–by Lynn Jericho (Dec 23, 2011)
Gratitude is not reciprocity. Gratitude, beautiful, kind, sincere, is not a marriage and does not express the elements of intimacy. It is a warm response to a gift.
I offer a course on Intimacy every Spring. As I was preparing for the course several years ago, I did a google search on the topic. The first article on intimacy mentions four elements necessary for intimacy: vulnerability, transparency, reciprocity and dialogue. All four of these arise out of reverence for differences and the uniqueness of both self and other.
I invite vulnerability by being vulnerable. I invite transparency by being transparent. I engage in dialogue out of a deep love and celebration of differences. Reciprocity, what can I say about reciprocity?
Reciprocity is not ‘tit for tat.’ That is boring and creates nothing new, living or loving.
The giving heart gives. The receiving heart receives. Don’t try to be both at the same time.
“Human life runs its course in the metamorphosis between receiving and giving.” —Goethe
Reciprocity is more than conscious exchange or giving back in kind as gifts of initimacy cannot be mirrored. It is more than thankfulness, as the original gift was given in absolute generosity and the only thanks adequate to the gift is the receiving.
Yet, the receiving heart longs to give back and overflows with thankfulness. There is a place of gratitude in the receiving heart. But there is also a mysterious space at the center of the receiving heart where what has been received turns inside out.
The receiving heart metamorphoses into the giving heart while the giving heart gently transforms into the receiving heart.
The metamorphosis is reciprocity. Who receives becomes who gives. Who gives becomes who receives.
There is the stillness point in the metamorphosis between receiving and giving. The inner solstice of the heart when giving and receiving become one.
— Lynn Jericho in “An Inner Solstice 2011”