Sunday, September 6, 2015

Giving and Receiving

I want to follow up on my "Friendships and Loss" post, because although that loss was painful, and occasionally stings, I do not dwell on it any longer. In the past few years I have developed a circle of friends who rally around me, love me unconditionally, and continually make me laugh to the point of aching cheeks and throbbing belly. It was difficult to have relationships with people when anorexia was my constant companion, so I didn't have many friends. I know it was confusing and painful for anyone close to watch me struggling, and I lost a couple of friends in the process. Friendships, and relationships in general are important to me, and maybe because I spent so many years building walls, I crave true connection. I feel loved because I allow myself to feel love. I'm hugged so many times a day that I lose count. How great is that?! Working in a yoga studio definitely doesn't hurt. Those yogis are huggers! They also tell you that they love you, and they mean it. I'm in a very loving environment daily, and that has fed my starving soul. On my birthday, my friends took me out for meals, they sent me videos singing me "Happy Birthday," they gave me sweet, hand written cards, thoughtful gifts, and my feet were rubbed during savasana! This year I embraced it all because life is too fragile not to allow yourself to receive such beautiful gifts. It is only through loss, I suppose, that you can truly appreciate the abundance of love and life that surrounds you. Fearing loss is my nemesis, and my fear often gets in the way of appreciating what is right in front of me. I am blessed with so many people whom I love, and I feel such true caring and love in return. As much as my feelings can overwhelm me, even the good feelings, I'm learning how to receive. The quote below is so powerful because all of my life, although I felt I was a giving person, I was not. I could never ask for help. I found it weak, and shameful. I never wanted to seem needy, and so often my needs were not met. 
I'm learning...always.

"Until we can receive with an open heart, we're never really giving with an open heart.
When we attach judgment to receiving help, 
we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help."
 ~Brene' Brown