Most of us love to give. There’s the thrill of finding that perfect something for someone, the fun of wrapping it, the joy of watching them open it with anticipation and delight. You know that great pleasure you feel when they are so happy with what they are receiving.
So if giving is so joyful and wonderful, why is receiving so difficult for some of us?
I don’t mean just receiving a tangible gift. Many of us are uncomfortable receiving a compliment, a pat on the back, a kind word about who we are.
My friend Joy works out at the gym, is happily taking care of her physical body. One day I commented on how slender and fit she looks. Instead of saying thank you, she minimized the compliment by saying “oh, black jeans just make you look thinner.”
Why is receiving a kind word so uncomfortable for some of us?
The other day I was having lunch at a favorite Thai restaurant. Two women, obviously friends, were sitting at the next table. I wasn’t intentionally eavesdropping on their conversation but when one friend offered to pay for lunch and the other put up her hand and said, “Oh, no, you don’t have to do that,” I had to butt in.
“Your friend just offered you a gift,” I said. “She’d love for you to just accept it and say thank you.” Caught off guard, the woman smiled at me and said, “You’re right.” She turned to her friend and graciously said “Thank you, that’s so sweet.”
Why are we so quick to say no thank you?
Maybe, instead of digging back to figure out the why, we can simply try a new way.
We can choose to simply accept the gift or compliment without giving in to those voices in our head saying “I’m not worth this, it’s not true, I don’t deserve this.”
We can open up and receive the joy of that person’s giving.
We can say thank you.
We can accept their gift with an open heart, a deserving heart, a worthy heart.
Several years ago I created a series of Blessing Bowls. Some were made from papier mache, others began as wooden bowls from thrift stores. Decorated with paint, beads and other founds materials, the Bowls held words like Peace, Breathe, Namasté, Success and Happiness. Several of the bowls contained the Lovingkindness Prayer.
The Blessing Bowls, designed to hang on the wall so that they wouldn’t be thoughtlessly filled with stuff collecting on a table, served as a constant and beautiful reminder to ask for what we want and need in our lives.
In this season of gift-giving, what gifts do you wish for yourself?
What do you need more of in your life?
What reminders do you need to help you stay focused on living the passionate and purposeful life you dream of?
A new gathering of Virtual Living Room Ladies will begin in January. The group is designed to help you discover what you truly need, what you deeply desire, and how to bring these ideas to life.
What a beautiful gift to give yourself this holiday season. Click here for all the details.