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  • nmw 18:47:39 on 2016/07/20 Permalink
    Tags: gift, give, giving, , , , serve   

    While the ego would argue that there’s a different kind of love for different kinds of relationship, the spiritual basics of relationship are the same no matter what form a relationship takes 

    Whether you’re my business acquaintance or a family member, the issue is this: Am I meeting you on the level of my personality, or am I extending to you the gift of my love? Am I here to judge you, or to forgive you? The answers will determine what happens next.

    Relationship Assignments

     
  • feedwordpress 15:44:17 on 2014/03/10 Permalink
    Tags: contribution, ego, gift, grace, , improv,   

    Worth and Graciousness 

    In this work at the edge and in our relationships, we often cannot guess at our worth and the value we provide. I am just now feeling into a discernment that I want to share with you in case it is useful to you as well.

    Perhaps it is a challenge to know our value without knowing why someone else might find something about us or our work important and transformative. But who are we to say?

    I notice, in myself and others, two responses to someone acknowledging our value. The first is to dismiss, belittle, undermine, qualify, minimize, reject, deny – to be in contraction as a response in some way or another. The signal this sends is: “you are wrong to value me so highly because I am undeserving of it. I am not worthy.” The second response is graciousness: to thank, appreciate, celebrate, honor, acknowledge, receive, or revel in their acknowledgment. Often it is to reciprocate, when and where appropriate, by articulating the value you perceive that the other provides. The signal this sends is: “you are generous to value me so highly, and I am appreciative of that. I am worthy, as are you.”

    girlfriends

    My dear friends Deanna and Hava are often letting me know the value I bring them. I am learning to respond graciously instead of resisting them.

    In improv, one of the primary principles is “yes, and-ing” each exchange. If the other person says, “there is a fluffy pink elephant plodding along behind you.” Then you don’t respond by telling them that they are insane to think so. You say something like, “yes, and we are starting a parade, would you like to join us?” Another principle of improv is “making the other person look good.” So you might even say, “yes, and how astute of you! She is a bit shy! You have to look closely at my shadow to see her.”

    I mention these two principles of improv because they are also generative for conversations and interactions. When we respond to another’s acknowledgement of value with a “no, but” instead of a “yes, and” we fail to make them look good (or feel good). We cut short the conversation and opportunity to generate together.

    “But my ego!” you say. Yes yes, but what is more egotistical? To tell someone that they are wrong, or to appreciate their point of view as they describe it? It is a false form of humility to deny someone their appreciation of your value by telling them they are wrong. A gracious humility allows them their perception without taking it on as who you are. A gracious humility responds with equal or greater appreciation of the other.

    Be gracious. Allow others to appreciate your worth in their eyes. Respond with gratitude.

    I have found it easy to be grateful for others for what they do. I find it more challenging to be grateful for how they see me and want to be generous with me for it. Yet, this is the very contribution people want to make, and it is my strange ego that seeks to deny them that pleasure of giving. I am going to challenge myself to be a more gracious receiver. Maybe you will too.

    Perhaps we need to keep asking, “What would a whole-hearted person do here?”

     

     
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