For this I bless you most:
You give much and know not that you give at all.
This evening I was asked by a personal friend to do a treatment.
Two days ago he received the grisly news that he has a significant tumor that is most likely a late stage cancer. When he and his wife called me the day of the news, the first thing asked was if I would work with him and arrange an appointment. I would have gladly rearranged my schedule, treated him after hours…anything that I could possibly do to help. That is what friends do…that is what any caring human being would do for another in such need.
For many of us who read and enjoy Healing Garden Journal, we know the joy of giving. We bask in the positive glow that we receive when we give freely for others. We understand that by giving, we receive so much more in return. We understand the Bible as it tells us we are “more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
But what of the receiving?
Without someone to receive it…to accept with gratitude…the act is meaningless. I have found that my life has become deeper and more enriched as I have been actively developing my receiving skills over the past year. Like many in the healing field, I have always been happy to give of myself; happy to give my time, my effort, my skills. Yet, like many as well, I have not been as adept at receiving. Just as we develop altruism via giving, we can develop gratitude via receiving. As I have opened myself to receiving, I have been truly blessed with surprising phone calls, emails and sentiments of gratitude that warm my heart just thinking of them. My life is richer because I have learned to receive.
I sat with my friend, with him contemplating his new-found situation. I listened intently as he openly and honestly questioned the meaning of “it all.” I shared with him an observation that I have had with friends/family that have walked the path of cancer. Cancer, or any ominous physical condition, offers an opportunity. It boldly reminds us that we are not here forever. Our time on this planet…with our friends and family…is finite. What we do with this time is completely up to us. While much of our questions are very evident…did we offer forgiveness to all that we should have?...did I give as much as I should have, or was I selfish with my time/energy/emotions?...did I do what I was meant to in this lifetime, for myself/my family/the world? Yet none of these questions were contemplative for my friend. He has led a good life…doing much good for many…and often giving of himself. Yet the biggest struggle for him was RECEIVING. While he had developed fabulous skills at being a good person…often giving of himself…he realized that he stinks at receiving. He left with the new realization that he would open himself to receiving…to letting others assist him…to honor someone else by allowing them to help him.
Just as giving is a learned skill…so too, is receiving.
May your life be richer with the joy of both giving & receiving.
© 2009 Vanessa Cayle
Vanessa Cayle, MSPT is a physical therapist and owner/director of the CranioSacral Institute of MI, LLC. She teaches and presents craniosacral therapy and Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM). She actively treats clients, teaches, lectures and oversees numerous wellness-focused groups at her Shelby Twp. office and abroad.