The Season of Giving and Receiving

Newsletter, Issue 11

As I buy some final Christmas presents, I am aware of the challenges we can face giving and receiving. For example, I still find it easier to give than to receive. When I married, I was amazed at the amount we received; from parents helping pay for our wedding, hen party gifts to wedding gifts from so many family and friends. It might sound mad, but having been bought up to make do and not want what I couldn’t have, it was hard to enjoy it and feel it was OK to receive so much. Thankfully, I found ways to let go and revelled in the new experience that becoming a Burr brought with it!

Learning to Receive

Over the last year I have been experiencing a whole new level of receiving. During the summer I suffered with bad morning sickness followed by a late miscarriage, and needed to ask family and friends for emotional support and help to look after our son over a period of 3-4months. This meant not only receiving but asking for what I needed and on an ongoing basis – a real challenge and very uncomfortable at times. Far beyond gifts, this meant being vulnerable and taking a risk in many relationships in my life, often without any idea what the reaction would be.

I realised I still had a tally system in my head trying to balance up what I gave and received, and also that I saw doing something for someone as more valuable than being with them in their emotion (yes.. ironic given the latter is at the heart of my work.. and also what I yearn for in my life). Of course there was no way I could give much during that time so I’ve been working through not feeling guilty, accepting when people offered help they meant it and trying to truly receive rather than apologise and push people away. The overall outcome is that I have much deeper and more intimate relationships with many friends and there have also been shifts within my family. A positive and wonderful realisation.

I hope that in sharing this it helps you reflect on your experience of giving and receiving, and how you value others doing things vs being with your emotion. Perhaps there are risks you could take to deepen a friendship by daring to share more of your deeper feelings. And believe me, I know its scary!


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