Have you ever felt the pain in giving?
Yesterday, during one of my weekly group coaching calls, one of my clients who is working on accepting appreciation from others shared this: “I made a cake for an event, and at the end of the day someone came up to me and told me how wonderful she thought the cake was. And I did what I always do; I took it with a grain of salt.” Clarifying, I said, “Meaning you brushed off her gift of acknowledgment for the job you had done.” With tears in her eyes she said, “Yes.” I then asked that she take a moment to imagine she was the one giving the gift of acknowledgement and being brushed off. “Oh,” she realized, “it is painful when people do that to me.”
As you approach the close of 2012 and give others acknowledgment for all they do, I ask that you also accept that gift from others because doing so is also a gift. Giving and receiving are expressions of love and appreciation. So, when you are given a gift, resist the urge to say, “Oh, you shouldn’t have!” Instead, honor the gift for what it is: appreciation and love from another human being. And a simple, sincere, “Thank you,” is like saying “I accept your gift.”
In the past I have rejected praise and some gifts, or accepted them only shyly. Now I realize that people get joy out of giving, and I now enjoy receiving… a sincere thank you resonates powerfully.