I've always had a thing about accepting gifts, favours, letting someone else pay, allowing someone to buy me something. Call it pride, stubborness, strong independent woman-ness... call it whatever you like, but actually... it's kind of a problem. At least, I've realised it's become a problem for me. I will do anything I can to get out of someone giving me a gift or buying me something, no matter who the person is. I have a wide variety of excuses. Preferring to pay myself or go without. I'll miss after work drinks because the purse strings don't quite reach that far, even when a colleague offers to buy me one. "Go on Peta, just one. My treat." Maybe next time I say. I see a fleeting look of disappointment pass their face before they mask their own feelings.
My parents have tried to give me a helping hand in the past "I don't need your help, I can do it myself" I'll tell them reassurringly not one for one second thinking that maybe they genuinely just want to help their daughter. Maybe I wouldn't be a burden to them if I let them help me.
I often have disagreements with my other half, but it's only ever over one subject, it all boils down to money. "But can't you see Pea, I don't care about the money, I just want to treat you. I just want to look after you." He'll say with only the very best intentions in his heart. "Well I can look after myself." I'll reply, and he can't win. How can he? He won't argue with that.
In fact, we've reached a point where he's actually apologised for buying me something. "I'm sorry Pea, but this is really important to me. If you really feel you need to, you can pay me back one day but please just accept this now."
My friend Rosalyn, asked me a few weeks ago for my address so that she could send me a face wash as my skin has been pretty sore lately. "Absolutely not! It'll cost a fortune to send" I told her. She managed to get my address out of me after I had asked her for hers to send a Christmas card. (I'm quite the organised Christmas Elf!) Yesterday I received the most beautiful package full of thoughtful gifts just for me. I couldn't believe it, her beautiful handwritten card made me cry happy tears. Tears of joy and love that someone could send me something so lovely.
As I drove to work, still thinking about this package, I asked myself why I resist accepting gifts of kindness so much. "Because I don't deserve them" I told myself. If someone I gave a gift to, no matter how tiny, told me they felt like they didn't deserve it, it would break my heart. It would make my soul ache with wanting to make them feel like they deserved everything the whole world has to offer them.
I often give my friends and family little gifts, food, something I've spotted that reminds me of them. At Christmas time I go all out, but when people begin asking me what I'd like for Christmas, I clam up. When Fraser tells me how he's been Christmas shopping for things for me this year a bubble of guilt and self doubt bursts inside me. "No, no, no, no, no, no you can't. Please don't spend much Fray. Please don't. What if I can't do the same? Please Fray, Please." I'll beg him to be sensible. All I achieve in doing so is to make us both feel anxious and upset.
When I've given in in the past, gritted my teeth and said thank you after putting up, and eventually losing a who will pay battle, I've been left with a sour taste in my mouth. A taste of guilt, thoughts of how I will pay them back. A feeling of taking advantage of another person, almost a feeling of being a treated like a child which is ridiculous. It is all brought on by myself, my own mind.
I'm a firm believer in the law of attraction. What you think about, you bring about and all that. But, if I won't accept even the smallest gestures of love and kindness, how on earth do I expect the universe to give me a helping hand with the bigger plans I have for my life.
After doing all that I can to resist the smallest of gestures, right down to a compliment, I'm going to change. We all deserve to be shown love, we all deserve a little treat every now and then, we all deserve everything we receive in life.
Here's to accepting with gratitude, grace, love and the biggest of hugs. Here's to friends and family looking after each other and here's to receiving all that we could ever wish for in life. I believe we have many lives, but we're in this one right now, it's up to us how we decide to live it.