The Challenge of Receiving Kindnes

Recently, due to some challenging life events, I have had the opportunity to experience kindness as the recipient. One of my loved members of the Tuesday night study group had made food and her spouse delivered it. I was so grateful. She was well aware that my culinary experience is in boiling water, and although it usually turns out OK, it’s not very sustaining nutritionally.

In attending to how it felt to have the generosity offered I realized how uncomfortable the separate ego based self felt. Stories appeared about how “I should” be able to be independent, and some about how “embarrassing” it is to accept others support and kindnesses. There was a disturbing ego based story about “owing someone” that was complete egotistical crap. And, of course, the great American dream of being entirely self sustaining and independent. (A philosophy I find useless in this dependent weave of life that says we all are connected and dependent on a million things and each other.) But those are stories and not how life works in these present moments.

In all truthfulness, it’s a kindness to give and it’s also a kindness to receive. In receiving we open an opportunity for others to give, a gift of an opportunity, and of course we all know what a warm and wonderful feeling it is to give of ourselves to others in need. So, in accepting help, we open that same door as helping. It’s just opening from a slightly different perspective.

Giving/Receiving are the same coin, and very much have the same degree of worth. How interesting!

Be kind, allow kindness.

Bryan Wagner

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