Giving and Receiving. This has been the season for both and it presents interesting opportunities.
I’ve been thinking about this because I have a birthday soon, and I have found myself uncomfortable…
It’s not that I’m another year older. It’s not the number. It’s that my daughter, husband, parents and best friend are going to extraordinary effort to shower me with love in a special (and I’m sensing lovely) intimate, family celebration. Family members are traveling. They are booking hotel rooms. Decorations and menus have been months in the planning, and details, no doubt, have been carefully crafted.
And that’s the rub. As I’ve sat with this, I’ve realized it is much more comfortable to be the giver. To be the planner. To be the celebrator rather than the celebratee. And isn’t that curious for throughout our life we have probably lamented, “I just want to be loved”. We may fantasize about surprise parties, about people we love surrounding us with love, and yet, it is surprising uncomfortable. Very strange. Is it a case of feeling unworthy?…I don’t think so. People are busy and I know I am loved. I find I just don’t want to be a bother.
As I’ve wrestled with this internally, insight came once again in a yoga practice. We know the importance of giving, and yet it is equally vital to receive well. To give and receive is an even exchange, and for one to be successful, you must have the other.
Think about a time you could hardly wait to bestow a special gift on someone. You probably envisioned what that moment was going to be like. Butterflies of excitement welled up inside you just imagining the joy at the moment of discovery. No doubt, some of those exchanges were just what you imagined and the experience was deeply satisfying and joyful for both of you. There were also probably some times that were a disappointment, not because the gift or the occasion fell short, but because the receiver didn’t allow themselves to be loved.
To love and be loved…that’s what it’s all about. And it’s not just family, this extends to our community as well. To love and be loved is to acknowledge and honor those relationships that are open to us. It is to put energy, commitment and focus on the people in our lives that are dedicated to supporting each other, and this grounds us. It heals us. It centers us and makes us whole. And when we are whole, we are more capable of reaching outside our inner circle in order to be a blessing to those who need us, in our family, in our community, and in our world.
To be loved…may you allow yourself that gift in this new year.
I think I’ll start tomorrow:-)…