A thought came to me this past weekend while I was at dinner with a dear friend: Our relationships are greatly enhanced when we not only generously give, but also when we generously receive. I’ve personally found it’s so easy to remember to give to those around us, and even volunteering our time is fantastic, as I discussed in my “National Volunteer Week: You are a Point of Light” post. But do we also make sure that we allow ourselves to generously receive from those around us?
While that concept sounds very simple, I’ve found that we often forget to allow others to give back to us when we are in need. We are so busy fulfilling our roles as mothers, fathers, successful business people, and supportive friends that we find ourselves in a natural giving mode to everyone in our lives, except ourselves. I’ve come to realize that graciously accepting gifts or generosity from others is as equally important as, and sometimes even more important than, giving.
So, why might we be reluctant to allow others to be generous to us? We’ve learned to be so self-sufficient that we refuse to let our guard down and admit that we need to receive, too. We have created self-imposed walls of being “supermen” and “superwomen” who don’t need anything from anyone because that would require us to be vulnerable!
So back to the wonderful reminder I had about how our relationships are greatly enhanced when we generously receive too. I was at dinner and my dear friend commented, “Shari, you’re quite intimidating sometimes. You seem to have it all together, and you never need help from anyone. You scare men off because they think you don’t need them!”
I burst out laughing, and then I stopped dead in my tracks. I remembered my ex-husband had said the exact same thing to me: “You don’t need me.” Ouch! That really struck a nerve, but I got the point. In life, you must allow others into your life by accepting their generosity because it deepens the relationship. It takes grace to receive from someone and feel comfortable in accepting that gift.
Receiving can come to us in many forms. This may include emotional support from a friend or loved one, graciously accepting a thoughtful gift, or even allowing someone to do something for you that makes your life easier. And, when we allow others to give to us, we open the gateway for all our good to flow into us. You are telling the Universe, “Yes! Please give me more good stuff!” Our relationships are greatly enhanced because when others feel great joy in being generous to us, the cycle continues when we give back to them in the future. Relationships are never one sided after all.
This week, I will allow those around me to do something nice for me. I will not feel guilty or bad for accepting their generosity. I know that I deserve to be treated special and that the person giving to me feels wonderful in their good deed, too. By creating a positive feeling in receiving generously from others, I have created an open door for even more good to continue flowing into me.
Thank you, everyone, for your most generous help, gifts, and love.