until this year, 2005, i have mostly been a most reluctant receiver although i have always been a most generous giver for most of my life, and learning how to receive gracefully and receive well, has been a struggle and intensive growth process for me.
reading the article in another blog below brought home the point how closely tied up my capacity to give and receive is to my material wellbeing, and it is indeed interesting to note how, this year, when ive been more consciously learning how to receive well, my material wellbeing has also improved greatly, from three years of survival mode to at least maintenance mode now.
my learning how to receive well has not only been closely tied up to my material wellbeing, but even to my emotional wellbeing, too. somehow, this year has been the year where there's been a major shift in the kind of friends i am still keeping (the users and the parasites have mostly dropped off) and the new ones i am attracting. and this extends even to men friends as potential romantic partners-- from the perennial "bad boy" and self-centered emotional vampire, non-committal player types to the more decent and honorable, honest and kind and giving ones.
still, it is a struggle. i still have this notion that i am obligated to "pay back" someone's goodness and generosity to me, somehow, that saying thank you and feeling sincere gratitude is not enough. wherever did i get that notion?!
i guess it all comes down to my upbringing, where our father has brought us up to earn our way, even gifts and love, by being a good obedient daughter or son, doing really well in school with top honors, and generally keeping quiet and staying out of trouble. so, whenever i receive something today, it is still a struggle to just relax into the joy of receiving and not feel like i have to earn it and pay it back in some way, some how.
God knows how many years ive spent just learning how to say a sincere and happy thank you when someone compliments me or says good things about me! i guess it must take many years more to learn and master how to relax into guilt-free and joyful receiving, although i also suspect it won't take as long, as i feel a certain quickening in my life now for the lessons im learning, as if they're all coming to a head now, and i am finally getting it right at last more effortlessly, with less angst.
my years of generous giving, though, has been my saving grace. since the sep, when i struck out on my own as a single parent to my three young kids, i sort of "harvested" help and assistance in many forms other than just the material, for the goodwill, respect and affection ive sown all these years among family, friends and strangers alike. even despite my bleakest times, someone would come along to tide me over just enough until i can stand up on my feet again, though wobbly so, and take a few more steps further along. what goes around comes around, indeed!!!
still, i want to even things up now by learning how to be a most open, accepting and graceful receiver, even as i want to more consciously focus on disciplining my mind towards only the things that are good and that bring me joy, and harnessing my will to work only on the desires i want to manifest, and not waste both my mind and will on self-destructive thoughts and aimless activities now, no matter how temporarily pleasurable these activities might be.