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?
Also, here's a beautiful talk by a man names Dieter F. Uchtdorf...if you get a chance to watch it, it is a real treat--he talks about what it means to receive at this special time of year.