Last Sunday morning I woke up and donated to Feeding Texas, a relief effort for the cold weather emergencies in Texas. Yikes, what an awful and messed-up situation those folks have been going through on top of an already stressful time. On a basic human level, I believe no one should experience hunger, which is why I chose Feeding Texas. My heart opened a bit as I pressed the Send button. Helping felt good and right, and that felt expansive and alive.

I was a little surprised by my internal response of aliveness and joy at this small act. It was a personally lovely moment in the aftermath of a few weeks of heightened internal chaos that started with a raised temperature, feeling ill, and waiting for COVID tests (negative, thankfully). I had amazing support through all that, and my reaction to doing my little piece to help Texas got me to thinking.

It comes easily for me to be the supporter. I do it without judgment and with true caring and acceptance, but I’m clunky with accepting support. I have learned over time and with some serious self-work what a gift it is to actually be supported. Some of you will remember when I broke my ankle seven years ago. Wow did I need help then, and it wasn’t easy coming to terms with that fact. You see, I’m fiercely independent, and being vulnerable makes me feel, well, vulnerable. My image of myself is strong and tough. Truth be told, I am those things, but there are times when that’s just a bunch of hoo-ha, self-bravado, all in the effort to avoid needing help. I have been working on noticing that avoidance and allowing myself to receive. I’m pretty certain there’s more to unfold on this topic in my life.

Everyone’s increased awareness of our interconnectedness is understandably heightened in these unsettling times, which brings forth great opportunity to explore our relationship to both giving and receiving.

That is my story, and now I’d love to hear yours – where you are now in your relationship with giving and receiving and how it has changed over time. What lessons have you learned that could be valuable to others? Sharing our stories is truly a gift.

While it’s been a couple of weeks, the need from the weather-related emergencies is certainly still considerable. If you feel moved, it’s easy to find ways to help Texas and the other affected areas recover.

Mary Anne Wampler