Yes.  You read that right.  I know that we always hear how great it is to give, how the season is about giving and all of that.  But I wanted to stop for a moment and talk about the other half of the coin, that makes giving possible.  Receiving.

Because you know what?  I think we are all pretty good at the idea of giving, though we sometimes may do it out of a feeling of "should".  But we've all experienced how lovely it is to give a wonderful gift, and see that persons face light up.  When we give, we feel good about ourselves.  That we did the Right Thing.

And yet, I think we have a real problem receiving.  I mean, really receiving, not just taking.  How often, when someone gives you a gift and you don't have one for them, are you are left feeling out of balance, that somehow you have to make it up to them, that you have failed.  That somehow you need to reciprocate evenly, so that you aren't left in debt to this person.  So this person doesn't resent you for your lack of giving.  So that, in that gift that you've received, which the person has given you and felt so good about it, it all seems wrapped in guilt?

But what if you tried just really receiving?  Just accepting the gift that you are given, and accepting it with love.  Letting go of the judgements of how you hate the color, or you already got it last year, or how it is only going to clutter up your home.  Letting go of the feeling of guilt, that you didn't give that person enough, or resentment, that you gave that person too much.  Letting go of the negativity, in whatever form it takes. 

Instead just open your heart, and say thank you.  Thank you to this person who chose to take some of their energy, and then transformed it into work, then transformed it into money, and then transformed it into this gift.  Open up, and accept the love that you are being given.  It is okay to receive.

I had the gift of having a friend stay with me this last week, and as I sat there watching him wash my dishes, after he had cooked me breakfast, I felt guilty.  I felt like, oh no, while I appreciate all he is doing for me, I now feel guilty that I need to make sure to do something to make it up to him.  Or I need to stop him, to not allow him to do this for me.  That somehow, to receive this, was bad.

When I said something to him about my guilt, he told me, "When you allow someone to serve you, and serve you freely of their own will and desire to do so, you help their soul development".  By receiving, you are giving something back to that person, on a deeper level.  Later that week, I had the opportunity to take care of him, I saw how much joy it brought me to do these little things to show how much I cared for him with my actions.  And how much I would want him to accept these things with love and gratitude, and not guilt and responsibility.

The only return that needs to be given is in gratitude and love.  And I recommend you heap that on everyone who you are surrounded with this holiday season.

Happy Winter Solstice!  Or whatever holiday you wish to cherish~~~