Thursday, June 05, 2008

Gratitude, Giving and Receiving

My little snake friend came out to play again while I was weeding this evening. At first, he was scared and kept ducking his head under the dirt trying to find his den. But then I started talking to him in a soothing voice, telling him how beautiful he is, and I guess he liked the vibration of my voice, or maybe the admiration, because he hung around a little while once I started talking. I think he was even showing off just a bit. He didn't run for cover until I started pulling weeds again.

It was nice outside this evening, and it reminded me how much we have to be grateful for. The breeze felt wonderful. I feel like Spirit is touching me when the breeze caresses my skin and plays with my hair that way. And, oh how sweet it is to feel the cool grass and earth beneath my feet. And the beauty of the star-studded sky last night brought tears to my eyes. We are so blessed, if we will only be aware of all the gifts that are freely given to us every day of our lives.

This brings me to the issue of receptivity. Some of us find it easy to give and not so easy to receive. The problem with this is that it is a whole lot more pleasant to a giver when a gift is received graciously. I mean, what reaction would you prefer when you give a gift: the person who says, 'You shouldn't have done that,' or maybe even tries to refuse your gift? or the person who graciously accepts your gift and shows delight in receiving it? Hmmm...makes you think, doesn't it?

Heck, if you're giving something, chances are it's because you want to give it. You want to do something to enrich that person's life experience. It is not very pleasant to have someone block you from giving to them. What givers often don't realize is that others enjoy giving just as much as we do. When we receive graciously, we give back to the giver. We allow them the joy of giving, and we give them the joy of seeing our pleasure in receiving. It's kind of selfish, if you think about it, to enjoy giving to others and not to allow them the joy of giving to you. Ouch!

This is one of the reasons givers often block the flow of wealth into our lives, as well. We are not willing to refuse to help someone just because they can't pay us, and we don't want to be profiteers who exclude most people by way of charging exorbitant fees, but then we go all the way to the other extreme and refuse to accept payment for services we render. Usually, if someone is trying to give us money for some service, it means that for them to feel good about the situation, they need to give something back. In some cases, we may want to ask them to "pay it forward". But in most cases, the appropriate thing to do would be to graciously receive. Just something to think about.

And that's just the way I see it. But what do I know?

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