I was visited this weekend – again – by the challenge of receiving acknowledgments. Oh, I am aware that when someone pays me a compliment, I am to say “Thank you”. There is no need to minimize what I did, return the compliment, and certainly no value in refusing the message, the compliment, the gift that I am being given.
That said, I found myself once again in that place of refusal, a bit embarrassed that “you” had seen my talents and were paying me a compliment. After a long, deep and teary exploration with a dear friend, I have discovered a deeper meaning for myself about the “circle of giving”. Twelve years ago, I wrote these lyrics:
Today, I share my expanding understanding of the giving cycle. Beyond the fact that the act of giving gifts the receiver and the giver, the act of receiving also gifts the giver and the receiver. Consider these steps in the cycle:
- I give
- You receive
- You incorporate the gift
- You acknowledge how the gift impacted you
- I receive your acknowledgment and am nourished – this giving/receiving cycle is complete
- I give again, aware of how my giving impacts others
- You give from an expanded, changed you
Another way of putting it is this:
|Receive and Incorporate|
|Receive and am Nourished|
|Give From Restored and Whole||Give From Expanded and Changed|
The big piece for me is this: Your gift of acknowledgment nourishes my giving heart, lets me know that I am valued and valuable. Your gift to me is no less than, is just as vital, as my gift to you.
My intention moving forward is to pause before responding – pause long enough to open my heart to receive your powerful gift of gratitude and let me be changed by you.
What acknowledgment is yours to receive today?