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As silly as it may sound, giving gifts has always been easier for me than receiving them.
I love the way giving feels, whether or not I receive recognition. There have been plenty of times that I’ve given anonymously and I’ve still felt the same sense of heartfelt warmth. And when I was little I even used to wrap up my toys and give them to friends as gifts.
But receiving gifts, for whatever reason, has been tough. Why? Because the moment I receive something, I immediately begin thinking about how I can return the gesture–which is like sending a thank you note for a thank you note. Our need to reciprocate kindness can get in the way of our own joy.
When we take time to truly accept gifts with a grateful heart we invite positivity into our thoughts, and that allows us to focus more on what’s good in our life and less on our challenges. Taking time to savor these positive moments also enhances our well-being.
This Valentine’s Day I decided to take more time than usual appreciating my husband’s gift to me–a beautiful bouquet of flowers. It was difficult at first, but eventually I was able to welcome the emotions the gift was meant to evoke: love, respect, and happiness.