Let me tell you a little about these gestures:
A friend just approached me and asked how I was doing, meaning that she knows I’m desperately seeking a job and that my financial situation is offering many brilliant opportunities to get stronger and smarter (AKA, a little “dismal”). I said I was fine, and really I am…. I’ve begun opening myself to be loved and supported by the right people and that really is making a world of difference, as well as choosing to be confident and taking the criticism and judgment less to heart.
She searched my face for any sign of upset… which wasn’t really there and finally said, “Well, look I can relate to your situation. If it weren’t for my girlfriend giving me money here and there, I don’t know how I’d be doing this. And up until two hours ago I was really worried about money, but then I got some good news and anyway, can I help you out?” I said, “Well, I’m not gonna turn any offers down…. are you sure?” She said, “Oh yes, definitely… I can’t help much, but I’ll give you some tomorrow…. and don’t worry about paying me back, just pay it forward.”
I know, RIGHT?!?! Yay! I honestly am so super excited for this because just before that I was in the grocery store very carefully picking out items for dinner trying to budget for soap which I have to buy later thinking, “Man, I mean… I have some kale and lettuce to eat tomorrow and maybe someone will bring community food too.. I really hope I get some sort of a miracle to land in my world so I can eat more veggies and protein though.”
And that’s what I got! A beautiful little miracle with a side of kindness!
You see just before that a guy who is sort of an acquaintance was in the kitchen ( I know he has no idea about my lifestyle) and said, “I have some Bay Cities bread in my car, do you want me to go get some for you?” OMG YES! I love that bread. So, he actually walked to his car and brought me a HUGE chunk of it. Really, I thought that was cool because I was unable to afford my health cookie dessert tonight and was hoping for some carbs…. and anyway I got something way better than my health cookie.
A few years ago when I started to become conscious of volunteering, giving and the importance of community, I was strolling down the street in Oregon on a warm fall evening. A gypsy jumped out in front of me on the sidewalk (seriously a gypsy, but I knew him), and randomly offered a ginormous chunk of his organic homemade double chocolate peanut butter cookie. I was brand new to the idea of gracefully receiving and shyly said, “No… I can’t… look at that, it’s beautiful.. you enjoy it.” He persisted and said, “No, I really feel like I need to give this to you.” So, I reluctantly took it, feeling odd for being the center of attention. As I chewed, he said, “You really must be giving a lot lately because I had a strong urge to just give you my cookie…have you been giving recently?… because your energy is seriously putting it out there.” Yeah, in fact I had been giving quite a bit during that time. I told him yes and he smiled, “I knew it! Keep it up sister!”
I suppose I have been giving a lot lately. Between the surprising generous support of a friend, a random paid house sitting gig that just came up right after these events and so many other things that I can hardly keep up with… I’ve been thinking, yes I have been giving a lot and I’m glad the universe didn’t just brush it off… I guess if I hadn’t gone through all that hard stuff recently, I wouldn’t feel as open to receive these kind gestures and I wouldn’t have had to learn first hand that yes, I am actually worthy of all this goodness.
Wow. For the first time ever, I don’t feel weird or awkward receiving. As my friend Jane once said in response to my adventures in giving/receiving, “Like breathing, the inseparable inhale and exhale!.” I thought (and still think) that was beautiful sentiment. And now, I really do feel like I am at the easy center of both the inhale (receiving) and the exhale (giving).
May you all give and receive just as easy as you breathe!