These series of reflections are inspired by my unexpected injury in Trinidad and Tobago that has caused me to bound to my arm chair leg propped up and still for the time being and forced to relate to reality differently. I hope these reflections inspire you to open your mind to new ways to invite in the present.
The act of receiving has been forced upon me during this healing process. It has baffled me that one of my favorite acts to bestow upon others has been my nemesis during my recovery. Since I cannot stand up for very long, I have had to receive others help in bringing food and groceries. Since I cannot drive, I have had to ask for rides. Since, I am not working as much I cannot escape out of this vulnerability by requesting an Uber or Lyft due to financial restrictions. One of the most uncomfortable weeks for me was when my mother came to take care of me. Crazy that we all love a mother's care and no one does it better than Mama yet I watched my independent, self-sufficient ego become so annoyed at having to ask for help and having to receive so much of it. Normally when friends ask "What can I do" I can proudly say "Nothing". Well, during this time, I have had to swallow this silly pride and say, "I need help with ....". I have accepted services, money, food, rides and more in this last month than in perhaps the last 10 years! Why is this so hard for me psychologically?
I relate this struggle back to cultural overly dominant masculine conditioning of doing more than being or receiving, and that self-sufficiency= maturity, responsibility and capability. If I have my shit in order I will not need help. If I need help then I am weak or incapable. Why do I buy into this dogma? Because I think we are validated in doing for others or being "good". A "good" person gives more, does more and since we are awarded and recognized by what we do it in the end makes us feel good about ourselves. I am validated because you need me and therefore I have a place. I love giving my time and talents in support of another. In fact I thrive off of it. It fills my heart to help another in need or to offer something to let another feel loved. It has certainly fed my "worthiness" tank. What I have noticed about this journey into receiving is that it feels good too. It felt so humbling, vulnerable and yet sweet to realize that people care for me. That people would offer their time, resources and talents for me. I immediately wanted to respond to this offering by planning how I would "pay them back" but I noticed when I did that it took away from that delicate feeling of being loved. It made it smaller or downplayed it like a game of tit for tat. When I was really able to just open towards this tenderness of receiving, I noticed how it made the other person feel. I felt the love and joy that inspired them to give in the first place. That in trying to trade off or escape the moment of receiving I would also diminish their receptivity of joy as well as my own. How vulnerable it feels to admit that I cannot do it all myself and that I need another's hand but the hand and the support that was extended allowed for a momentary pause in my conditioning to reframe my storyline of purpose. My purpose was to receive and I was not weaker or incapable, but blessed!
It made me realize that when another gives in the pureness of love and appreciation of me that I receive the joy of being in a moment of connecting to the other person's worthiness as vessel for love and abundance. And when I can allow myself to be on the other end and openly receive that love and abundance I too can give another the opportunity to see their validation of my worthiness. So, in the end this practice of receptivity has been so healing, perhaps even for all of us but especially me. I have experienced community and family that is beyond blood/family and obligations. I have softened to the concept that maybe I can be present with an aspect of worthiness that needs no response other than being willing to let it in. In just pausing and meeting fully my needs without rushing to fill them or ignore them I have given myself an opportunity to experience the present without my active nature taking over. In meeting the moment and not struggling to define it by what makes me comfortable I have allowed the moment to comfort me in new and beautiful ways. Thank you dear friends who have taught me what it means to be enough, to feel loved and how to open to receptivity.