LEARNING TO RECEIVE


There are some types of people – many of us, actually – who don’t know how to receive. This inability has long roots. First, a lack of generosity: they don’t want to receive; they fear it will obligate or bind them in some way, or that receiving shows a lack of independence, or worse, weakness. They have been defended by an ego that wants to go it alone and take pride in it.  The ego also has a contrary face: they feel they are not worthy of receiving.
I have used the word ‘generosity’ because it takes enormous generosity of spirit to receive with humility, to receive with the knowledge that receiving is often, if not always, a way of giving. As an example, when my mother takes something from me, I feel blessed. When she struggles, refuses, makes a scene, it takes a lot out of me and makes me feel helpless. As another example, she eats the wrong food – spicy things, or bread that has so much gluten that even young people choke on it — that don’t agree with her. The lack of good nutrition has weakened her. I made her some almond butter (her teeth can’t chew whole almonds) what a fuss she made. But this morning she had a taste of it and liked it, and I was thrilled.  She had given something invaluable to me: peace that she will now eat better than she has been, all her life.

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