Gifting and Receiving

Gifting and Receiving. Let’s take a moment and think about what that truly means. Is it something that you do only at the holidays? Is it something that you do all the time?

The dictionary defines a gift as something that is given to another person or to a group or organization; a special ability. What if to gift really meant to give without the expectations of receiving, to give purely for the joy of it?

The dictionary defines receiving as to get or be given (something); to react to (something) in a specified way. What if it really meant to receive without guilt of having to give in return? “True receiving is being able to receive all the information that there is. Receiving doesn’t have to do with money. It has to do with everything.”  Gary Douglas

The definitions from the dictionary really describes give and take and not gift and receive. How many people keep a mental record of every time they help a friend or family member move, renovate a house, or cook dinner just so they can call on that “favor” later?  That is NOT gifting that is giving with the expectation.

For many people, myself included, we have no problems with gifting. The challenge arises with the receiving. This is a common thing. What is it that actually makes us feel bad about receiving someones gift?  My theory is that many of us have issues with being vulnerable. Why is it so terrible to show our vulnerability? Doesn’t it actually make us a stronger more consciously aware person to acknowledge our vulnerabilities, and wear it on our sleeve for all to see?  Being vulnerable is not a bad thing.  It is acknowledging the things we need help with.  No one can operate solely on their own. We are social creatures.
This doesn’t mean that you should become lazy and only allow yourself to receive.  It means that in order to be a whole person you must allow yourself to gift and receive.  Just like the theory of yin and yang.  Without one you can not fully enjoy the other.

It is not coincidence that this article comes so close to the holiday season.  Occasionally, it is easier to draw attention to something while it is already at the forefront of someone’s thoughts.  What would it take to continue gifting and receiving for the rest of our lives?  At risk of sounding cliché… Wouldn’t it make the world a better for everyone?

So, this don’t forget that gifting is not just about a monetary gift or donation.  Help someone just to help someone.  What would if feel like to pick up the bill for the person behind you in line at Starbucks? Don’t forget sometimes the biggest gift of all is to just sit and listen to someone’s problems without judgement, and without the desire to jump in and help, just sit and listen.

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