"Thank you, I am a reflection of your light" - Carlos Santana
I was deeply touched by this quote from one of rock 'n roll's legends. The idea that when we are given something, and we accept and receive it, we are able to reflect back that generosity and give them a gift in return - the gift of graciously receiving.
Our culture spends so much time focusing on the art of giving, many of us don't actually know how to receive the amazing gifts that are given us each and every day. Honestly, we actually kind of suck at the whole act of receiving. Thank you notes have become ancient relics of the past, and compliments are often dismissed or rejected due to feelings of unworthiness.
And yet, for every giver there must be a receiver. When our gifts of kindness are not met with openness and enthusiasm, we can't help but take notice. The old proverb, "It is better to give than to receive", simply does not make the world go round. leaving us feeling as if something might be missing. When we practice the art of receiving, we complete the circle of kindness.
So, today I offer you kindness in the form of receiving. As you go about your day today, notice all the gifts that are given to you. The warmth of the rays of the sun, the daffodils beginning to poke through the hard cold ground, a smile from the stranger passing you by, the quarter you find on the ground at your feet, the compliment given by your co-worker, the praise for a job well-done by your boss, the hug from your child, the wet lick of affection from your dog, and the "I love you" from your partner.
The best way to receive is with a thank you. And if the "gift" you receive really makes you feel good, let that person know how much you appreciate their appreciation.
Of course, if you'd like, you can take it one step further. Think of someone who has touched you this week, this year, even in your lifetime, and write them a thank you letter. A real letter, the kind with an envelope and a postage stamp. Send it off. In today's world this kind of kindness is so rarely given, and so often reminds us of what it really means to receive and appreciate the amazing gifts that grace our lives each and every day.