The Magic of Receiving 'Everything'

Dec 26, 2021
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Shannon Conway
The Magic of Receiving 'Everything'

One of my teachers says, “Receive everything.” 

This is a challenge at first, but then it’s a beautiful surrender. 


When I was first learning the concept I remember asking her about something I was working on. “I don’t want it to fail,” I said. 

“It might,” she said. “And you need to receive that.” 

It did. And I was completely okay. 


For the first time in my adult life I did not buy any Christmas presents this year. 

I didn’t make a list, I didn’t stuff stockings. I received that I didn’t want to do it, and I trusted it would be  okay. 

Rumi says, ‘Close the language door, open the love window.’

Maybe it’s the love language window? Bear with me here. 

My favorite love language is Acts of Service. I love to give, and to receive in it.  I feel creative in it. And, I’ve been living it pretty intensely since July. Lots of giving, lots of receiving. 

Physical touch. Hugging my daughter on Tuesday– that day was heavy for her. Her warm tiny frame soothed by mine.

Words of affirmation. These are easy, and flow like water. Like a supplement every day. Gratitude, support, humor, sweetness. Steady fuel. 

Quality Time. Actual time face to face with people, or even just extended time on the phone. I’ll never take it for granted after all these restrictions. 


Personalized expressions of understanding, generosity, appreciation. 

I knew I could knock it out of the park if I rallied for Christmas (I’m particularly good at stockings), so what was up? I received my resistance to it, and I just let it be. 


Rather than pushing myself to do something that felt not good, I was honest.  I told my family what I was feeling. I pour love on my family every day. We are super steady together. They responded with what they were needing. I felt my ‘acts of service’ energy come in to orchestrate the right responses. It was a Christmas miracle. What I wanted matched what everyone else wanted too. 

And it felt ‘traditional’ in that the tradition we treasure is calm connection that supports everyone’s individual needs. We had some chaotic holidays when my girls were growing up. It’s a single parent thing. Rushed exchanges, incomplete experiences. 

Calm connection that supports everyone’s needs includes me, and my needs. One of my daughters said, Mom, I’m going to handle this. You always do everything. And she felt really good about it. People made choices to be with different people, to eat crab and oysters, or go hike in the woods. All of this honoring our tradition of calm connection that supports everyone’s needs. 


Love languages are about learning a different alphabet–one that’s not built from letters. 

Here’s the full poem from the line above: 

At night, I open the window

and ask the moon to come and press its face against mine


breathe into me


Close the language door, and open the love window. 

The moon won’t open the door, only the window. 


I hope your holidays are feeling full of ALL your favorite love languages delivered in just the ways that nourish you.

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