If someone offers you gifts, do you accept with gratitude?
Do you sometimes turn them away?
Some people find the graceful act of receiving difficult.
Author Paulo Coelho, in his latest book, Aleph, writes about the reluctance some people feel when accepting gifts. They think: “‘If someone is giving us something, that’s because we’re incapable of getting it for ourselves.’ Or else, ‘The person giving me this now will one day ask for it back with interest.’ Or, even worse, ‘I don’t deserve to be treated well.'”
Have you ever offered a gift only to have it rejected? How did you feel?
When offers of a helping hand or heartfelt gifts get rejected, the giver might wonder, “Did I get it wrong? Do they not like it? Is it not good enough?” Or else, “I hope they don’t think they’ll need to repay the favour.” Or, even worse, “Is it personal? Do they not like me?”
Gifts and offers of assistance come from the place of compassion in the heart. People give because they see a need that is most easily filled with their help. They give when they see an item that is just right for someone they love. They give without strings attached and out of love, joy and gratitude.
It’s our job to learn how to receive with grace.
My friend, Bruce Henderson, has a name for gift recipients: givee. Bruce is a reformed reluctant givee. He wrote this poem about the importance of being a good givee.
Grace of the Good Givee
Bring me your gifts,
I will be strong,
strong enough to take them.
Yes, I have room for your gifts,
in my hands, in my home, in my heart,
I welcome you in—to my infinite yin.
There is a time to give and a time to get,
and every Giver needs a Good Givee.
I am ready to accept,
to receive your loving kindness;
the warm message of your gifts.
In joy we will celebrate
the power of your act.
When you reach out
I will not try to run away.
grant me the grace of the Good Givee.
©2010 Bruce Henderson