Are you a gracious receiver?

in Contributors/Health by

By Martha O’Regan
Can you simply say thank you when someone does something kind for you or offers their help?  Or do you run off into the “no, I’ve got it’s,” “you shouldn’t have’s,” or “I can’t possibly accept that” auto-responses? The balance between giving and receiving is a challenge we have been taught since we were little people to share our toys, or it’s better to give than receive, or “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” These statements should be integrated with a few “if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t be my best for others,” “yes, I appreciate your help” or simply “thank you” statements.
If you say yes to every committee or project, or are committed to being and doing for everyone else all day long, week after week, month after month, this article is for you.  Have you reached exhaustion yet? Frustrated? Does your family wish you were available to them as much as you are to your committee? Are you able to give your attention to everything you are involved in or are there areas that are falling through the cracks? If you see yourself in any or all of these statements, it is time to consider what it means to create balance in being and doing.
Many will find themselves where they are doing and being for everyone else in their lives to the detriment of their own health and well being.  Getting up before the family to get started on laundry or breakfast, running all day long either in their own job or volunteering at the school or organizing a fundraisers, then staying up late to finish the laundry and bake the two dozen cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale, only to collapse into a restless sleep because they are worrying about all the things that didn’t get done yesterday or needs to be done tomorrow.  Am I singing your song?  You are not alone.
Our ego wants us think that we are the only person who can handle the daily tasks and no one can do it as well as we can.  It may be true, but do the tasks really have to be done to the perfection that our ego dictates, or can we allow our children to fold the laundry their way?  Can we give others freedom to do their assigned task without taking over?  Our need to feel needed along with our challenge of accepting change can lead to some rigid behaviors that eventually affect our health and well being.  With awareness and choice, we can change with great ease by allowing others to step up and shine. Observe in yourself whether you are the taskmaster or the control freak, lovingly step back and decide to release just a smidge of control in one area of your life, like allowing your children to empty the dishwasher and being OK if they don’t line the glasses up the way you like it. I am amazed at how many teens are never allowed to help with chores because parents can’t release control of “doing it right.” Learning to graciously receive help from others allows them learn and grow and relieves some of the pressure off of you. Experience the freedom of being in charge as you allow yourself to slow down and breathe a little deeper. Live Well … Have Fun!

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