Worthy of Receiving

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receiving sarkGiving is super important and gives purpose to one’s life.  However, some people perceive that to receive from others is wrong or they don’t like it.  Have you heard people saying “I would rather give than receive”?

There’s a balance to giving and receiving.  If you constantly give and never allow yourself to receive you are creating an unbalanced relationship with whoever is trying to give to you.  Everyone needs to give in order to feel that they are contributing to society, to friends, relatives and to their intimate relationships and you are giving someone an opportunity to be generous when you are able to accept from others.

Receiving can be scary but hear this….. accepting a gift, a compliment or help, doesn’t mean you are weak or useless, helpless or incapable.  It means you are in a relationship.  You can be strong and still accept from others. Receiving might also bring up feelings of obligation and owing.  i.e. I have to be grateful to this person and now I am indebted or owe them something.  Yes you probably should be grateful, so what?  Someone out there is grateful for what you have done for them too.

You know who else you need to receive from?  Yourself.

The other day I proved it to myself after hearing a talk on this.  After the talk, I gave myself three gifts, one was tasty, one was about cooling down in the boiling heat and the other was taking a few minutes just to enjoy these two things.  When my husband and kids got home later I had so much more energy and willingness to do things for them rather than feeling depleted and put upon with all their needs because I had already given to myself.  I had shown myself that I am worthy of receiving.  It’s weird but I actually wanted to give more because my needs had already been met.  The people around me were naturally happy too.

Did you know you are worthy of love just as you already are with no improvements?  That means that right now you are worthy of love just because you are.

Remember that.

receiving sark 2Next time somebody gives you a compliment, say thank you (instead of not believing them or making excuses or brushing them off).  If somebody offers you help, don’t think “I can do this all on my own”.  Even if you can do it all on your own, it’s okay to share your burdens and your chores.  If somebody gives you a gift, don’t think “oh no, now I have to give them a gift back” just accept it and appreciate that someone cared about you.

Thank you for reading my blog – that is a gift to me.

With love
Eve

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Financial Stress

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Gratitude - happy life
Living in South Africa at the moment is a bit of a challenge financially for the average Joe and for the underprivileged it must be horrendous! With the rand/dollar the worst it’s ever been, food, education, transport and everyday amenities just keep going up and it’s hard to keep up.

If food is this expensive for people living in the middle class suburbs, I pale to think of what it must be like living below the bread line.

There are two ways of coping with the challenge, one is to come closer together as a family and one is to split further apart.

How to not let your financial situation split you and your loved ones apart.

Oma and Opa

My grandparents at their wedding before hell broke loose

About 75 years ago, my people (and I mean literally, my grandparents’ family and friends) were living or dying in the throes of the Holocaust.  Hitler was at his prime and was succeeding at quite an alarming and efficient rate in attempting to wipe out the Jewish people (and of course anyone else he didn’t like or who didn’t follow his ideals).

The Jewish people have always had an uncertain place in history wherever they have lived and to be honest that has given me fear and strength at the same time.  Fear because I never feel completely secure.  Strength because if they could live through that (those that did), then we can live through financial insecurity and challenge.  In a way I kind of use the suffering of my ancestors as a way of moving forward in life.  I do it a lot.  I do it when I hesitate to give someone a lift or when I hesitate to offer food to someone hungry or a blanket to someone cold.  I think of my grandparents and how it must have felt for them to be freezing and hungry with nobody to help them.  Then I get out of my comfort zone and go and help someone.

Almost every time I help someone, I realise how blessed I am with what I have.  Yes, for some of us money is tight but most of us (reading this) still have decent reasonably healthy food to eat every day.  While I am passing food or some change out the window to the barefoot beggar on the street, I have my car heater blowing on my feet.  I take notice of those things because otherwise I might be more complacent and not appreciate what I have.

If we look at what is most important to us in our lives, we can gain better perspective of what is happening and act accordingly.  Here’s a creative example:  If people have to cut down on electricity usage to save money, perhaps they can have supper by candlelight because eating together and spending time together talking is more important than having the lights on.

