AND Practice Both Giving and Receiving

August 17th, 2014

A man who made us laugh took his own life this past week. Robin Williams was widely recognized for both his professional talents and his generous response to those in need. AND his choice to respond to whatever he was confronting in his own life by ending his life offers those of us still choosing to be here an important gift.

In any healthy relationship, whether with our selves, other people, our health, our expectations about how life should appear rather than the way it does appear, our work, our identities, or whatever, both giving and receiving are required.

Some people are more comfortable with the role of giver, others with the role of receiver. Healthy relationships require that we be willing to learn how to do both. AND in creating a healthy world where each of us learns to practice the less familiar role with grace, we all have the opportunity to watch for people in our lives who get stuck in only one of these roles, including ourselves.

I was, frankly, surprised at people’s surprise that a man who entertained so well was not happy himself. There are many among us who deflect attention from themselves, if they are more comfortable giving than receiving. Learning to receive becomes a gift to both oneself and to others, who feel seen and appreciated when their gifts are received.

Our ability to grow into the best version of ourselves and to create opportunities for those we love to do the same depends on our ability to create and sustain healthy relationships. AND our communities and world depend on healthy relationships for overall health.

So for the sake of the wonderful people who walk this earth who may be in need and unable or unwilling to ask for help, we can practice giving the gift of watching out for them and inviting them to receive our care. AND for those who already receive our time, attention, and other gifts, we can look for opportunities to help them know that we would appreciate receiving their gifts. This way we can all practice both roles, benefit from healthier relationships, and grow together.

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