A friend once said to me, “I take the joy and opportunity for someone to do good away from them because I never accept anything.” What she was referring to was the fact that I would always cover the bill when we went for lunch or dinner (she’s not a morning person so it was never breakfast) and I’d never let her pay.
I was a little taken aback. What do you mean “I take something away from people?!” I thought I was being good and spoiling my friends and…oh she was right. That happy feeling I enjoy when I’ve helped someone or made a kind gesture is not felt by others because I don’t allow them the opportunity. A simple gesture like accepting help from my cousin to pay me half for a gift we agreed to buy for someone else required a conscious acceptance. Allowing my friend to spoil me with a spontaneous coffee and chat was a conscious acceptance. Allowing my friend to buy me a gift while overseas was a conscious acceptance. Accepting help from my other people’s suggestions makes me feel silly. I remember very few moments where I’ve readily accepted a kind gesture without panicking first or feeling incredibly uncomfortable.
But what we must not forget is that it’s not just that we are taking something away from someone when we do not accept help or a kind gesture but we are also taking something away from ourselves. Why can I not say “thank you” and revel in that “ooohhh I’m so spoilt and I love it” feeling? Or accept help without feeling incompetent?
Is it because a part of me feels like I do not deserve it? Yes.
When I am being real and honest with myself, I do feel like I am not worthy of other’s praise or attention or love.
What we do not acknowledge is that we cannot possibly allow someone else to feel joy if we do not feel it ourselves.
We need to know that we are worthy. And if we cannot believe this ourselves then a good starting point is to believe the people around us who are always trying to make us feel special. Because they clearly see something we ourselves cannot see or feel. If we allow ourselves to start small and accept that simple coffee bought or those kind words complimenting us or those sentences of hope and motivation then we’ll slowly see that we are worthy. Worthy of other people’s joy; attention and most importantly love.
We are all deserving of these good moments and joys because none of us are perfect and we are learning all the time. Who are we to tell someone that they are wrong in seeing the specialness in us? Who are we to tell others they are wrong about us when we’ve obviously had some sort of positive impact in their lives? So much of a positive impact that they want to return the favour by believing in us, spoiling us, praising us? And they are worthy to have the opportunity to feel happy by spoiling us.
Whether you’re the one receiving a gift or the one giving the gift, neither should be rejected. Neither should be doubted. Neither should make us feel unworthy. Because we are all worthy. Always.