I am fortunate to be blessed with a large extended family, and we are all grateful to have each other in our lives.
When I was 16, I was visiting the East coast for a wedding and family gathering. One afternoon several of us were strolling through an antique mall. I was walking with my aunt whom I didn’t know very well, since the last time I saw her I was only 6. The single memory I had of her was at Disneyland, and she had snapped at me because I started running across a small side street (off of Main Street) to meet up with my mom. My scope of vision at that time was only in front of me. I didn’t think about looking peripherally or both ways. She left the next day.
The embedded imprint of her shout remained within that 6-year-old little girl…She never knew the impression she left.
Moving forward 10 years, I wasn’t fully comfortable around my aunt although I knew she was still a nice person. As we wandered around, I stopped in front of a China shop looking through the window. I made a comment about a small Wedgewood vase which I had never seen before; I thought it was lovely.
Without hesitation my aunt said, “I’m buying it for you for your birthday.”
I immediately said, “NO!!!” How could I allow someone I hardly knew, let alone someone I still had an ‘issue’ with, buy me something?
My aunt responded by saying that I was being selfish.
What??? How could I be selfish when I’m telling her not to buy me something?
She then proceeded to say that I was denying her the pleasure and opportunity to give me a gift.
In that moment she was able to open my eyes to see with a broader perspective, from her point-of-view and not just see it from my perspective, what was in front of me.
It was then that I realized that I was able to give by receiving. Thank you for the beautiful lesson, Aunt Dorothy!
To Your Success,
Peak Performance Coach