If you're on social media, it's hard to miss #blackfriday and #cybermonday and #givingtuesday. Maybe you enjoy these days and see them as a way to get value and help others. Or, you have mixed feelings, like me.
It's easy to get sucked into whatever our culture is doing. Throwback Thursday #tbt has seemed to fade from what it once was... although I do still see it come up sometimes in the feed.
These media and marketing-driven events can offer value, and they can also be a distraction from what you want to experience in life. I like to take a middle path and see the marketing blitz as an opportunity to tune into deeper meanings.
So as #givingtuesday popped up today > I began to think how most people I know do not struggle with giving. They struggle with receiving. Do you struggle with receiving?
I have many VERY generous friends, family, and therapy clients who would love to have more money > so they could give it away. Often I will hear someone say they want to win the lottery so:
1) they can quit their job, and
2) they can give a bunch of money away.
If I dig a little, I often find this same person struggles with receiving. Okay, they may not struggle with receiving the lottery :) but they struggle with receiving goodness on a regular basis.
One of the biggest forces for change in my life has been the ability to receive. When I was in a very difficult job, my very dear friend Kathy commissioned me to design stained glass windows for a chapel. To get this commission, she said I would have to quit my job - which she knew was killing me.
I had to find my willingness to receive and to feel worthy in order to take the leap.
As I have grown into a life I love more and more, being willing to receive is key to my ability to give. I cannot sustainably give what I do not have.
Sometimes our job deprives us. We are not treated well. We are like cogs in a wheel.
Sometimes our relationships are painful. We are not treated well. We are discounted and devalued.
Sometimes we do not treat ourselves well. We do not believe we are worthy to be treated well or to feel good. But we ARE meant to be treasured and valued.
It helps to begin treasuring and valuing yourself.
A BIG part of receiving goodness is the expectation that you deserve it and a willingness to receive it. If you don't believe you are worthy, then you will keep tolerating less than... and receiving less than.
I love imagery and began thinking about a well. You can't get water from it, unless water is going into it. If the well did not receive water, it definitely could not offer any.
When Wanda Petunia, my imaginary pig friend, came into my life > I was not able to receive much goodness. Goodness was still coming my way, but my expectations were as low as my self-esteem.
As I have began to treat myself better and expect better treatment, life has expanded so much more. Great friends arrive. Life blossoms much more fully, because I am receiving nourishment and allowing it.
When I began to demand more for myself, in a confident and empowered way > life began giving me more. And the more I was fully open to receiving goodness, the more I got.
So on this #givingtuesday > as you consider giving to whatever connects with your heart > please do connect with your heart and your whole mind-body. And from that place, check in on what you need to receive. Where are you feeling lack, dehydrated, drained?
Are you willing to expect more? Are you willing to demand more? Are you willing to receive more? Let #givingtuesday be your reminder to also receive!
Photos: (Top 3) My talented artist friend Chris Dutch and I installing the windows I designed in 2013. The theme was "silence" and based on Moses and the burning bush and the Nativity of Jesus.
(Bottom) My friend Bernice holding a pocket Wanda. Bernice is a great giver and she has also been a gracious example of the willingness to receive. I trust her, and when you trust people it's easier to receive from them!