Jennifer Merlich was the beneficiary of a radical, anonymous gift. The fact that it was anonymous helped her to internalize the impact of the gift and move into leading a more generous life style herself. “I was recently the recipient of an incredible act of anonymous kindness. It came from out of nowhere, at exactly the right time. The magnitude of the gift moved me to tears, and I was so grateful and profoundly moved by the generosity
of my unknown benefactor. But I was also sure there had been a mistake. In the midst of this beautiful act, I am ashamed to admit that I was momentarily overcome by feelings of unworthiness. I simply couldn’t believe I was deserving of such radical kindness. Had I been face to face with my benefactor, I would have given them 100 reasons why they “shouldn’t have”, attempting to convince them that they were wrong about me—that their generosity was misdirected. Fortunately, I quickly realized that to focus on my feelings of unworthiness would be to dishonor the gift and the beautiful spirit in which it was so lovingly given.
“And I think that’s the beauty of an anonymous gift. It gave me the time and the space I needed to process the feelings it stirred up inside of me. I was able to sit with the discomfort of unworthiness and ultimately see it for what it is— a lie—something I came to believe long ago, that no longer serves me. Now, it is nothing more than a habit. It is a “go-to” response that I can either choose to feed in the moment, or not. This revelation was a gift within the gift. As I was unable to speak to my anonymous benefactor and enumerate the ways in which I did not deserve the kindness they showed to me, the only way I could honor them was to suck it up in all its beautiful glory and put my faith in THEIR belief that I was, in fact, worthy.