Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Problem with Giving and Receiving (graciously)!

We are in the throes of the holiday season and facing the prospect of giving and receiving gifts. There are many learned people who have much to say about both. Here are a few quotes: “Those who give cheerfully give twice – once to others once to themselves.” Anonymous “One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” Proverbs 11:24, “To give is to receive, but only if one does not give in order to receive.” Wade Hudson Years ago I learned this lesson. When you give a gift, offer it with love and without concern for how it is received. In other words, you have control over the giving but not the receiving. Give with an open heart and generosity of spirit. The receiver is responsible for how he accepts the gift. Hopefully, he will receive graciously. This is true whether the gift is an object or a compliment. As author, Stuart Wilde says, if someone gives you a gift, perhaps a hideous tie or scarf, receive it. Later you can decide what to do with it. By putting yourself in a receiving state of mind you are instructing the Universe that you are ready and willing to receive. Whether it is a penny lying on the sidewalk, or a beautiful diamond, receive all gifts with gratitude. “Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” Aesop This brings to mind a story published in Guideposts Magazine about an 11 year old girl who asked to receive a stocking as tall as she was for Christmas. Her mom, told family and friends to buy small presents for “Mary Ann.” She wanted things that would fit into a Christmas stocking. Each item was to be wrapped individually. On Christmas Eve, the designated time for opening gifts, Mary Ann’s father and brother went to the back room where the Christmas stockings were hung. There they found a huge red plush stocking with white plush trim across the top. They made a big show of lifting and carrying this enormous stocking (five feet tall by two feet wide) and delivering it to Mary Ann. It was stuffed with presents -- possibly 100 items, each wrapped to perfection. The most impressive part was Mary Ann’s expression as she opened each gift. “Oh, wow, this is exactly what I wanted.” Or, “This is my favorite thing in the world.” Each candy bar, hair barrette, comb, pair of socks, envelope of bubble bath and package of chewing gum was received with the same exuberance. As she reached the bottom of the stocking, she found her “big present” which was a birthstone ring. She received it with appreciation and the same enthusiasm as the other gifts. Yet, she was no more excited by it than all the other small gifts. She accepted each with equanimity. She felt she had received an incredible bounty. Remembering the excitement of this 11 year old on that Christmas Eve has become a family heirloom and retelling the story a holiday tradition. It is true, we may not all receive diamond rings and new cars, but we do all receive bountiful gifts each and every day – a smile, a compliment, someone holding the door, a pat on the back, a beautiful sunset. As you graciously accept them, you are living the spirit of the holidays. Jean Walters is a Transformational Life Coach, Akashic Record Reader, Teacher, and Author. You can find her books on - Set Yourself Free: Live the Life YOU were meant to live! and Be Outrageous: Do the Impossible - Others have and you can too! (find your mission and passion) You can reach her at her office 314 991 8439 or