Yes it is a challenge and I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t.  Talking to each other about what is happening and trying to find ways to make things work is what will help people to get closer during tough financial times.  Being creative with what you’ve got goes a long way to making it more pleasant.

Appreciating the little things in life and the free things (like parks and sipping a cup of tea in bed) and most important appreciating each other.  This is what makes life easier.  Savouring and really experiencing the cup of tea and and time spent with each other is what makes life happier.

tea 2

Reflections in my tea

Understanding and support is what is needed when having to find the money to make ends meet.  Fighting and ignoring the situation can never bring happiness into a home.  That’s what families are for, being there for each other.  Well that’s what I think anyway.

If people can find something to be happy about, something to be grateful for, something to share together, it can take a little of the sting away.

If it feels like things are unmanageable and falling apart, a hug to one’s spouse or children and some comforting words to each other will go a long way to making things more tolerable.

Look I am an idealist and an optimist but I really believe that if people can look to what is important and try and build that up, we can find happiness in what we have.

How has the current financial climate been affecting you?  Is there anything you would like to contribute to this discussion?  If so, please comment.

With love
Eve


Here’s a 3 minute TED talk video about saying and receiving thanks, if you are interested.


The Power of Purpose – a six session course about living with purpose and fulfillment will be taking place from 16 August to 20 September.  (Tuesday nights).  Click to book your place or to find out more.

The heavy load and the dog that didn’t fit

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dog2On one of the public holidays last week, my hubby and I took our dog for a walk.  The previous night he had gotten stuck trying to get outside.  He just couldn’t fit through the bars.  He is a bit of a lover of human food and especially sweet sugary food or dustbin food.  If we forget to turn the bin towards the wall when we leave the house, we come home to find that he has helped himself to what’s inside.

(This picture of him is after he’s had a bath, he doesn’t always look like that especially after digging in the bin).

Anyway, it was the festival of Purim, the day when lots of sweet goodies arrived at our house in the form of gifts and my dog managed to get hold of two chocolate muffins and half a loaf of bread (he can just reach the counter).  We came home from our Purim dinner to find him smiling with the tell tale signs of his shenanigans.  It was soon after that we noticed he couldn’t fit through the bars to get outside.

That long story was just to tell you that we went for a walk.  And that’s not what this story is about.

While we were walking we saw a man carrying a pile of wooden window blinds along the main road near where we live and he was struggling to manage the heavy pile.  He had to keep putting it down and resting. heavy load

It struck me how privileged we are if we have our own transport.  I do think about it regularly and thank G-d for all we have including our own transport.  We can just put heavy things like shopping into our boot or fetch the kids from school and even that we complain about doing!  I remember as a teenager when we didn’t have a car and we had to trudge up this massive hill to get to our flat, someone stopped and gave us a lift the one time and I was so happy that I didn’t have to walk any further.

No matter what position we are in financially (because it’s not only about finances) we can be grateful for what we have.  Let’s face it, many people are struggling at the moment no matter what it looks like on the outside.  When I say it’s not only about finances, just look at your eyes in the mirror and be thankful for that.  You have eyes and you can see.  We have sooo much, let’s not take it for granted.

A Rabbi once told a group of us “if you are blessed with material goods then use it for good”.  Use your car to visit someone who is sick or to deliver food to someone who can’t go shopping.  Use your house to invite someone for a meal.  You know… that kind of thing.

I really do appreciate what I have and being grateful definitely helps to put things in perspective especially when things are a little bit tougher.

Even if I’m feeling sad or frustrated about something, reminding myself about how much I have in the form of blessings easily brightens me up.

I wish you a week of gratitude and appreciation for your blessings.

With love

Eve

happy life (2)

  1. Doggie photo taken by me
  2. Heavy load photo found on the web
  3. Happy life quote by Thomas S Manson but changed slightly by me.