Most of us grew up hearing the phrase “it’s better to give than receive,” or some version of that, but is it true? Some people have taken this phrase to mean it is selfish to receive, so they focus on giving. They have a very hard time receiving a compliment, let alone a gift. Even from a logical perspective, this doesn’t work. If everyone is giving, but no one is receiving, nothing can happen! Just like breathing, for it to work, we have to complete the cycle. Inhale and exhale. Give and receive. Both have equal value. 

On the final leg of my journey back to Houston last month, I had the opportunity to practice the art of receiving. I stopped at a McAlister’s Deli somewhere in Louisiana for their delicious veggie sandwich. I needed to stretch my legs, so I went inside to order the sandwich and a side of mac n cheese to go. The restaurant must have recently reopened because there were very few people inside eating and very few people working behind the counter. It took a while for them to make my sandwich, but I was not on any time schedule so I didn’t mind. 

A kind, elderly woman who worked there noticed me and asked if I’d like to have an iced tea while I waited. Initially I declined, knowing I already had an iced tea in my car. No sooner had I said “no thank you” when suddenly I felt that I had made the wrong decision. Why would I block an act of kindness, especially when I know how delicious their sweet tea is! (For the record, I don’t drink it often so I’m better off not knowing how much sugar is in it!) 

I immediately said to the nice woman that I changed my mind and I would love a sweet tea. Her whole face lit up as she happily trotted behind the counter to scoop some ice and pour me a cup from the brewing machine. As she handed it to me she smiled and said in her sweet southern accent, “Ya know. Our tea is so good I thought maybe you were an alien when you said no thank you.” And then with a gleam in her eye she added, “Or you come from north of the Mason Dixon line.”

Although I am a full-blooded Yankee who just visited his hometown in upstate New York, I played along and said, “Isn’t that the same thing?” She giggled and replied, “I wasn’t gonna say that, but I’m glad you did.” Luckily she didn’t ask me where I was from before my sandwich was ready. When she handed me the bag, I noticed her name tag said, “Mrs. Angela.” Before leaving, I thanked her again for the tea. She told me to “come on back anytime I was in the neighborhood.” I told her that I definitely would and that she certainly lived up to the word “angel” on her name tag. She blushed and waved goodbye as I headed out the door.

As I sat in my car eating my sandwich and drinking my tea, a wave of gratitude washed over me, not just for the tea, but for the lovely connection with that sweet tea angel. Seeing how happy she was pouring that tea and sharing a giggle lifted my energy for the long drive still ahead. I’m so glad I didn’t miss that joyful moment by denying her the opportunity to be kind. I truly believe it was a gift for us both. I also believe that’s why Lesson 108 in A Course in Miracles says:

To give and to receive are one in truth.

I will receive what I am giving now.

Are you the person that never lets anyone else pick up the check at a restaurant? Maybe you constantly buy gifts for others, but never buy anything for yourself or refuse to let others buy gifts for you. Perhaps you feel guilty because your financial situation makes you the person who rarely picks up the check or gives a gift. It would be my great honor to help you balance the flow of giving and receiving with a series of Life Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can uncover unconscious blocks that prevent you from living the happy, healthy, prosperous, and balanced life you were meant to live. All sessions can be done from the comfort of your own home using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information and to schedule a session. 

Until next time, may you experience the abundant joy of both giving and receiving.

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