While it is true that the gift is in the giving, it is nothing without its other half; the receiving — and owning our worthiness to receive
So, since the season of gift-giving is upon us, I’ve got a question for you. How are you at receiving — be it a gift, a compliment or a kind gesture? I realized recently that perhaps I could use a bit of clean-up in this department, perhaps I’m not so good at receiving after all. And maybe I’m not alone here.
First off, what is your immediate response when someone pays you a flattering sentiment? “You look beautiful,” or “I love that dress.“ Women, listen up. I hear these responses all the time. Me? You need to get your eyes checked, or This dress? It’s nothing special, I got it on sale at such and such.
What? Stop the presses!
Do you see a pattern, does this hit a nerve? Can you follow the thread of navigating our way out of receiving our intended gift? That’s the deflection game. And while on one hand I love attention or to be complimented, admittedly, I have a difficult time receiving it with a simple, Thank you. So, almost as if set on auto-pilot, I push it away not even realizing that I’m doing it — a well-tuned pattern.
Guilty as charged; I have perfected the quick-witted brush-off.
‘Thank you’ is a beautiful building block from which to create your foundation of receiving.
Start with Thank you, and continue with words from your heart, That means so much to me or I really needed to hear that today.
Can you recognize the simple shift in semantic? Those words welcome and return the favor, they receive and share the love. They invite connection. Our words hold great power and intention and yet, we quite often throw them around meaninglessly. How many times have you answered, “I’m fine,” when asked how you are? Far more times than you were fine, for sure.
Within their power and intention, our words can be used to elevate or deflate.
The same goes with physical gifts. When someone gives me a beautifully wrapped present, I’m always delighted and slightly panicked that I’m going to have to open it in front of them. The truth is that I’d love to immediately transport myself into my private space. I’m quick to tell the gift-giver that I prefer to open things and read cards in privacy to be able to melt into the moment. And while all that is true, I’m also robbing the giver of their moment, our collective moment. Lost opportunity.
What’s underneath all of these diversionary tactics is discomfort with receiving. And what’s underneath the discomfort of receiving is worthiness — or lack thereof. Aren’t you worthy of receiving? I sure think so.
Let’s be clear, though I’m incredibly moved by the kind gestures that are pointed in my direction (and nothing goes unappreciated or unnoticed), the reality is that I duck and dodge them like bullets.
I recognized this recently after receiving a gorgeous video message from a Best Selfer, someone I’ve never met in person, but through the virtues of digital media have connected with many times over — so much so that I feel like we know one another. All that to say, when I realized the message was simply intended as a personal note of gratitude, kindness and Best Self love — I was overwhelmed and couldn’t watch the entire thing. Now mind you, this video was only 1:45 minutes in length. What’s my problem, right?!
Part of me wanted to tuck it away to savor it later. Maybe I was somewhere deep inside asking myself, is this really intended for me? The other part couldn’t wait to dive in head first. It was incredibly curious to observe myself in that moment. It felt like I had been handed a precious treasure (and I had). Yet, I was dancing back and forth around it.
Never underestimate the power of your love upon another — a kind word, a quick text, an email, a handwritten note ‘just because’, a video or audio message or even a physical present. We never know the impact that gift, at that time, has upon another. But I trust that the Universe is conspiring upon our behalf when we act upon those impulses and intuitive hits.
When you think of someone or are moved by something they have posted online — act upon it, do something about it. Take a moment to reach out. You may not recognize the power it has to heal another, you may not know what someone else is dealing with or feeling, you may not know how it lands for them — but expressions of true kindness and love and authenticity sent out into the ethers are salve for the soul, always.
Yes, the gift is in the giving, but it is also very much in the learning of how to sink into the receiving; to softening and allowing.
So while I held that video in my inbox for 5 days before responding or even mentioning it, it’s intended love was with me from the moment it popped into my inbox — so much so that it has inspired me to write about it here today.
Maybe you are getting caught up in the holiday shopping frenzy, maybe you’ve already spent too much — or are lamenting the possibility of potentially doing so as ‘obligations’ drag you down. I want to call you to do it differently this year (and yes, you can). You can break free from the ‘traditions’ and the way you’ve always done things and you can do them another way.
What if we embraced the spirit of the season with the true essence of giving and receiving? What if we showered each other with truth and created space to be, feel and heal? What if we practiced conscious communication? This isn’t all kumbaya and woo woo-ness. No, this is actually hard work. This requires showing up, keeping it real and being vulnerable. Let’s table the platitudes. Let’s catch ourselves and be mindful of our responses. Let’s connect in a deeper and more meaningful way.
Seize the opportunity to both give and receive. Imagine yourself as a magical elf spreading holiday joy. Who is the first person on your list? Do you know how long it takes to write a personal note or record a video or audio message…a minute! A one-minute gesture with lasting impact. Now that’s what I call a precious gift.
Making a list, checking it twice…and both softening my heart to give and receive. Want to join me? Cheers to receiving!
So how are you in this department? Are you uncomfortable receiving — do you have some routine that plays out on autopilot as a means of deflection? I’d love to know how this lands for you. Please share in the comments below.