“New Shoes” by Gerald Waller, Austria 1946
A 6 year old orphan from Austria ecstatically embraces a brand new pair of shoes given to him by the red cross
The emotion of receiving is bright & clear in this photo, one of my favorites. At this time of year the focus is on giving and we are very aware of the benefits of being a giver.
“Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.”
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
“For it is in giving that we receive.”
-St. Francis of Assisi-
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
~Maya Angelou Quotes On Giving
“When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
-Kahlil Gibran, philosopher-
This to me, is only half of the story though. Our thoughts on giving is so wrote, so automatic, that we don’t remember that there’s a bit missing.
The receiving. To receive is also to give, to give back to the gifter.
There is a little kink in receiving however…..you have to be open.
I’ll resort to a football analogy (I didn’t see this coming… familial osmosis). If you watch Tom Brady’s eyes after the ball is snapped, they are manically scouring the field for a receiver that is on his feet and open to receive. It is pointless making the play until he’s found his receiver.
As we wrap gifts for our family & friends, as we plan for 2013, are your arms wide open? Are you ready to receive the blessings & dreams you are placing on the page of your planner for next year, really ready?
Receiving is an energetic match to giving. Just like when someone speaks, a true listener is giving back as much as they receive.
Give, give give, we can’t continually exhale. We have to inhale, we have to receive. It is unhealthy not to. Every mother knows this. It is knowing when and then allowing it.
The self help advice reads notice the abundance around you , have a gratitude journal, all these help, but to test your readiness to receive, ask yourself can you accept a compliment? Consider that a clue.
A hundred years ago, early in my career, an art director gave me a compliment and I brushed it off. He gave me a mild scolding in the form of some great advice, he told me the only thing to say after someone gives you a compliment is to say thank you. He claimed he was trying to give me a gift and in my rebuff, I had refused it.
In Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Ecker claims rich people are good receivers, poor people are poor receivers. I claim this applies to all areas of your life. spiritual, physical, and mental. How open you are to receiving new ideas, new people in your life, new relationships?
A journal to note every time you receive something unbidden would be full in no time. It is astonishing. Ideas of reception would only expand through the noticing.
Writing an exhaustive list of everything you receive this holiday season, physical, mental & spiritual will give you clues to what kind of receiver you are. Watch out for rumblings of “I don’t deserve….” or “I didn’t work for that….”
The gift is the exhale, acknowledge with a “Wow, amazing, no idea where than came from or why, but thank you world/universe/god/goddess/or similar” is your inhale.
When you inhale & accept, you honor the giver.
Hope you have many moments like the one in the photo above!