Take the Good
(Part 2 of 2)
Last time, in Get Ready for Something Good, we talked about preparing your heart and mind for good things to happen. Now let's look at the ability to receive. The question is: What does it take to take the good?
Don't Be That Way
Last year at this time, we had just completed updating the interior of our house and the construction phase was finally over. My mother-in-law, Sandi, went shopping with me for the finishing touches. "You need something different for that table, Ginny, not another vase of flowers. We'll know it when we see it."
A few days later over dinner with our cousins Alison and Angelo - and as I did virtually every time I was at their house - I remarked how much I liked the ceramic pitcher that sat on the top shelf of their entertainment center. Angelo had previously explained that it was made in Calabria, Italy (where my father's parents were born) and the design was typical of that region.
This time Angelo was ready for me. "Alison and I talked about it and we want you to have it. Take it with you tonight."
Sandi and I exchanged glances, our eyes widening, aware that we had the perfect spot for it. However, holding my subconscious suspect, (Had I been after this pitcher from the beginning?), I declined the offer.
Angelo responded with: Ginny, don't be that way, and after a little convincing, I accepted.
In ten minutes I went from: No, I can't possibly take your pitcher to: I love it, thank you!
We all had a good laugh about how Sandi and I had "manifested" the pitcher, but we broke into hysterics when Alison commented on my necklace. As with the pitcher, my friend Barbara had given me her own necklace after I admired it. Now whenever I compliment other items in the house, Alison's sharp response is: You can't have that.
A Good Offer
What's been your experience being on the receiving end? Material gifts can be easier to accept than other good things we've been working toward or hoping for.
Earlier this year Jordan1, a healthcare executive, conducted a targeted job search. She interviewed for several positions and there was one in particular that she wanted. Jordan prepared and showed up strong. While waiting for the selection process to conclude, she remained positive and envisioned an offer. She called this opportunity: the big job with the big money.
Eventually the offer came. Easy decision, right? But Jordan hesitated. She still wanted the position and the terms were aligned with her requirements, so that wasn't the issue. Jordan recognized that her hesitation was just a case of the jitters and she reminded herself: I've done this before. I can do this. Then she accepted the offer.
To Take the Good
Good things show up in various forms, whether those are material objects, unique opportunities, new relationships, or precious windows of time. A moment of hesitation is natural and gives you the chance to do a gut check. What's important to recognize - as Jordan did - is when the hesitation is more of an inner heckler, raising a fear to be quieted.
Ironically, it's not an uncommon reflex to decline something good that is offered to you, even if you've been pursuing it all along. Perhaps it's that idiom: take the bad with the good that is partly to blame. As soon as good shows up we think there must be a downside.
There may also be other dynamics at play:
- Change: The something good might be something new and that means letting go of the familiar.
- Priorities: The hardest decisions are sometimes between two good things.
- Responsibility: Receiving more positions us to give more and that can activate feelings of self-doubt, guilt, or overwhelm.
What does it take to take the good? It takes being aware of what can get in the way, and then consciously, gratefully, and boldly, saying yes.
This Week's Call To Action:
Consider the possibility that something you've been envisioning or working toward may actually be presenting itself to you now.
- "Don't be that way." Think of my pitcher story and catch yourself when you're passing on a gift. Say yes, and allow someone else the joy of giving.
- When you find yourself hesitating, hear out your inner heckler and work your way to clarity.
When life offers you good,
be grateful, be bold, and say yes.
Take the good.
See you in the current,
(1) Name changed for privacy.
(2) Here are a few other articles I selected for you, related to today's topic:
When Life Gives You a Break, Take It
You Didn't Have To Do That
What Have You Learned About Joy?
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