I am coming from a very humble family. My grandma graduated as one of the first female lawyers in 1933. I never heard her even talk about it. My uncles are CEOs of huge companies and I never witnessed their ego. My dad is a very well-known successful doctor who would do anything for his patients and who always refused to make money out of his exceptional background which he created on his own.
And the humblest of all is my mom who graduated as a lawyer but put her family in front of all her needs and wants and sacrificed everything. She is one of those people who never learns how to receive but gives away everything to everyone. To this day it is a struggle to buy her even a cup of coffee. She would feel guilty for every little gift or attention she receives. So naturally she raised me to be giving, to be humble, and to appreciate what I have. I love her for all those values she taught me.
But my friends were wiser. They taught me the privilege of receiving graciously. I never forgot that one incidence when I was celebrating my birthday with my coworkers probably 20 years ago and wanted to buy the food and the drinks for them. It was so wonderful of my friends to take me out and celebrate my birthday; now I wanted to do something nice for them. I did not want them to spend more money after all their thoughtful gifts. I literally flew over the table to get the check. They felt the need to stop me and lecture me on that same day. I was not doing this for the first time. When they told me how I love to give and that it is selfish not to let them do the same, I got the message for the very first time. How can we stop people from doing what they love? Do I want to be stopped when I am in their shoes? No. I never thought it will be considered selfish but it really is. This theme repeated itself for the rest of my life. There are times when I still find myself overwhelmed not knowing how to handle the love and attention I receive from friends. But I know I am wrong when I try to stop them doing what they want.
I am grateful for all my friends who are trying to teach me this valuable lesson to receive. It is not always natural to me. I have to be really conscious to realize when it is happening and give that internal fight not to react the same way as I always do, I know I am getting better at it though.
We all have parts of us that come from our upbringing that we never question. Receiving graciously is not something I learned in the family but it is a great quality to have. I wanted to share my story so that others who grew up like me can learn it too. It is really wonderful to give but we have to let others do the same. Thank you to all my friends here and far for showing me the right way; I hope my wonderful mom can also receive and enjoy her gifts in life.