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Monday, November 30, 2009


Now I'll admit that I like getting presents on my birthday and Christmas. And I love it when Chris surprises me with one, red rose now and again (he states they must be red, for passion...despite me dropping the hint that I rather like yellow and pink, too...). But anything beyond this receiving, especially from anyone other than Chris, often makes me uncomfortable. Even more so if the gift is extravagant or, oddly enough, something I really, really want. I find myself having to take a deep breath to be a good receiver. I find myself having to "go outside of myself" to accept someone's generosity. I have to give myself "a good talkin' to" to receive. I even find myself with this weird "guilt" feeling when someone gives me a gift. Could it be ingrained Catholic guilt we raised-Catholics often kid about? Could it be that I always expect strings to be attached to any gift given to me? Could it be I feel down deep I don't deserve such a gift?

I don't know all the psychological ins and outs of why it's hard for me to be a good receiver. I know I get extreme joy in giving presents. That's not hard at all. But receiving is a whole 'nother thing.

In the past post, Prayer Shawl, I wrote about knowing I needed to heal at this time in my life. Giving, in the form of the prayer shawl ministry, seemed the perfect ticket. I'm enjoying every stitch I'm putting into my first shawl. But receiving is playing a part in my healing, too.

Very recently I was gifted a spinning wheel that was won in a raffle. I didn't have the winning ticket. One of my friends had put our other friends names on a bunch of tickets, and one of those tickets was the winner. It was decided, between my friends, that I was to be the owner of the new wheel. Now the two criteria that make me uncomfortable to receive were present: 1) The gift was extravagant; 2) This was a wheel I really, really had always wanted. I took a deep breath. I looked guilt square in the face and told it to take a hike. I knew there were no strings attached to this gift because that's the kind of friends I keep. I received.

'course there's nothing to say I can't create yarn to make things to GIVE to others on my new wheel.

Here's an affirmation from Sylvia Browne that I've been reciting for a few months now. At first, it was very difficult to say this particular affirmation, being told whilst growing up that it's always better to give than receive (often said with an inflection that it's even better NOT to receive at all). And let's not forget how that raised-Catholic bit sneaks into the picture to muddle things up, too. Anyways, this is one of the affirmations I've written on paper and taped to my bathroom mirror for daily reciting. It's amazing how much easier it is to confidently vocalize as the days go by. Practice does make perfect.

"On this day I declare with the almighty strength of God's power that I deserve abundance and the financial means to be comfortable, and that I will joyfully use that abundance as a celebration of the law of karma - the more of it I share with the truly needy and deserving, the more of it will come back to me, multiplied by His grace and thanks." ~ Sylvia Browne.


  1. It's not just being raised Catholic. The same message was ingrained in me, raised Methodist. I think it's a result of our parents growing up during the Depression and dealing with the shame they felt about being poor. You aren't poor if you have enough to give away. That message is a good one, but the shame connected with it is sad.

    Please, I'm really eager to know what kind of spinning wheel it was. How wonderful, a new wheel! Enjoy!
    Regards from the Jersey Shore,

  2. Good points to think about, Anne. I agree.

    The wheel is none other than an Ashford Traditional!

  3. Um Jenny, I just forwarning you, your birthday present is coming tomorrow - please start reciting :) Can't wait to see you and you are one of the most generous people I know - I hope you find more comfort with receiving and being open to receive in the future!

    See you tomorrow!

  4. Receiving is good. Receiving is good. Receiving is good.......