As I later recounted the story to my sister, she quickly admonished me--"don't ever block anyone's blessing, are you crazy?!"
The concept is simple: when someone gives you something it is their blessing not yours! The giver, not the recipient, is being blessed. We often think that it's the other way around. And while receiving is a bonafide blessing, it is also true that giving is a deeply profound experience. And now science -- if we need proof -- is backing that up. Giving it turns out is good for our health. New studies show that people report more happiness, stronger immune systems, lower stress levels when they give rather than when they receive.
This idea that in refusing to accept a gift you are "robbing" someone of their joy or their good health allowed me to view receiving and giving from a very new perspective. I realize that I was not only blocking their blessings but impeding mine.
Throughout our day we offer ourselves to our friends, family, strangers, the planet in a myriad of ways -- open doors, greet strangers with a smile, lend a car to run an errand, let someone go first in line at the grocery story, pick up litter, give a compliment. These gestures are small offerings, blessings really and whey they come from the heart and not with any other agenda other than to give with love, it is like karma is being deposited in the karma bank. If you reject, turn down, or otherwise, pooh pooh an offering, you are messing with the karma gods. And we know karma is not to be messed with.
That same tough year turned out to be an extraordinary time for me and not because of finances. It was because of all the outpouring of love and generosity around me. With my new found perspective on giving and receiving, I was able to enjoy the abundance that was always a constant in my life and perhaps that I did not see. By not obstructing it, I let the current flow. Friends, the intimate and the not so intimate blessed me with their love, support, contributions and sacred spaces. And it makes me happy to know that in receiving gracefully, I enhanced their lives in a small way.
Being mindful of never preventing a blessing that is offered to you will ensure the natural flow of nature and relationships. Receiving with grace is a life essential.