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Giving and Receiving

Are you a giver?

We’re in gift-giving season. Almost every holiday at this time of year involves gifts, including a little something for those hosting a festive gathering.

I’m curious: do you prefer giving or receiving, or both?

I remember being in middle school and our class was doing anonymous gifts before the winter break. After randomly drawing a classmate’s name, we gave a little something every day for a week. It was a joyful experience to think about what that person liked (a favorite candy bar or chewing gum flavor) and watching their reaction when opening it.

Did you know that in addition to feeling good, the benefits to giving (either gifts or acts of kindness) are scientifically proven? Some of those benefits include improving our mental health, increasing lifespan, and feeling happiness.

Yes, please! Who wouldn’t want to live longer, feel happier, and be in a better mental place?

May you give from a place of love, without any expectations in return, and experience the joy of giving.

Is it really better to give than receive?

I’ve been thinking about the other side of the “giving” coin: receiving.

We are all familiar with the phrase, “it is better to give than to receive.” But is it really?

Have you ever given someone a hug and they went limp, not returning the hug? Awkward! Receiving is like returning the hug that someone gives you.

How easily do you receive compliments or acts of kindness?

In an article written for, Rachelle Williams writes:

Receiving is necessary and important. While giving feels wonderful, it only works when there is a receiver. Allowing yourself to be a gracious receiver is a humbling experience and is truly an act of love because it offers a chance for others to give.

Receiving is not about expecting others to give to you because you are more important or deserving. It is about receiving a gift without guilt or neediness, and without feeling obliged to give back. Maybe you can’t receive gifts without negative thoughts popping up, such as, ”I don’t deserve this” or “Now I feel like I owe him/her.”

How you receive is just as important to the giver’s happiness as it is to your own. To receive I a good way requires you to do away with the negative thoughts and instead pause and reflect on the exchange and what it means: friendship, support, love, etc. This fuels a great deal of happiness in both the giver and receiver.

May you know the blessing of giving AND receiving.

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