Receiving and Giving… Which Is Better?
Since my heart attack, I’ve been reflecting about a lot of things and learning more about what LIFE really means. Most recently I’ve been learning about the balance of Receiving and Giving. You know, the Yin and Yang of life.
If you knew me before my heart attack, you would know I had a lot of Yang energy. It is the more hard charging, more masculine energy. You would have observed that I was an ACHIEVER – I strive to do well in everything I do. I tended to charge ahead and pursue whatever I was interested in getting. But I didn’t always get what I wanted or achieve everything I set out to get.
You would have also observed that I was a giver. I was a Volunteer with a capital “V“. I volunteered for countless organizations at my kids’ school, within my community, and for local charities. I got a lot of satisfaction from doing so – knowing that I made a difference in the people I helped to serve. And quite frankly I was in a financial position to give of my time – not everyone has that.
But now I’m learning to cultivate a different approach to life – a more Yin path. I'm learning to cultivate a different approach to life - a more Yin path Click To TweetYin energy is more “go with the flow”, more allowing, more nurturing. And getting what you want because you are attracting it to yourself rather than charging after it. As you can see there is value to both kinds of energy – balance is key. And my life was out of balance.
This hit home for me a few days ago when I was the recipient of a very loving gift – a prayer quilt. And it was given to my by complete strangers who learned that I had a heart attack. I was so overwhelmed by this that I cried … a lot.
Below is a photo of me completely red in the face, crying my eyes out while clutching tissues in my hands as I received a blessing quilt. It was lovingly made by some of the ladies from Saint Elizabeth Seton Church in Naperville, IL. You can see some of the parishioners (little girls in this photo) tying knots and saying a prayer… FOR ME! And the quilt has hundreds of knots – each knot representing a prayer.
During this time, I realized how much I had resisted receiving when I NEEDED it. Because as a mom, as a woman, it is natural to be a giver. And receiving, at least right now at this point in my life, involves acknowledging to myself that I have weaknesses and vulnerability. And that I actually need or can benefit from what others want to give. I had always been the strong one, but not right now. And that’s OK. Because I am allowing these women the pleasure of giving. Something which I had experienced so often when I was the giver.
Balance is Sustainable
I am finishing writing this blog post coming back from a restorative yoga class. The instructor focused on strengthening muscles, but always paired the exercise with a stretch for flexibility and expansion. Sounds a lot like yin and yang doesn’t it? Both are necessary for balance and a healthy fit body.
Now if you’ve read this far, you’ve allowed me to share my shift towards recognizing the need to become more balanced. I’m saying “No” to more things I would’ve felt obligated to do before. And saying “Yes” to things I want to do – mostly self care. You will also notice I chose to title the post Receiving and Giving and not the other way around. Like me, you may find the role of a giver much easier than as a receiver. But find the balance – listen to your body, mind and spirit. Balance will be sustainable and you are precious.