American society teaches us that it is better to give than to receive. There is the social political irony about a slave society teaching this kind of logic so that Black people would be honored to give without it being reciprocal. And a few generations later it has created this aversion to receiving. Well, for some of us. For some of us who have received this teaching, we find it is hard to accept compliments, gifts, unsolicited praise or abundance. But energetically the unexpected impact is that we rob the other person of the opportunity to express their gratitude for who we are and how we’ve impacted them.
This has been my work over the last 10+ years, to become a humble and gracious receiver. I think about the impact that I had, often unknowingly, on the person who is giving me something. And I choose to honor and empower them by graciously accepting what they would have me receive be it praise, thanks, or physical gifts. We must honor their expression of gratitude even when it is directed at us. The other part of the work is to really take in the impact that I had on that person, any person, every person that I’m able to impact. I teach myself and others, by my example, how to receive graciously and honor the person doing the giving with love and respect.
This Holiday Season, I will not take the kindness of others who offer food, shelter, gifts, and love to me and my family for granted. I will honor their choice to share what they have. I will reciprocate in kind by offering something of value to the host. And I will challenge myself to be a gracious receiver.
So, if you want to join me in this challenge … For the next 30 days until the new year, slow down and give and receive with conscious intention as an expression of love for the giver or the receiver. And pay attention to the impact on you and the other person.
Impact Mantra: I give, and I receive easily as an expression of the impact others have on me and I have on others. I learn more about my own impact as I do this, and we both have an opportunity to grow from the experience.