Receive When a Gift is Offered

Ms. Stephanie Cocks

Image by -kÇ- via Flickr

Self-Care Tip#149 – Receive when a gift is offered.  Be a friend to yourself.

I am totally charmed.  Sitting in the coffee-shop, and this lovely man came up and handed me his James Patterson book.  “I’m going to throw it away and thought you might like to read it.  I’m done and it was great.”  Judge and Jury looks suspenseful and I’m too fragile I think for it, but I took it anyway.  I was more charmed by the intent and character of the giver.

I try to tell my daughter about this.  When someone offers you a gift, just accept it.  It’s not so hard.  Say thank you and in doing so, give them the gift of giving and receive the gift of receiving.  It’s powerful for both parties.  The ability to receive isn’t always natural.  It’s something I’ve tried to understand my whole life.

Well, I didn’t catch the name of the book-man but we chatted despite lacking that social etiquette.  He saw my blog-site on my open computer screen and discovered my background in mental health.

“I have problems,” he said.  “Really I do.”  Maybe he was used to people not believing him and added that to add emphasis.  “I have anxiety.”  “Oh.”  I said.  “That’s torture.”  “It is!” book-man said.  “We don’t choose our emotions!  I used to think we did, but we really don’t!”  I heard it from the source.  Speak it book-man!  We don’t always choose our emotions.

We didn’t talk long.  He walked off before I could offer too much.  Maybe it was the anxiety that called him away.  I felt sad and happy.  Sad, because his suffering connected with me.  Happy, because of all the people in here, he and I connected.

Connecting with people any time any where is a small bit of the supernatural.  It’s not something that we can distil, put in a tube or slide under a microscope.  It’s not something that obeys even the excellent paradigm of temperaments.  It comes both expectedly and unexpectedly.  It comes deliberately through labor and through chance.  An airborne-something from the spirit world.  This is not to say that the natural isn’t also family, the dear child of the supernatural.  It’s just that there is a unique charm in the unknowing.

And so the book-man and the unknown connection stays with me even now after he is gone.  His anxiety, his reaching out, his generosity, the Me drawn into his space and he into mine.  I am receiving and he gave.

Thank you Great Supernatural and Natural God for this.

Question:  When do you connect despite the anxiety of being in the position of receiving?  Please tell me your story.

14 thoughts on “Receive When a Gift is Offered

  1. About 15 years ago, we were struggling financially quite badly and I had some friends from work show up with a week’s worth of groceries—just because. I had always been one to help, not be helped. It was a strange feeling and situation but I’m still extremely grateful for their assistance.


  2. I cannot refer to the organization in any form or media because it is anonymous and that’s a rule . But it deals with using these steps to help in recovery from alcohol abuse. I connect with people of sobriety even though they are complete strangers. I know a great deal about each of them because of this connection. I know about their suffering and of that they imposed on others. I know of their family dysfunction, loss of jobs and finances, their hopelessness, their legal problems, and about the jails and institutions in which they have resided. I know these things because we share the gift of sobriety, how it was, what happened and how it is now. And you know what?They know all this about me even though we are strangers and never heard each other speak or share. The gift of shared freedom.


  3. Love this…and love the spiritual nature of connection. For so many years, I could not accept a compliment to the point of actually refuting some or just shyly looking at the ground. It wasn’t until I started teaching (what a life-changing profession that is, in good ways…and so connective), that I learned I could just say, “Thank you.” You make a good point about being open to receiving…it is a position full of gracefulness and humility.


  4. I agree with you, Sana, and with Sarah, also. The most precious gifts are those that are unexpected and actually feel spiritual in nature. I call gifts like that, especially when they are inter-personal connections (momentary or permanent), God connections. God has touched two people at the same time and in the same place and changed their lives, and, in situations like that, at least for me, I knew that it was more than accidental. It’s a beautiful, spiritual “Aha!” moment to be treasured and to be received with humble gratitude. Thanks for reminding us, Sana – and the book-man.


  5. Wow! Thanks for sharing. You all reminded me of something a friend told me once about receiving a gift. If someone gives you a gift, which could be tangible or in the form of a compliment or even some type of physical help, it is important to accept it. Gifts allow both the giver and the receiver to be blessed. I know how happy my heart is when I am able to help someone but it isn’t always easy to accept the gifts. This advice resulted in a shift in perspective for me. If I refuse the gift not only am I taking away my own joy but I am also taking away the givers joy. Isn’t joy what we are all looking for? Thanks for triggering this memory!


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