers or the first snow of winter.” This of course gets mixed in and overlaps gratitude, doesn’t it?
Chopra advises that to better apply the “law of giving”, we need to “be open to receiving from others, whether it be in the form of a material gift, money, or a prayer.” Sometimes we don’t accept a gift because of pride, because we’re not used to doing so, or because we have a self image/esteem issue surrounding the situation.
By not accepting the gifts of others, we limit the growth of a relationship. We may also limit our own growth. I recently received some help from a friend. Because of pride and self image, it was tough for me. I believe it may have been uncomfortable for him. But now that some time has passed, I believe the relationship with my friend is stronger.
Let’s face it, receiving gifts in life may overlap the Word to Live By: Acceptance. Life has challenges and changes that we often think are all negative – a job change, an opportunity that didn’t happen, a loss, a relationship change. We are so sure that this change is a bad thing and we fight it. But if we accept it and receive it as a gift – a gift of learning, wisdom and patience – then we can move on better in most cases.
How many times do these ‘bad events’ in life happen, we get mad, upset, depressed about it, yet after a longer period of time, things actually look better – even much better. That lost job was painful but led to a new, better job with more flexibility and fulfillment.
Or that relationship that we thought we couldn’t live without opened the door to a much more mature, loving and caring relationship.
You get the idea. Life is full of gifts. People offer gifts in so many small ways. By acknowledging them more and accepting these gifts more, we can all grow and benefit.
I want to give you wishes and prayers for a peaceful day with your loved ones. I hope that you can give one stranger a day, over the next 7 days, a positive thought, prayer, compliment, or effort. I also hope that you are more aware of and welcoming to receiving gifts, big and small, from others and from life.