Image by ~Aphrodite via Flickr
Written by Karen D. Swim
This morning I went out for a brisk walk. I had a yearning to inhale the frosty morning air and allow it to awaken my senses. I wanted to put aside my to-do list and simply be in the moment. No purpose, no planned route and no running. To make sure I wasn’t tempted I wore my uggs instead of running shoes. It was calming and peaceful. The cold air stung my cheeks and my body seemed to sing with joy “I’m alive!” My feet fell into a quiet rhythm with the quiet of the early hour.
My walk and “real workout” was followed by yoga. Today’s yoga session ended with the posture of giving and receiving. I was struck by the quiet balance, the perfect equality of giving and receiving. I have no trouble with giving but receiving is something I have had to learn.
We love givers. We applaud their grace and generosity and desire to model their altruism but all too often givers are not good at receiving. When you allow others to give to you, you are blessing them with a gift. You give them the opportunity to experience the joy of giving, the joy that fills your own heart so deeply. Don’t deny others the chance to give to you.
Do you find yourself saying things like:
No it’s okay I’m fine
Oh don’t worry I’ll do it
No, no you don’t have to bring anything
If so, it may be time to adjust the balance and accept the gifts that are graciously offered to you.
As a child I often heard the phrase “It is far better to give than to receive.” It was spoken by a generation seemingly afraid of sinking into moral turpitude. The Love Generation was all about peace, love and service. Don’t get me wrong, these are wonderful things but we got it wrong.
We spoke of giving as a higher standard, a selfless act. In fact the giver is in a position of power, to receive is humbling. We would much rather give than to admit our need for help. I would rather be the one feeding the hungry than to be hungry myself. However, when we have received, and learned to allow others to serve us it expands our compassion. Our giving becomes deeper and richer because we know what it means to receive.
This season, strive for balance. When help is offered, accept it joyfully. Be willing to let others share the load. They may not do it your way but humble yourself and allow them to give.
Are you able to strike the balance of giving and receiving? Do you have any tips to share? Do you find it especially difficult at this time of year?
If you want to celebrate the generosity of others, Robert Hruzek’s latest group writing project is the perfect opportunity. The theme is What I Learned From…the Generosity of Others and you have until December 7th to submit an entry.