The last time I blogged was at the beginning of January. In that post I said I would explain why I chose ‘receiving’ as my word for the year. Apparently, I chose the right word. I’ve been so busy receiving I haven’t had a chance to get back to posting. On January 10th, I bought a house in Hamilton. And I mean “I”. My husband wasn’t able to make it to see the house and it had multiple offers being presented so I went ahead and bought it. What a roller coaster we have been on ever since. We also had to list our house and sell it. Our closing date on the new house is March 7th. You can appreciate the chaos our lives have become. I barely have time to watch House of Cards Season 2, let alone blog.
I do want to finish my thought though and I’m sure there are a few of you wondering when I’ll get around to the explanation. So, as difficult as it is to explain the word, here goes.
To Receive means to get or be given something, to react to something in a specific way, to welcome someone usually in a formal way (receiving line). Most of the ‘words’ I have chosen over the years were focused on doing. Past words or themes have included:
- Moving Forward (after a particularly challenging year)
- Living the Truth (being authentic)
- Letting Go (releasing the things I was holding on to in my life)
- Focus (the year I tried to be something I’m not)
- Defining (or more accurately re-defining)
- Choosing (the year I wanted to make better choices)
Last year was a difficult year for me. It was painful and scary. Several things happened that were not what I wanted to have happen in my life. I felt like I was trying to just get stabilized. I got through it, thanks to the wonderful community of people I have in my life and the occasional numbing. At the end of 2013, when I took stock, I realized how often my themes have been about striving. Trying to do something or be someone – if I could just be more focused, or choose better, etc. The themes were what I needed at the time but this year I didn’t feel like I had the resources to embark on a self-improvement journey.
So, as I reflected on the year I had come through and thought about what I wanted several themes emerged for me. A couple of the other words that I considered were welcoming or simply, ‘yes’. I wanted a word that included the idea of embracing whatever was happening in my life. But embracing sounds like it requires an element of doing as well. As I reflected more the idea of ‘receiving’ came to me. It is about about posture more than about doing. In December, I was reading some reflections by Richard Rohr. In one of them he wrote, “We can’t manage, maneuver or manipulate spiritual energy. It is a matter of letting go and receiving what is being given freely. “ That quote said it all. I want to receive instead of managing my life. I believe that the posture of receiving has at its heart the idea of humility. I hope that receiving will allow me to let go of my own beliefs and judgments of how things ought to be and accept with humility the gifts I am given each day. I am trying to journal every evening on that topic. I look back over the day and ask myself ‘what did I receive today?’ Sometimes the gifts are unexpected, sometimes they are obvious, sometimes they are in the challenges of the moment. But keeping this open heart to receive whatever comes my way is better for me than trying to drive my own agenda and facing the inevitable disappointment when something happens that wasn’t on my list. It is admitting that I might not have all the answers or even know what I really need at any given time. It recognizing the teachers that are sent into my life through many different channels. I hope this explanation isn’t abstruse.
So, what have you received so far in 2014?