I recently struggled with the idea that I could not absorb any more of my 92-year old mother’s love, which got me thinking about how, sometimes, we have to learn how to receive, especially at a time of year when we’re so focused on giving.
I’m happy to share my thoughts on “Mastering The Art of Gracious Receivership” with my friend Maria Shriver. Please share if you like. We could all use a reminder on how to be a gracious receiver.
Learning To Receive in the Season of Giving
As I hung up the phone from one of the most loving moments in my relationship with my mother, now 92, it hit me. Something in my make up was not allowing me to receive the full measure of her love. Tearfully telling me how deeply grateful she was for the care and attention I’ve provided over the past ten years should have melted my heart. But it only got in partially. The idea that I could not absorb more of my mother’s love was unsettling. What if this is one of those moments like the birth of a child, walking my daughter down the aisle at her wedding or being recognized by my peers, that come once in a lifetime? And I’m missing it? The possibility of having a faulty “receiver” disturbed me so much that it was the first thought to cross my mind the following morning.
“What’s the matter with my heart that it’s not opening all of its chambers to this momentous outpouring of love and gratitude?” I asked myself. “Has it crusted over, hardened or become dull over the years? Do I feel undeserving – as though I have not done enough to earn it? Is my role as a caregiver so overbearing — and out of balance — that I’ve forgotten how to be a gracious receiver?” These unsettling questions have led me to look deeper into what’s holding me back. Do I have a broken receiver? If so, can be repaired. How?
I began writing down what might be holding me back from receiving, not because I’d suddenly became an expert. I’ve learned over the years that the road map to transformation is often within us — and that we can access it (and the energy to change) simply by opening up. For me, this means writing or talking it out with a trusted confidant. Holding even the most elusive questions as open and honest inquiries, patiently/courageously exploring the possibilities, produces greater awareness and even answers.
If this conversation about being a better receiver is beginning to feel like it has something to do with you, please join me in this inquiry. With the holiday season upon us, this may be the perfect time for balancing generous giving with gracious receiving. Check out the ideas I’ve listed below and compare them to some of your own thoughts, feelings and strategies about what holds us back and how to become a better receiver.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON MARIASHRIVER.COM:
photo credit: Images by Lisette