The Gift of Receiving

You may wonder how receiving can be a gift? There are two distinct ways for this to happen. The first is that you allow yourself to receive something of value, without guilt, without 'no, you shouldn't have' and without batting an eye. The second is that you provide the giver with the gift of giving. When someone fully accepts and receives a gift, they are giving to both people, themselves and the giver.

Here is a very simple example. Mary says to Tom, 'You look nice today'. But Tom answers, 'Oh, I don't feel very nice and I think I look terrible'. Tom just robbed himself of the gift of receiving a compliment, but he also robbed Mary of the gift of giving the compliment. Suppose Tom's response had been, 'Why thank you, Mary. I appreciate you noticing' along with a smile. Tom accepts the gift of the compliment fully, and it brings him a bit of joy. Meanwhile, he has also made Mary feel satisfied in her decision to give a compliment, she also feels happy because the gift was received and appreciated.

We've all heard that it's better to give than to receive, but both are actually important, although giving is the more powerful of the two. In many cases, though, we've been conditioned or brought up to feel that we shouldn't receive things. We ought to be modest, and content with little, and not indebted to anyone due to their kindness. If someone gives us anything, we need to show great appreciation and somehow pay them back. The root of all this is a belief that we are somehow unworthy. We all know how wonderful it can feel to give freely to another person, knowing they cannot return the favor, but we do it for their benefit. But many of us don't know how to receive from another person, especially if we cannot return the favor. So we accept grudgingly, or try to refuse the gift, making all kinds of excuses and reasons why we shouldn't have it. We may even accept it, then immediately give it to someone else who we feel is more worthy of it. We may feel we should be content with what we have, or that someone else needs it more than we do. When the giver finds out, they are sometimes disappointed or hurt because we didn't seem to value their gift to us. But the real reason is, we didn't value ourselves enough to receive it. We also should be careful in case the giver doesn't feel worthy having what they gave away, and their motivation for giving was based on guilt or some other negative reason. But most people will give because they choose to.

Suppose we receive a birthday gift from a distant relative, and it's over the top. Perhaps it's a large gift certificate, or even a cash gift. We aren't even close with that person, and we wonder why they would do such a thing. First, we ought to allow ourselves to feel the gratitude for the gift, because the giver followed some prompt from within that made them give so much. That prompt likely came from their authentic self, the divine nature that we call intuition. So we can be thankful that the Universe gave to us, or God or however you choose to label the higher energy we are all intertwined with. Next, thank the person who gave you the gift. Don't use phrases like 'You shouldn't have', or 'I don't deserve this', but focus on thanking them. Tell them if the timing of the gift was perfect, or how thoughtful it was. This is about them, not you. Let them know you graciously accept what they gave and how happy it made you. You have now succeeded at spreading joy to two people. You gave yourself the gift of receiving, and therefore spread joy to yourself, while giving the gift of accepting for the one who gave the gift, also bringing joy in their life. They feel satisfied that they did the right thing, their motivation was right, and they followed their inner urging to send it to you. You each feel worthy and grateful. Both of you are happy.

Remember that giving is always a wonderful thing to do, especially when it hurts a little. Be aware of why you feel motivation to give, and never give away things you deserve to keep because you don't feel worthy. Never forget that receiving is also a gift you can give to yourself, whether someone says they like your shoes, or they buy you a house. Regardless of the size of the gift, you have the choice to either accept or refuse it. Learn to accept graciously.