Two years ago, as I was backing out of my parents’ driveway in Washington, I was introduced to one of their friends. With three tired children in the car and a ferry boat to catch, the conversation was brief and bright. Little did I know that was the beginning of the story of one of the most powerful gifts I would ever receive.
Debra, a friend of my parents, became a blog subscriber as our travels commenced. Over the many months and journeys, she shared her support and communicated generously when something we had experienced inspired her to look at things differently. Just last month, Debra discovered my mother was coming to Italy to visit us and she wanted to send a gift for me. Debra is a CAbi Stylist and Wardrobe Consultant and she knew, through reading the blog, that I have been dressing out of one carry-on bag for almost two years. She sent me the most beautiful clothes I have ever seen, but the true gift was that she taught me the importance of receiving such gifts with grace.
My first response to her gift was that I don’t deserve such generosity. How can I repay this gesture? What should I do to thank her properly? Through time and communication, she taught me that gifts are not about rewarding the deserving or feeling indebted, they are about the act of giving. The act of giving is not possible without a receiver. In my life up to this point, I loved the excitement of giving but felt burdened when it was time to receive. Slowly as I started to believe in my ability to receive such a gift, the clothes became a part of my life.
Each time I get dressed:
- I practice receiving versus providing.
- I practice allowing versus repaying.
- I practice celebrating versus reciprocating.
- I practice desire versus need.
My intense focus on being the giver while resisting the gifts was not selfless at all. I now know the giver does not exist without the receiver and together the world becomes exponentially more gracious.
Debra made it very clear that this gift was not a promotion for CAbi but, as you can see from the story, I can’t help but promote something that so clearly changed me. Here is a link to Debra’s website.