“Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”
– Brene’ Brown
I took on the identity of being a giver at a very young age. This way of being and behaving served me in many ways. I was the ‘good girl” growing up which gave me lots of accolades from my family. I started a selling career in my late teens and early twenties, pleasing clients catapulted me into a very lucrative and successful career. All of my secondary education is in the field of Social Work which also created great opportunities to give, serve and please my clients and my bosses.
How does this make you feel? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? It sure made me feel a bit “scratchy” when I first read it. You see, I am a pleaser, a doer and a fixer. I am a giver.
For those of you familiar with my Leadership work with the Leadership Circle, you understand the difference between reactive and creative behavior. Reactive is the unconscious, subjective way of being and behaving. We all have a preference in how we behave, primarily as a way to protect ourselves, our feelings and/or our Egos. We protect, avoid, try to control in order to feel loved, valued, seen, heard, or even safe. My reactive tendency is in the complying behavior of trying to please. Then, I rationalize my behavior with sayings things like “to give is to receive” and “to whom much is given – much as is expected” to rationalize my tendencies.
There is a saying that everything is neutral until you judge it. Judging something means using your values to evaluate something as good or bad. It is in the judgement that being a giver is better than being a receiver- or going deeper – that receiving is somehow equated with being selfish. This led to my early ideas about receiving and the manifestation of the unhealthy balance between my “need to please” and my ability or willingness to fully open myself to receiving. I thought I understood the energy of reciprocity. Yet somewhere along the way I feel I got stuck….literally in the giving and needing to please. I did not realized I truly did not know how to receive.
John Amodeo, PhD says, “We’re taught that loving means giving. If you love someone, you give all of yourself without wanting anything back. Sounds good, sounds noble. Relationships suffer when we’re so self-absorbed that we’re not available for others. But giving is half of what love requires from us.”
4 More Reasons Why Receiving Is Harder Than Giving
1. Receiving exposes our vulnerability.
2. We believe we should be independent.
3. We’re afraid of our longing for love and connection.
4. We suspect people’s motives.
Meditation and mindfulness practices that encourage us to notice and befriend our moment to moment felt experience, can allow an inner softening that positions us to receive more deeply. We may then notice rich opportunities to receive that we often ignore —delighting in nature’s beauty, a generous gesture, or a stranger’s smile.
Read more of this compelling article here http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/02/01/4-more-reasons-why-receiving-is-harder-than-giving/
In my daily mindfulness practice, I journal, meditate and read something uplifting as a way to start my day. A friend recently gifted me with a wonderful book that has been added to this morning ritual – Change Me Prayers by Tosha Silver.
One such pray is as follows:
“Change me Divine Beloved into One who can feel wildly open to receiving. Let me know my own value, beauty and worthiness without question. Let me allow others the supreme pleasure of giving to me. Let me feel worthy to receive in every possible way”
Life is presenting me some amazing opportunities to play bigger in the world. I know it is time for me to become more visible with my talents and my work. I know if you are reading this, there is a call out to you as well. We cannot do this alone. I cannot do it alone. We must move into a greater space of receptivity to accomplish that which is ours to do.
If you are ready to receive, really receive, please call me. I am ready to receive you too.