The art of receiving

One of the most important things in life to me is balance. This is something I strive for on a daily (sometimes momentary) basis. It is important to me that things are equal, that the balance of give and take in any given situation is as close to reciprocal as possible, or if anything, that I am giving more. It’s important for me to give. It’s part of my nature and part of my nurture to be giving to others. What’s a lot harder for me to do is to receive.
I recently went on an amazing trip around Europe with my mother and was later joined by my sister. I then traveled to Miami to present a paper on some of my thesis research. As a student with a limited income, I really had to be open to receive. And to be honest, I felt like I was pushed to receive. I went to go pick up my rental car at the agency and it turned out they wanted $800 for the rental and deposit! No way Jose. So I ended up being in Miami, a city with horrific public transportation, for over a week with no car.
I had no other options. And what happened? People came to see me. A friend lent me her car. A rabbi I had done work with drove me around town so I could get my aliyah paperwork taken care of. Two friends each drove over an hour and a quarter to see me, one bearing gifts of jewelry and a card. People took me out to dinner, cooked for me, hosted me at their beautiful houses or apartments, shared their time and resources and even money with me. And it was SO DAMN HARD! It was so hard to accept it. I kept feeling like I wanted to clean their houses (actually, I did do that once), or watch their kids or feed their cat or do SOMETHING in order to contribute in some way. And then a friend said to me “Just you being you, being here, sharing your warm spirit and energy, is enough. YOU are enough.”
Whoa. Explosion in my head. I was feeling so anxious to have some kind of physical marker that I too was contributing to a relationship or situation that I wasn’t able to just sit back and receive the love that was being directed at me. I felt that I needed to take some kind of action in order to even the score. But in reality, just being me, just bringing my presence, was enough. And so I relaxed, sat back, and allowed myself the beautiful gift of receiving.
May we all remember that just being ourselves is enough, that our presence and beauty lights up every place that we go, and that we are worthy of receiving.