Natural Giving And Receiving - What Love Is


I want to tell you this story, by way of example of the foundation stone of living compassionately and that is 'Natural Giving And Receiving'. I regularly visit a cafe where the staff have provided morning tea and toast for my body and soul through these hard times. A friendly smile or enquiry, a remembering of my regular order. All of this warms my heart so often. Something of what I know in my bones to be an 'Irish Welcome' and an 'Irish Seeing'.

I set about writing a thank you letter. I wanted them to know what they mean to me and I'm sure to many others. I was concerned they may not see their value and beauty. I hear them having conversations with customers about family, health and general wellbeing. So I know I am not the only one. I wondered what their magic ingredient was, how they were managing to shine brightly and live softly through these hard times. I am certain they too have been hit hard by recent events and even through what might be abrasive reactions at times from customers due to covid restrictions.

So I wrote my letter and was bold enough to say, please read it out at your next staff meeting, I would love the whole team front and back of house to know they are precious and needed.

Well blow me down, I was sittin down having me breakfast and they gathered very near me as a group and read out the letter! Afterwards, one of the managers came to me, tears in her eyes, expressing thanks, letting me know that times are very hard indeed where they are and that the appreciation meant so much. And then another team member (the one I am closest to) came over and blew me a kiss through her protective mask.

See, I thought the job was done once I wrote the letter. But, Natural Giving And Receiving doesn't have a beginning and an end. It is through my broken open heart that love and kindness reach me. It is through my broken open heart that I just can't find the energy for 'fight' or 'flight' or 'shoulds' no 'forcing or pushing', and through that open corridor I experience the capacity to receive love and to direct the flow of love back out again. The open corridor of life flow and love flow.

So I invite you to check with yourself this season, for those places where you are telling yourself you should give, to notice when you are doing so out of demand and expectations and rewards, and also for those places where, even though you are exhausted and worn out; giving is the sweetest thing you can still do. Let the intention of your giving be to nourish, nourish you in the giving and nourish the other in the receiving. No expectations, no assumptions, no future, just giving to nourish life in the present moment. Let your outward gesture come from your hearts understanding of love.

Visiting the cafe since, I can sense a glow when I arrive, an opening of hearts, perhaps in me a person/place where the team know they can rest and sense they are loved and valued and me too. And low and behold an extra surprise, a free cup o tea this morning! The process of Natural Giving enters the flow of love that is already here waiting for us to inhabit it.

With much love in my heart, and, thank you too dear Robin for the gift of your song.

Clare x


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