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Blocking the Blessing

A friend just shared with me the phrase, “Don’t block my blessing.” I had been offered a ticket to something I felt I could not afford and I’d declined, feeling like I should have been paying my own way. I am okay being a little bit extravagant now and then for things that I really really want; but I’m also okay sitting out if it’s a stretch for me. So I thought, it’s nice of her but I am okay with not going.

But. “Don’t block my blessing.” It actually took me a moment to let this sink in. I’m offered a gift–a blessing–and by not accepting the gift, I’m blocking a blessing that she wanted to bestow. That’s an interesting way of looking at receiving generosity.

So here’s that word, “bless,” again, used in a beautiful, non-religious way. Or maybe it is religious. It’s the religion of Us. Ordinary people blessing each other, without hierarchy or rank, in an everyday way, by offering gifts, favors, kindnesses, gentleness, a helping hand now and then. No one stands above, in robes and beads. These are blessings among equals, neither person more important nor better than the other. One half of the blessing is the giving, one to another, things that we lovingly want to give. The other half is accepting the gift. If we don’t accept it, the gift lies unopened.

Acceptance, too, is a gift.

Left on my porch last winter by two lovely friends

Acceptance and gratitude are part of the religion of Us, too. These are faiths in which I want to participate. I am grateful for the blessings of words, offered to me by everyday teachers–friends, family, even strangers. Around any corner, in any conversation, there’s wisdom to be found.

“Gracious acceptance is an art – an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving . . . Accepting another person’s gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.” ― Alexander McCall Smith, Love Over Scotland

“Giving feels fantastic and for there to be a Giver, there must be a Receiver, so allowing yourself to receive is an act of love.” ― Rebecca O’Dwyer

“Because we idealize Giving so much, we ignore the ability, blessing, and duty to Receive.” ― Ashlecka Aumrivani

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

1 thought on “Blocking the Blessing

  1. I adore this one…Don’t block my blessing. Brought tears. Thank you.

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