Let’s face it. I’m obsessed with this question: “What are you thinking?”
An interesting and enduring pattern in my thoughts is that I constantly think of how I can improve, and especially how I can improve at one key activity: giving.
- How can I be a better teacher?
- How can I improve my relationships?
- How can I write things that people will enjoy reading?
- How can I be better to my adorable Australian Shepherd, Blue?
The pattern is clear: I need to be better. At practically everything. But, especially giving.
The problem is, my “giving” thoughts make me really tired. Sometimes, I feel completely drained from thinking about improvement.
But, last weekend, an amazing thing happened. Out of the blue, a friend of mine gave me a really big gift. It was huge and generous. It was unexpected. It was luxurious. It made me almost embarrassed to accept because it was expensive and indulgent.
My immediate reaction was this: Oh no, what do I have to give back to be worthy of this gift? NOW WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO???
Then I had a rebellious thought: Nothing. I don’t have to give back.
I can receive.
Whoah. It was so weird.
Really? I immediately started thinking about how to “repay” my friend for their kindness.
But, what if my friend just wanted to give? What if they didn’t expect anything in return? That was too hard for me to believe. Was that even possible? Is it possible that someone does not expect me to reciprocate?
Could I just receive?
After much hesitation, I was still worried. Maybe a gift is a gift and…
I can receive.
But…. Can I?
- Why is it so hard for me to believe this thought: I can receive?
- Why does this thought feel vulnerable: I can receive?
- Why am I worried about this thought: I can receive?
Can I really receive without having to give the exact amount, or more, in return?
Can I believe that I am worthy of a big and beautiful gift?
I am still sitting with this one, dear readers. I am working this out. This holds so much tension for me.
I want to give. I want to teach. I want to support. I want to encourage.
But can I receive?