There are lessons to be learned in both giving and receiving. I have always been a giver. I have given selflessly and I have received many varied treasures and gifts because of it. The feeling one receives from giving selflessly is difficult to describe. One’s spirit is lifted to new elevations and the sight from there is breathtaking! It is almost like gathering pixie dust among the clouds. The pixie dust is collected and stored in the container of your heart where magical transformations begin and your heart enlarges and stretches to accommodate the ever-growing collection. I love this feeling of giving and in this moment of giving I receive a life fuller and more vibrant than I have ever imagined.
However, there is another type of receiving that I fail at and it is the art of receiving from others. In order to receive from others, you must humble yourself and be gracious in receiving the love and care that is offered. The difficulty is in admitting that I need any help and maybe to some degree feeling lesser because of it or maybe not worthy. Ego must be driven out and as it is driven out we are left almost childlike, innocent and fragile trusting that who we have given our heart to receive from embraces our spirit and wants more than anything to help foster our growth. These individuals want what is best for us. They cheer us on, wipe our tears and they cry along beside us. They hold our hand and hold us up when we cannot stand on our own and maybe just maybe they even fight for us when we feel we have no energy left in us to fight for who we are anymore. In these moments, we are revived and new life is breathed into us and we thank God for the people who He has placed in our lives to give to us so that we might humbly receive.
“No man is an island” That is what I was told by a trusted and cherished friend when I told them that I was too dependent on them and needed to figure out my problems on my own. As much as I did not want to believe there was any truth to what they said their words stuck with me. I found myself playing these words over and over in my head. In many ways I want to be an island, to not rely on anyone. Maybe I find it safer. I cannot be hurt or disappointed. What in the long run am I missing out on? I have spent a lifetime giving, that receiving from someone is not an easy task for me. It may be one that is lost on me, although with practice I believe that this lesson of receiving could have the same effect as gathering the pixie dust from giving. Here is the remainder of the poem.
No man is an Island
Entire of itself
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away
by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own.
Or of thine friends were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee. — John Donne
This reminds me that we are all connected like pieces in a puzzle and we fit together to form a picture of our sacredness. We are dependent on one another for without each other the picture cannot be complete. In knowing this and believing this then I must accept that I am not an island and at times I need to be willing to receive from others the kindness, support and love they have to offer. It is not an easy task, however, it is one that I am beginning to see that I must be wiling to take on if I am to receive all the richness that life has to offer. Doing this I must concede to my friend that once again you are correct.
In pondering the thought of being able to receive, it occurred to me that even Jesus had moments when He asked to receive from His disciples. The one moment that comes most to me is when He goes to the garden to pray to His Father and asks His disciples to sit while He prayed. I believe that during this trial He needed to receive from His disciples their support and love. Unfortunately, they were human and fully did not understand and yielded to sleep instead of being fervently with Jesus in prayer. Jesus did however receive from His heavenly Father. If others are fitting their piece into the puzzle, then we are able to receive from them but what happens if or when they fail us? Then we always have our Father who continually gives to us, guiding and directing us to where we need to go. We need only spend time with Him in His word and receive the love and support that is enfolded in them. Praying also will bring us to receiving from Him. Not in our words but in our silence, for this is when we receive His strength and He holds us in the palm of His hand. It is a delicate dance. One that is never disappointing. It forever sparkles with hope and possibilities and the moment of receiving.
So fold your hands in prayer seeking out your Father. Then unfold them and place them in my hand where no man is an island. Where we fit together perfectly reflecting this dazzling dance of giving and receiving, soaring to new heights gathering pixie dust that will take us to magical places and experiences.