Sunday, December 9, 2012

On Receiving

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.
Happy Sunday!


  1. You nailed a lot of us women-folk on the head here. Accepting compliments seems to run antithetical to the nature of many women.

    From now on, I am going to be gracious.

    And only point out all my flaws in my head.

  2. This is a really good post. I'm trying to be a more gracious receiver. It's hard though, when being on the receiving end makes me shy and self-conscious!

    1. I think most people feel that way. I always tell my kids, "even if you feel uncomfortable, just say 'thank you' and move on." Sometimes I even try to follow my own advice...;)

  3. Allowing others to give, showing them appreciation, is the real humility

    Wishing YOU
    an Aloha-filled week, from Waikiki
    Comfort Spiral

    ~ > < } } ( ° >

    > < 3 3 3 ( ' >

  4. I feel so awkward when given a compliment. Being a Midwesterner, we are experts of denying compliments.

    It is difficult, but I will try to change.

  5. I'm learning, simply because Hubby gets very frustrated when I don't accept his compliment. Now I say 'thank you', instead 'don't be so silly'. I think he appreciates my effort, but I really find it hard.

    1. Mountain Man is the exact same. I say "thank you" and move on... it's really easier than arguing...;)

  6. I'm becoming a better receiver. I've learned that when we graciously accept the compliment or gift, we are honorig the giver.

  7. Claudia and Mary said it already, but I'll say it again: give BACK to the giver, by receiving graciously. Can't say I do it effortlessly, but I have gotten better with age...

    I love your story about complimenting the lady in the store--I've done that too and been mostly well-received.