Most often this time of year is thought of as a “giving season”. Though that is part of the reality as we seek the perfect gift for a loved one – friend or family – or donate to our favorite cause, there is another part of this circle that is often overlooked. the grace of receiving.
I call it the “grace of receiving” as it takes a willingness to softly open our hearts to receive and embody worthiness and self love. For someone who consistently thought of others welfare receiving was something that made me feel uncomfortable. As if I had to give back to make things “equal”. Perhaps because over the years giving was a way to survive and to be acknowledged. To belong.
In nature…and in life….receiving is reciprocal and woven with giving. What I didn’t grasp in the past is that I was always receiving when I was giving. Yet what would it be like to completely receive without being compelled to give back. Thankfully in my elder years I have surrendered into that experience.
I had just returned home from being away for 5 days caring for two elder dogs while their humans were away, when the doorbell rang. It was my dear friend Margaret looking like a holiday Elf, who with a smile on her face handed me a paper bag. In the bag was a large stocking in red with a big “G” on it (for Gaye).
I almost broke down in tears right then feeling the love flow between us as I said to her “No one has made a Christmas stocking for me in decades”. When she left a few minutes later a flood of memories poured forth from childhood and as a parent of 3 now grown to manhood boys.
In those receiving moments I did indeed give – with love, friendship and transparency of emotion – creating a memory to share in the future. For me this is the grace of receiving..
Did I look inside the stocking? No! The child in me will save it for the traditional gift giving holiday. Every time I pass it by for the next few days my heart will open to receiving.
P.S. No accident that the picture on the wall was another gift given to me on a past birthday by dear friends and the orchid was something I gave to others at a temporary job….and then it came back to me when I completed the assignment. The tapestry of giving and receiving keeps weaving…..
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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 12/23/22