It’s a complicated word for many of us.

Personally, I think the complications start with the whole spelling lesson bit!

i before e and all that…

Then there’s the blessed lesson.

Note: it’s possible that I’m about to go to meddlin’!

If you hung out in Sunday School, as I did, you’re likely to think that Jesus said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

A quick excursion to the land of Google (or an old-fashioned concordance) will suck you into all the complications of that thought, and I’m quite content for you to choose!

Let’s just say that those words can imply different things, depending on intention and context!

Also, I suspect, gender. (More meddlin’ !)

I don’t have any absolute answers. What I do have are decades worth of stories – most of them from women – about feeling guilty, or inadequate, for needing to receive help.

For letting themselves receive help.

And, some of those stories have been mine.

You, quite possibly, are wondering why this, on what is practically the Eve of the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA.

Well, because one of the things I’m learning is that it’s harder to separate giving and receiving than I used to suspect!

Here’s a pretty basic example:

The receiving I did, at my physical therapy appointment this week, has made me a whole lot more able to give.

Then, my literal hands and help for my dear friend, the mobile Veterinarian, who was working with one hand and a more complicated than usual relationship to the floor, during her blessed visit to the big dogs this week.

It took both of us, giving and receiving together, to make space for the magic to happen.

And the big dogs were giving and receiving, as well!

On a different level… laundry! There’s a LOT to do before our upcoming adventure and I can’t do it all. Not even all of mine. My hands and shoulders aren’t much for the whole pinchy-hanger, air dry bit.

So, while Bill helps with some of that, I picked up part of the early door shift with the beasties this morning so he could catch up on some sleep.

And, yes, on the days when the pain is worse than usual, I get bummed about needing help.

And, it doesn’t help!

Intention is a thing that does help!

Fingerprint prayer dots on a painting in progress, for hope. (For me, fingerprints often hurt less when my hands are brush-avoidant!)

Also dots for gnowing, as in the underlayers of the current Legend painting, above. (And, yes, I spelled that just the way I meant to!)

Rest… in the interest of more Helping. Giving. Making.

Hearing deep on Facebook. And a side order of activism.

You get this!

So… what if we turned the seeming dichotomy of giving/receiving into both/and rather than either/or???

I’m serious!

What would be different for you? And your people? And your world?

I’ve gotten serious about intending to find out! And yes, for me just now, that means putting it out there. Out here!

What might it mean for you???

You can leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Or email me! (

Or, if you have some ideas and could use a bit of help sorting them, let’s talk! My medicine basket is ready! Just get the calendar elves to hook you up for a quick chat as my gift to you.

ps… just in case you’re – you know – giving, the elves at FierceArtWithHeart have a special deal on great matted, wrapped art gift packs! Something for everybody!

6 comments on “Receiving…”

  1. Love your take on this! For many years it escaped me that ‘ graceful receiving ‘ was actually a gift to the giver..I was too intent on being independent at all costs, and preferably giving to others so I could feel good. I am ( very slowly) learning to let go of that! 💖

    1. Thank you, dear Sue! So appreciate your reading AND hearing! I love a quote that’s attributed to Michelangelo, on his deathbed as tradition has it… “I am still learning!” So glad we’re learning together!

  2. Dear She, thank you for this writing.
    It has always been difficult for me to receive, no matter if it’s a gift, a compliment or help (even if I needed it).
    I guess the it’s better to give than receive has been ingrained in me. Or is it a lack of trust or a loss of independence that makes me react this way. Forr the first time in my life I feel ready to examine this and many other things, I think because of Shiloh, Intentional Creativity and all of you.

    1. Thank you, dear Audrey…. for reading and hearing and being on the journey! Intentional Creativity is where I learned lots of ways to adapt and grow. So glad you’re here!

  3. It is hard for me to ask for help as I was taught to do the job by myself. So as I get older I have found I need help at times and I have had to ask for help. Which at first was difficult but has gotten easier and I am grateful for the wonderful help and I thank the person or persons. Life is about change and we have to change with it.

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Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach