No, no, no. Mommas don’t take.
Because we have been taught, as women, as parents, as human beings, that giving is receiving. Which, of course, it can be.
Then again, sometimes receiving is giving, too.
Take the picture to my right. A precious little girl offering her sweet momma a secret treasure. When she held it up to me and said, “For you, Momma,” I hope I didn’t tell her to keep it. I hope it didn’t say, “No thanks, it wouldn’t be right of me to take that.”
I hope I knelt down and looked her in the eyes and received it with gratitude. I hope I said, “For me?! Thank you!” and gave her a hug bigger than her smile.
I hope that as she discovered what a gift it can be to give freely, I was showing her what a gift it can be to receive deeply.
Because as important as it is to learn how to give, we also need to learn how to receive. Especially as women. Especially in this culture. Because all too often, receiving is confused with taking. Seen as selfish. Labelled as wrong.
But receiving isn’t taking.
Receiving is a gift.
When we take, we grasp. Seize. Hoard. We shut ourselves down. We close off to others. We let our wells run dry.
But when we receive, we release. Unfurl. Liberate. We open ourselves to the world. We lift others up. We begin to overflow.
So don’t worry about being a taker, Momma.
Start allowing yourself to be a receiver.
Start dreaming about what would be different today, this week, this month, if you allowed yourself to receive as deeply as you give.
Too hard to even imagine?
Then start here, with this challenge: allow yourself to receive ONE thing this week. The better seat at lunch. The restaurant you like to go to. The movie you want to see. Let your partner unload the dishwasher or run the kids bath. But whatever it is, RECEIVE IT.
Don’t just say, “thank goodness” or “it’s about time” or “I deserved that break” (all of which are probably true). Just look into they eyes of whoever is bestowing that kindness upon you and allow yourself to receive it joyfully, as if it was a precious gift from a small child.
Then let me know what happens next.