Quidquid recipitur ad modum recipientis recipitur.
Whatever is received is received according to the manner of the receiver. – old Latin proverb
I have been working on personal issues around receiving. It doesn’t seem like it should be difficult, but for many of us it is. We are taught to put others before ourselves, and to think of others’ needs before our own. While this sounds like reasonable advice on the surface, it has the potential to create adults who do not attend to their own needs, and therefore are always looking for their needs to be recognized and fulfilled by someone else; a perfect recipe for co-dependent relationships. Many adults are unable to identify their own needs, having grown up accustomed to a caretaker or other person addressing this for them. This seems to be the pattern at the heart of some of our power dysfunctions. What if, as children, we were taught to come first in our lives, not in a selfish way, but in a way that encouraged being able to identify what we need on a daily basis, and to provide for these needs, or feel comfortable asking for these needs to be provided? This would require that we felt and knew we deserve, and are valued enough, to have these needs and to expect them to be met. This creates a better possibility for power balance from an early age. It would teach us self-awareness, self-care as well as the need for reciprocating interactions with those around us. Some of the creepy passive-aggressive behavior aimed at getting un-admitted needs met could be avoided. But it also would mean we all might have to learn not only to give graciously, but receive just as graciously.
Just some musing that has been going on in the back of my brain as I enjoy longer daylight hours, the melting (and, yes, refreezing) of accumulated snow and ice. Over the weekend, right on the tails of the Snow Moon in February, we were delighted with a snowfall that coated everything with an elegant layer of snow. I was lucky enough to already have a trip planned that became the highlight of the month for me. I traipsed around one of Minnesota’s state parks and filled my heart with the breathtaking landscapes temporarily transformed by the fresh snow. It lasted just an hour or so before the sun broke through the clouds and all melted into mud. But what a lovely vision of winter into spring I witnessed, and I am holding the memories close. At this point of so many transitions, what memories will stay with you? What stories will you tell each other in the coming years about this winter, and the coming spring we are all waiting to receive?