One of the basic life skills that we often need to improve is the active process of “receiving well.”
At first it can seem a bit silly to be concerned about receiving. Aren’t we all eager to have gifts provided to us, whether love, compliments, or a new sweater? Actually, not.
In my therapy office receiving is an important emphasis. How often do we tell someone who compliments us that they are wrong…that we don’t actually deserve the compliment? In many cases we discard their gift right in front of them.
When we are fortunate enough to identify what we need in life and do the work to obtain it, we still have one more active step to take. And that is to actively receive what we have worked so hard to obtain. Why the word active? Because receiving well involves opening ourselves up to another person or group, and acknowledging to ourselves their good will, intent, and efforts in giving us some gift, whether it is a birthday present, a pat on the back, or a compliment on our choice of wardrobe.
In fact, when someone gives me a gift I want to make them feel like a hero. I want to encourage that behavior! I thank them and tell them, if it is true, that they made my whole day. That is my gift back to them.
So, when someone lets you into traffic or tells you they think you are smart, receive their gift well. Take in the good will. And when you open a present, think of the effort it took for the giver to decide what you might like, find the gift, and wrap it. Watch them as they look at you intently, hoping to see a smile on your face as you unwrap the present. Your life will be enriched and your mood lifted.
One last word, make it a point to receive from nature also…the goodness in the beauty of a flower or sunset. And when you eat a delicious meal, receive the food well…take it in and taste it and enjoy it. You won’t be sorry.