Thursday, April 21, 2011


Receiving is an art.  I've only met a few women in my life who do it really well.

A few years ago, I was standing in line in a grocery store and in front of me was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.  She was in her mid-fifties, had beautiful white hair, and lots of laugh lines.  She radiated a sense of calm and peace.  As often is my case, I started speaking before thinking and I said, "Ma'am, I have to tell you, you are so beautiful!"

She turned to me and said, "Oh my goodness, no I'm not."

On the other hand, I have a friend who is just as beautiful in every way and when you pay her a compliment, she kindly says, "Thank you so much!!  You just made my day!!"

She has mastered the art of receiving--receiving a compliment sure, but whether it is a compliment or something bigger, it doesn't matter because the principle is the same: She knows how to receive.

Receiving is about having an open heart--open enough to allow others to help, comfort, care and love.  Receiving is about believing that you are worthy to be the recipient of another's kindness, another's love and another's care.

Receiving is the most graceful act we can learn in this life.  Being a fellow human being is no small thing, and each of us have the privilege to give, and to receive, the loving kindness of others during our sojourn here on earth.

You may be asking yourself,  "How can I receive?"
I say, start small.  If someone pays you a compliment, simply say, "Thank you." If your neighbor brings you dinner out of the blue say, "Thank you."  If someone cashes in their winning lottery ticket and gives you half, say, "Thank you."  (And then buy them a Rolls Royce.)

If at first you don't feel worthy to receive the gift they've given you, that's o.k.--but try to make a little room for that gift to grow in your heart.  Try to believe.

Then, and only then, can you receive.

Are you a gracious receiver?  Giver?  Which is more difficult for you?

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  1. I think I have become a gracious receiver, as I have become more comfortable with myself (not that I am old, "just a little bit old"). Good post, with meat in it.

  2. I had to learn to become a gracious receiver when I started performing. I think it was my teacher who reminded me that no matter how I thought I performed, it was best to just say thank you when receiving positive feedback. I am so grateful to have learned that so early on...

  3. Oh Chelsea, so true! Once you put your music out there it is someone else's and all you can do is say, "Thank you." when receiving a compliment. I think that's where I get my view on receiving from.

    Susan, I love what you said about becoming comfortable with yourself. I think that's key. I love getting older!!!

  4. Lisa...your writing is beautiful! This resonates with me and is so true. I have only recently become comfortable with myself and it is so freeing! I think it is when you start to actually really see others. Thank you!

  5. Thank you, Lisa, for a beautiful post.