Following on from yesterday’s post “Random Acts of Kindness” – giving with no expectations, I thought today I would consider “The Art of Receiving”. How does it feel to receive from someone who is not expecting anything in return?
Our society today teaches us to assume that if a person is giving something to us, they will want to receive something back in return. Ever walked down the street and been offered a marketing leaflet which says “Free Gift”? My automatic reaction is to think “What’s the catch?” The old addage of “Nothing in life is free” comes immediately to mind. Too often, in order to get that free gift, I need to do something, join something, pay someone.
But to receive from someone who is expecting nothing in return challenges us in new ways. I have to lay down the automatic reaction of “what can I do for them?”, or “What do they want?” I have to accept that someone wants to do something for me just because of who I am, or just because…….
I then have to look at my response to this act. Very often I have to allow myself to receive. How often do we give ourselves permission to receive, to be relaxed, to just do nothing. It’s hard today. Receiving allows us, for just a moment, to be a little selfish. It speaks to our worthiness, to our value and helps to show us that we are of significance. For some of us, that is so hard to accept.
Receiving has to be learned. We all like to receive, but to truly receive, can be so liberating. Once understood, the by-product is gratitude; gratitude for the giver, for the gift, for the lesson. And being thankful, genuinely grateful, is another lesson I need to learn.