The flow of give and take

One of my life lessons is learning how to receive.  I know how to give and give and give.  I love helping others and am that very good friend you could always count on.  Sometimes I wonder whether I give in order to help the other person, or to obtain the feeling of  self satisfaction I receive from helping.

 

map-JordanRiver-spm-c-02A few weeks ago I saw a video called A Tale of Two Seas  by Rabbi Dov Greenberg.  The video portrayed the two seas in Israel, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.  The Jordan river flows from the North into the Sea of Galilee and then further South into the Dead Sea.  The same river supplies both but the Sea of Galilee is green and full of wildlife while at the Dead Sea nothing lives.  The idea was that the Sea of Galilee has water flowing in and out of it while in the Dead Sea water just flows in and remains.  The Rabbi’s message was that when you both give and receive – life flows. But”If you only receive, but do not give, you do not live.”

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The Dead Sea, Israel

This is also true with only just giving.

This past weekend I went on my own to a weekend self awareness retreat on the Jordan River.  I am often a very social person who like to meet and mingle with new people.  This weekend, however, I did not feel like speaking with anyone and was quite aloof.  It may be that I was without children and had a moment not to constantly speak and answer (which was soooo nice).  It could be that I was older than most of the participants.  It finally dawned on me during a swim that I simply needed some time on my own.  I did not need to be the one to help others or prepare Turkish coffee for those around me.  I did not need to please others by offering psychic messages.  I did not need to buy their friendship by selling myself. I wanted to just rest.

So during the hour to two hour breaks between sessions I was on my own.  I observed others from my tent.  I swam and swam in the cool beautiful Jordan River.  I sat silently and peacefully around the fire.  I released the need to give to others. It felt so good just “being”.

Then all of the sudden I started receiving. Someone offered me some coffee and someone else fruit.  I received a free Acupuncture session.   I even got a Mandala coloring book as a gift from a wonderful woman.  Even after returning from the retreat, I continued receiving small gifts out of no where.  By opening the dam that barred me from receiving without a uncomfortable feeling,  I feel that I am beginning to properly live.  To give and receive.

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Rich life around Sea of Galilee, Israel

 

 

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6 thoughts on “The flow of give and take

    1. Thank you. Hope it sticks. My daughter’s illness was also a lesson to received help which at the time I had no choice but to take. In time I went back to my old ways of just giving.

      1. Old habits are hard to break, but I suspect that each time you choose to receive, it gets easier to receive again.

  1. I saw that article too. Your post couldn’t have come at a better time. My husband always took care of things. Six years ago he died. I have done things I never thought I was able to do. But sometimes I feel overwhelmed but don’t want to ask for help from my sons because one has a new baby and one is marrying in September. I don’t want to appear clingy or weak. I do have a best friend but she works nights and has problems too. How do you know when to persevere until things work out as opposed to asking for help? Usually when things seem like they won’t work out, they do, so I just keep on trying. Thanks for this post!!

    1. I would check you instincts in each instance of whether to ask for help or not. Take one instance at a time. In time you may discover that when you do ask for assistance it is given with great love. It may cause you to feel less uncomfortable requesting next time.

      When I do finally ask for help, I know that the person on the side would be more than happy to help. I give a lot with all my heart so I know it will be returned with exactly the same.

      Good Luck

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