A friend once asked me, “So this Receiving thing… How do I even do that?”
I told him that asking the question is actually the first step! The first thing you need to do is open, and continue to open, to the possibility that you can receive… that you will receive. You need to know that it is a good thing to receive, since it completes the circle we create when we give. This is something I didn’t understand… Giving and receiving create a circle. When I refused to ask for help or let others take care of me, I was stopping the natural cycle of sharing. By being the only one who gave, I robbed other people of the opportunity to be in service to me! Eventually God said to me, “If you continue to refuse to receive, your ability to serve will begin to diminish.” Holy smokes, I better listen to that! I don’t know anything about the details of your life, so I don’t know what specific examples and opportunities you will have from which to receive, but it definitely starts with the willingness to allow good things to come to you. The ability to receive is, first and foremost, a mind-set.
For example: When I had the first photo shoot for my website I texted a few friends to ask for support. Asking for help is an act of willingness to receive. And it was scary for me! “What if I ask for uplifting support and none comes? Will I still be able to feel worthy?” Two of the friends I texted were easy, because we have been friends for a very long time. I know without a doubt that they love me, so even if one of them hadn’t responded, I would have been okay. The third friend I texted was the one that pushed me outside my comfort zone. It’s hard enough just to ask for help and it’s really scary when you’re not sure how your request will be received. But I also know that I need to be pushed outside my comfort zone sometimes, so I have learned to take this kind of risk and allow myself to feel vulnerable. It’s not always comfortable, but I always learn something.
As you continue to open to the possibility of receiving, look at the times you catch yourself resisting an opportunity to receive… or the times you completely miss the possibility that there was something there for you. Then look at the reasons you missed it… Where is your resistance? What is your self-talk around the possibility of receiving? When you do allow yourself to receive, what do you hear in your head about yourself and the experience? Is it an issue of self-worth? Do you hear self-talk that says, “I’m not worthy of having good things come to me.” Or “I don’t deserve this.” Or “I’m not good enough so nothing good will ever come to me.” These were the kinds of statements I heard in my head before I started opening to receiving.
Another one for me was, “If I don’t do wonderful things for other people all of the time, nobody will want to be with me.” An interesting thing about this statement is that there is some truth to it. I was really sad to see the people who went away when I stopped doing ALL the work in the relationship. But it’s better to know who is truly in your corner and it’s healthier to stop putting a lot of energy into fair-weather friends. Sometimes receiving is just a matter of stopping something that is wearing you out or sucking you dry… What a gift to yourself that is!
I know it feels like always giving to others comes from the High Self, because we are taught to give, give, give and never think of ourselves, but this can actually be mixed up thinking. We deserve to be cared for, just like everybody else does and much of that care needs to come to ourselves, from ourselves… From the inside, not from the outside. Otherwise, we wear out and become resentful.
In my deepest self-discovery about giving and receiving I learned that I needed to be needed. I couldn’t feel worthy without input from other people. I learned that I was not giving as an act of service or grace… I was giving because I needed to get. I had a lot of work to do around that. I still give a lot to other people, but the difference now is that I give from a different place… I give from a place of Self Love, not from a place that says, “I need you to love me, so I will take care of you and you can make me see that I’m good enough.” I’m learning to give from a place of abundance, instead of giving from a place of lack and need.
Another part that can be confusing is that receiving is not the same as taking. I know people who are great at taking! They take and take and take all the time. But they often feel empty as though nobody ever gives them anything good. This is because they have not yet learned to receive! They take out of desperation and never open their hearts to allow themselves the opportunity to feel the joy and grace of truly receiving. Again, it’s a mind-set. It’s all about the intention and the energy of the experience. When we give and receive with love and feel the blessing of the experience, we are experiencing and sharing God-given abundance. As you will hear me say all the time, it’s all about Self Love!
I think of it this way… Jesus said the most important thing is… “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” Religion often forgets about the last 2 words of that statement, “as yourself.” Jesus knew we needed Self Love before we could love others and this is what he taught. The truth is, you can’t give what you don’t have! (Right?) So if we don’t have love for ourselves first, we don’t have love to give away. Once we learn to love ourselves, we actually have way more love to give into the world. In this way, practicing Self Love is the greatest gift you can give to the world!
Please try this at home!
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