I recently had a #Starbucks coffee meet up with a friend and she asked me what kind of drink I would like. In my mind, I heard a record player screeching to a halt. “What kind of drink would you like Robinette? A $5 drink decision sparked a 10 second debate in my mind, as well as feelings of paranoia and unworthiness. The play by play went like this: “I should refuse it. I don’t know what her money situation is like.” Or “I was the one that suggested that we meet up. I should be buying her a drink.” And worse “Is she going to ask me for money next week?” All I heard was No, No, No! Refuse the gift or feel guilty for the rest of the evening. It took everything in me to say “Green Tea Latte, please,” but only because my behind was thirsty.
As a Black Woman, I am so used to being I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T. Many black women are taught to do for ourselves, get it done and now, and for God’s sake Puh-Lease do not depend on no man. While that is good for basic survival, it robs us of our capacity to truly feel the pleasures in life that come from being open to receive. We have been taught for so long that is is better to give than to receive. No, it is not! Do not be hoodwinked and bamboozled lol. Receiving is just as powerful as giving. Imagine how you feel when you give, give, and give only to feel resentment when you don’t feel like you’ve received. We feel hurt and then everyone around us has to hear our woe is me pity story. And besides, if I am giving and giving, then who the hell is receiving? A person who doesn’t mind receiving, that’s who! Also, not to generalize all black women, but honestly, we have been taught that being vulnerable is a bad thing. To be able to receive requires a great deal of vulnerability. If someone compliments us on our nails or something, we would be quick to tell them how bad we need a fill in. Instead of receiving the compliments, we wonder if the person sees the flaws that we see, because deep down we feel unworthy. The simplest of gifts or compliments can send us down this road.
So how does one open up the flow of receiving? By being mindful. When you are offered a gift, use your discernment and if it aligns with your values then receive. If someone compliments you on your heels, please do not proceed to tell them how you bought them ’97 at a garage sale and the heels are leaning lower than The Leaning Tower of Pisa. A simple “Thank you” does the trick. That’s it. You are worthy of receiving and please remember that people always meet you at your level of expectation. Expect to receive goodness. Expect to recieve gifts. Expect to receive compliments. Expect for people to be nice to you. Not because you worked hard to win their appreciation, but simply because you deserve it.