How To Be Gracious

14 May

One of my colleagues at work this week tried to buy me a coffee.

I refused.

“No, no!” I waved away her money. “It’s fine!”
“Let me,” she said, pressing it into my hand. “I’d like to say thank you.”

Is this you?

Her graciousness made me stop and consider how I am about receiving.

I have an idea about the balance of things – I want to be a motivator in the world, a brightener, an energy source. I love to make a big deal out of people’s birthdays and celebrations. Give thoughtful gifts. Remember details. I want things to be lovely for people, especially the people I love, and I go to great lengths to make it so.

 I admit, it gives me the warm fuzzies to give the perfect gift or make a special meal or remember an important date.
But insidiously, underneath that, I think there’s a stubborn independence. That I don’t want anyone to say that I owe them anything.

Gracious honeycombI’ll also admit that I long for friends to display to kind of attention to detail that I do for them. To send me thoughtful emails or call on birthdays. And who doesn’t love a gorgeous gift from someone who has taken the time to work out what would really float your boat?

But my waving away a coffee, or an offer of help or to pay for dinner – that’s me ALL THE TIME. I see that I don’t even allow the small lovely gestures that are offered to me – and that it’s not nice. For me, OR for the person who is offering.

That in being so fiercely independent and equal, I’m denying other people the opportunity to do the very thing that I love: enjoy someone’s beaming gratitude.

I love how Alexander McCall Smith puts it in Love Over Scotland:

“Gracious acceptance is an art – an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving…Accepting another person’s gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.” 

So. Who wants to buy me a coffee?

I'm ready to receive! Ok, Im working on it. Let's start with coffee and go from there...

I’m ready to receive!
Ok, Im working on it. Let’s start with coffee and go from there…

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3 Responses to “How To Be Gracious”

  1. Grace Hollier May 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    Megan, continue to be the beautiful person that you are. You are like a shining light!
    Love Grace

    • misscorellian May 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

      Thank you so much! Sending you loads of love right back xxx

  2. Pete (@pc0) June 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Reblogged this on AnyDex and commented:
    So true…

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