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Giving and Receiving – Starting Over, 01-26-05

by LauraBelle

Giving and receiving is such a multi-faceted topic to broach. It’s one we drill into our children’s morals, such as,”It’s better to give than to receive.” Yet, even as adults there are still more facets to it that we need to learn. Once we realize giving and receiving isn’t just with material things, but also thoughts, ideas and emotions, it changes all of our pre-conceived notions.

Renee starts her day calling her friend, Neely, to let her know she is donating her time at Pet Orphans this day in dedication to animal-lover Neely because of realizing she had wronged Neely in their friendship. Renee shares with her that the trouble was all centered around Jamie and the time Neely spent with him. Perhaps this information was shared on an earlier show, and I just don’t remember, but I do wish we were enlightened as to just who Jamie was in the midst of the friendship.

As Renee is on her way to Pet Orphans, Iyanla shares with the camera audience that this shold be interesting, as the the taks she will do there is anything but glamorous. None of th hard labor chores seem to bother Renee, however, as she makes her way through cleaning the cat cages with nary a problem. The cats watch her seemingly intrigued as to what Renee’s story is and what brought her there.

Rhonda opens a Group discussion about giving and receiving by giving each woman a small gift. And I mean s-m-a-l-l. She wants to see how the women will react getting the very different gifts. Renee receives a small votive candle while Cassie receives a bracelet with the words, “Live the Life You’re So Intended.” Candy receives a makeup sponge and Bethany receives children’s hair ties. Denise gets a staple remover and Renee an apple, which she bites into right away.

All the women seem to enjoy their gifts, and especially noting why each woman got which item, such as Denise knows the staple remover is because she’s trying to become organized. Rhonda asks how everyone feels when they give a gift and it’s not liked, and Renee says powerless, misunderstood and sad. Rachael opens up and says her first Christmas after her parents died, she received the most presents, and it made her feel angry, as she knew it was because they felt sorry for her. Rhonda asks what she would have wanted more than the gifts, and she says a hug and and her parents. Everyone realizes then that the emotional gift is better than the material gift.

Renee takes this opportunity to open up to Renee and says she is going to tell her something she has wanted to say since her first day in the house. She doesn’t think Renee gives a damn about her story, feeling she lacks compassion, and that she is too self-absorbed. Renee simply replies that she appreciates Rachael telling her this. The other women echo Rachael’s sentiment, noting Renee’s all-too-often blank stare, yet they also reiterate they don’t want her to beat herself up. Rhonda winds it up saying Everyone needs to be responsible for how they come across to others.

Dr. Stan meets with Denise and wants to see how she is doing with her new schedule. She feels good about it, noticing a sense of accomplishment. She says even when she goes off the schedule a little, it’s a reminder she needs to get back to task. Dr. Stan asks if there’s a risk or danger if she goes off the schedule. Denise says if she doesn’t get things done, she would feel like giving up. She hasn’t made time for intellectual time, and Dr. Stan asks why. Denise blames it on her undiagnosed ADD. Dr. Stan encourages her that if she forces herself to do it more, she will develop more attention and interest and will eventually enjoy it.

Rhonda wants to meet with Cassie before they go see the private investigator just to be sure she is ready for any information she gets. She assures Rhonda she is ready. Once at the P.I.’s office, he tells them he has the phone number and address, and that it has been confirmed. He has found the adoptive mother and she is residing with Cassie’s birth son, and has since been remarried again. Cassie believes this is now the third or fourth marriage. The P.I. says he operates under integrity, and will share the information with Rhonda as intermediary, but not Cassie herself, since he doesn’t know her or her true intentions.

Rachael and Renee enter into their “fierce conversation” under Iyanla’s guidance. Rachael says she wants to open up, and would if she felt more compassion, and not be met with Renee’s blank stare. She is extremely honest, and admits to putting judgments on her from the get-go. She hates the fact that she has had thoughts that she was better than Renee, and she realizes it is out of the knowledge that Renee doesn’t respect her parents, and the notion that having parents is the thing Rachael would like most. In other words, she feels Renee has been given a gift of having parents, and doesn’t feel she is accepting the gift well, and knows if Renee ever lost her parents, she should would feel as badly as Rachael has, and doesn’t want her to hate herself. Renee understands more now, and Iyanla commends them for getting to the heart of it, making them realize they are mirroring each other.

Rachael moves on to a meeting with Dr. Stan, and he wants to reconstruct her feelings surrounding her mother’s death. She tells him her mother said she was sick and that she would be okay. Dr. Stan wants to move on to Rachael’s aunt, he wants to know why she was sent to foster parents, then a boarding school. Rachael says she was too nasty of a girl. He asks if she was nasty before her parents died, and she believes she was. He suggests perhaps she was only nasty after the rejection of her aunt, and tells her to stop making excuses for the people in her life that have wronged her. He encourages her to realize she isn’t hurting them if she shares the pain she felt when they rejected her.

Not being able to move past the fears that Dr. Stan just placed in her, Rachael calls Iyanla to basically complain about the conversation. Iyanla explains if she didn’t have the knowledge her aunt wnated her, she would have been frightened and alone, so she has needed to believe all this time that she was a bad person to give a reason for her to be unwanted. But regardless, she was alone. Her aunt’s behavior was not appropriate, but it was her best. Yet, it still wounded Rachael. Encouraging Rachael to stop the witch hunt for Dr. Stan, noting she’s glad it’s him this week and not her.

Looking at it unmaterialistically, the topic of giving and receiving works into all of these women’s lives. Rachael was never given the gift of a loving household after her parents’ death, and in turn, has a hard time giving herself to anyone else. Renee thinks she is giving, but doesn’t realize that she also does not do it unconditionally. Denise is always willing to give everyone the gift of laughter, but she isn’t always willing to receive gifts from herself or others. Cassie gave her son the gift of having a better life being raised by people more grounded than she, and she would simply like a small gift back of knowing the fine person he has become.

I welcome all questions and comments at LauraBelle@reailtyshack.com.

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