Gracious Receipt

iStock_000012286026XSmallFrom the Woman’s Side of Things… I wrote this a couple, three years ago. I have just recently been reminded about how most of us are so poor at receiving. I kept the promise I made at the end of this until about the time I became a mom for the third time upon which mommy brain or something happened and I forgot how to receive again. I am remaking that promise and ask you to join me in increasing your practice of receiving with grace.

Thank you. Gracias. Danke. Merci. Mahalo. Vinaka. Whatever language you use, it is the only phrase you need to use when receiving a gift.

Why is it so hard for so many people to receive a gift? Whether it is a gift or a compliment or help, our society in general and women in particular seem to be unable or unwilling to receive.

Receiving gifts graciously is a gift to the giver. When someone gives it is because they want to provide something for you. (That is the case most often anyway; though, there are those who give with expectations or strings attached.) If the gift comes from the heart, it has nothing to do with your deserving it or needing it or you being unable to provide it yourself. So when someone says “no” to a gift or questions their worthiness of it or in any other way does not willingly receive it graciously, it takes something away from the person who is giving the gift.

Even to receive something so simple as a compliment it is important to receive graciously. I was caught and taken to task, so to speak, recently for not receiving a compliment graciously. A friend told me I am strong. And although, typically at least, I agree with that statement, I did not graciously accept it. I said a meek “thanks” under my breath with a nod, a shrug and turning away. My mannerisms and body language made it so he wouldn’t hear my meek little “thanks” even if it were more audible.
You see I even know better. I know to receive graciously. I know to say thank you but I still was wondering if I deserved it, even though I agreed with the compliment; I am strong. It’s more of a habit I guess to feel uncomfortable about receiving compliments or other gifts. Which is strange since I’m usually on the other side. I love being the gift giver. I know how it feels to have a gift rebuffed so I know better. And yet I was still not open to receiving.

I have the same problem with gifts. My husband gave me the gift to come to New York City; a place I once lived and have a passion for but haven’t visited in quite some time. He gave the best gift — time alone in my city; he’s “got” the kids. But I still himmed and hawed about taking the gift. Although I truly appreciate it, I still wondered, “do I deserve this?”

You know what women (society), yes, you do deserve it because the gift really isn’t about you. The gift is an expression of the giver.

I should change all those verbs to past tense. Change “I know” to “I knew”; change “I have” to “I had”. Why should I change them all to past tense? Well after being “taken to task” for not graciously accepting that compliment, I made a vow to receive graciously whatever gift, compliment or help (yes, help is a gift too) anyone wants to offer me from their heart because it is what they are moved to offer.

Gifts are given because the giver wants to so be generous in return, take that gift with an open heart, a big smile and a gracious… thank you.

So since when the gift was given I himmed and hawed, here’s me when the gift is being taken (I’m on my trip) with a big smile on my face… thank you for my gift, hubby, I love you.

The Woman’s Side of Things posts are written by Amie Durocher.

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