If you’re anything like me you’re well versed in the arena of being the Giver. From the school of it’s better to give than to receive. If fact many of us have been so trained to give, that we don’t know how to receive.
For as long as I can remember I’ve had a hard time accepting a compliment comfortably. It’s always an awkward moment when someone offers a compliment, let alone a gift or help. I have always considered myself to be the complimenter, the giver, the helper.
I’ve never taken time to understand the importance learning how to receive gracefully. Indeed this is as important as the giving is. It’s the yin and the yang, the left and the right, the up and down. The giving, and receiving is all one thing, balancing each other out.
I’m very spiritual and recently this topic of receipt came up for me and had me thinking. How often I meditate and pray for things I already have, yet haven’t allowed myself to receive the very thing I’m in search of.
While I practice being present in each moment, I have several tools I use to keep myself centered and focused in most instances. I find myself being present in the moment, while also keeping an eye to the future for those things I want.
A few examples of this, is the current house search I am on for a larger house for my family. Yet I have a great house, in a great neighborhood, and even good neighbors! Yet I discount much of this. I pay lip service to being grateful for it, I act like I am in gratitude for my home as it is.
Yet I find I have not allowed myself to receive the gift my home truly is. It’s shelter for my family, a roof over our heads, coolness in the summer, heat in the winter, and dry in the rain. A space we have created countless memories and shared love, laughs, tears and all the emotions a family imparts together. It’s all I could ever desire from a home.
Another example is my health, both physically and mentally. I am in the best health of my life right now, in this moment. And while I am grateful for this, I understand fully how far I have come. I also know how far I have to go… The path is long, and I am on the journey, far from complete.
As I mentioned I am grateful for all the blessings I have, there are many. Yet when given a simple compliment I have a hard time trying to respond, I don’t know what to do.
I realized my inability to accept a compliment was so much deeper than originally thought. I had spent all my time on the “give”, never wanting to be selfish and “get”.
I am all for balance in life, yet this was a blind-spot I noticed within me. Giving is hugely important and should be done generously in all mediums.
Learning how to gracefully receive is a deep lesson which will bring as much peace as giving. If someone is giving to you, you’ve probably earned it in some way. Even if you haven’t “earned” it, you are the recipient of another persons “give”. It’s OK to accept and be gracious and humbled in receipt.
If you ever find yourself praying/meditating for love, be sure to receive the love you already have. If you find yourself praying for money, gratefully receive the money you already have. If you’re not in a relationship but wish to be, receive the relationship you have with yourself first.
Being grateful for something, and receiving it are not one in the same. I didn’t know there was a difference for a long time. There is always a balance in this universe, love and hate, joy and despair, light and dark.
Nothing exists without it’s opposite and all are needed. Giving and receiving are not opposites in this case and compliment each other like salt and pepper or peanut butter and jelly when done without ego or pride.
The next time you find yourself in receipt of a compliment or gift, pay attention to your natural response. If you’re the “no, I couldn’t accept that…” type like me, take a swing at simply accepting and saying “Thank you”.