Fear...and Receiving

It’s the holiday season right now, which brings up the subject of gifts. Most of what I hear and read about is our worry about what to get someone during this time of year. But what about receiving gifts? Is that easy for you or not easy?

What is it about receiving that creates fear within us? Do we not feel worthy of receiving? Is it that we feel obligated to respond in kind? Does our fear or hesitation depend on what we’re receiving? Does it depend on who is giving to us?

These are some of the questions I’ve asked myself recently as a result of a couple incidents. Well, one was actually multiple incidents of the same gift – early morning hot chocolate made for me with love and care, and delivered to wherever I was at the moment over the course of a few days. The other incident was part of a conversation in a group when one participant said “I have a hard time asking for help.”

Thinking about this reminded me of lakes and our emotional reserves and energy – lakes that have streams flowing out as well as streams flowing in, and lakes that have no outflow or else no inflow. The lakes with no inflow can disappear soon, especially if their outflow is generous and constant. They may be replenished by snow or rain from time to time, but what happens if the replenishment is not frequent or dependable?

Lakes that have no outflow and “give” their water only though evaporation have waters that are extremely salty and do not support life, except for tiny marine creatures that migratory birds are able to feast on as they rest.

It’s the lakes that have both the inflow of receiving, whether by streams, snow, or rain, and the generous outflow of giving that are the healthiest, most beautiful, and useful lakes. They support life and beauty, the life of the body and the life of the soul. They provide a lesson to us on the value of both giving and receiving in our own lives.

What if we could give as generously and receive as generously as a deep, clear, beautiful lake does, what would our lives be like then - healthy, beautiful, useful? I hope so.

Picture: George Dolgikh / Pexels


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