Advice · Humor · Spirituality

Take the Damn Gift!

Day 5: Try Something New Tuesday

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We’ve all been in a situation like this…

You and your friend have had a laughter-filled lunch of catching up together when the waiter brings the check. Your friend says, “I’ve got this,” as she pulls the billfold toward her. You say “I can’t let you do that,” or “No, let me.” The two of you banter back and forth politely for awhile about who will pay…because that’s proper etiquette, right?

Another all-too-familiar situation: your friend says, “You look great! I like your blouse!” You reply, “Oh god no. Stop! This old thing? I got it on sale.”

Pause. What the hell is up with that? Why can’t humans (and women in particular) accept compliments without cutting themselves down? Are we any less worthy if the blouse was on sale?

OK, so it’s not skydiving, or getting a tattoo, or learning Mandarin but on this Try Something New Tuesday I’m choosing to accept gifts without guilt. This includes offers for help, compliments, gestures of gratitude, and acclamations of my worthiness. Accepting gifts does not mean we are self-centered, arrogant, or uncharitable. However, this thought inevitably crosses the mind: What if I accept a gift but the giver was inauthentic in their gesture (i.e. they didn’t really want to pay for lunch, they just offered because it’s polite)?”

What I’ve resolved is this. If the giver was inauthentic in their offering (I accept free lunch and my friend privately regrets offering), then the giver has learned an important lesson in genuine authenticity. If the giver was authentic in their action, then accepting the offering with great gratitude allows them to feel all the ‘warm fuzzies’ that come along with helping another. If we reject an offering, we shut down that positive energy and stop it right in its tracks. Alternatively, when accept we keep the love flowing. We can then pay it forward and create powerful chain reactions.

Accepting gifts can be awkward, but don’t rob another of the joy that comes from giving! Next time someone offers you dinner, a compliment, gas money, a piece of beef jerky, anything, say YES without an ounce of guilt. You deserve it. Life is hard enough. Take it, dammit!

Now watch one of my favorite scenes from Dracula: Dead and Loving It. 

Damn it, take the cross!

Photo cred: asenat29: Flikr Creative Commons

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