I’ve been very fortunate this past week to have a number of beautiful people touch my life in some magical way. It could be a chat over a cuppa, some encouraging words, time out together or much bigger, life changing interactions. I have felt very loved indeed.In many of these instances I have been driven to return the favour in some form. The social influence of reciprocity has been hard at work! It’s a very powerful force in many of us, so powerful in fact that Cadbury decided to make a TV ad about it. How could you go to a party empty handed?

Why is it so difficult to accept a compliment from another person and simply say thank you? Too often I’ve seen people deflect a compliment with denial, downgrade the statement or just generally seem  embarrased. Why? It’s an interesting phenomenon to observe. Perhaps it’s years of cultural influence that says being humble is the Aussie way, or perhaps it’s because we actually feel we’re not deserving of the praise in the first place.

The same is true when it comes to others giving us gifts. Have you ever caught yourself making a mental note of who shouted the last coffee when you meet up with a friend just so you can be sure to pay for the next round? Do you ever go to a dinner party empty handed? Have you ever accepted a Christmas gift without planning to give one back to that person also? Our values around “good manners” may, in part, drive our need to reciprocate, but is that the total picture?

What happens when we don't give back?

For me, this beautiful week of connecting with others has been almost overwhelming. The universe has conspired to bring all these lovely people into my life in abundance, and for a fleeting moment I felt myself wonder if I was worthy of such love and attention.

And then I caught myself in the nick of time.

Yes, I am worthy. I know I am connected to all these fabulous people, and I am confident that the energy they share with me will travel full circle back to them in the right time. In some way, if I overthink it and try to give back too soon, it almost negates the beautiful way they have touched my life. We all know that it feels so much better to give than receive. If my friends want to give to me, it’s equally nice just to let them do it, without lessening the experience by feeling the need to give something back in return. Sometimes the giving is in the receiving. I’m learning that, and boy, it’s an enjoyable lesson.

Regular visitors may notice that one of the badges to the right of this post has changed.

AWC compSome of you know that when I created my author facebook page, it took me a long time before I decided to “like” myself. I was so grateful (and still am) for all the people who pop by but doing it for myself felt strange and outside my comfort zone. This AWC Best Blog competition is the same but nowadays I’m up for the challenge. Would you mind taking a moment to vote for “Failing with Fortitude”?  The blog is listed under this title, and not my personal name. Thank you.

If you feel comfortable, could you share this post on your facebook page (just click the FB  share button below) in case others might feel inclined to vote for my blog? I understand if you prefer not to…I appreciate the time you give to be here reading anyway! I’m very grateful to all the people who lend an ear (or rather eyes!) to my words – thank you for your support in all its forms xx