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Giving and Receiving



Giving and Receiving ©Lynne Buchanan
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Rick Hanson wrote a wonderful blog yesterday on the theme of accepting dependence.  Dependence often gets a bad name because our society proclaims independence and being able to make it on our own as a state to strive for.  Yet, we are dependent on millions of things every day for our very survival, like the air we breathe, the water we drink, the earth we stand on, the food we eat–the list goes on and on.  We are also social beings and are dependent upon each other for happiness and a sense of purpose.  Lending a helping hand and acts of service often give us a sense of great personal worth and being in a loving relationship is something most people strive for.  As Rick Hanson wrote, "We are frail, soft, vulnerable, hurt by little things and hungry for love." When we understand this, he says, we can be more understanding towards others and accepting of ourselves.

Sometimes we become hurt by others.  I know when this happens to me, I want to shut down and close myself off so I won't feel pain again.  Yet, I know deep in my heart that this will never make me happy.  I have to risk opening up again, peeling back the petals that protect the core of my being, so I can give and receive love, and if I can't do it with another person then I do it with life.  This is why nature is so healing.  Drinking in the sunlight or feeling the rain on my skin, receiving these gifts of life,  makes me grateful and I try to shine this gratitude back out into the world by doing whatever small random acts of kindness I can, even if it is just thanking the flowers for sharing their beauty by making a photograph.

Life is always a balance between accepting and giving help, receiving the gifts of nature and offering back.  Now, more than ever, we need to be cognizant of how our behavior impacts the health of our planet.  We are dependent on the earth's elements for life and the survival of our planet depends on us.  Just as it is wrong to close our hearts when we have suffered in love, it is wrong to close our eyes to what is happening in the world.  Please join me in accepting dependence and recognizing we are all in this world together, so giving back becomes a priority in our lives.