“Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart…” – Brené Brown
Throughout my life, I have always been more comfortable with giving than receiving. Sound familiar? Giving is easy. You don’t have to look at any of your issues; fear of intimacy, lack of self love, feeling unworthy, etc. I used to be so afraid of receiving that I pissed people off, and ruined relationships because of it. The bottom line was that I was unable to receive because I did not feel worthy. I built walls against receiving the gifts life offered because I lacked self love.
Receiving requires you to be vulnerable and openhearted. You can’t control it, only allow it. It can make you look at your stuff, transparently. When you receive a compliment, how does it make you feel? Do you immediately say thank you, or do you belittle yourself and make excuses for why you do not deserve it?
A lifetime of work on this issue and I finally understand why receiving well is a vital part of life. In fact, giving and receiving are part of the same animal; to give is to receive, to receive is to give. There is a constant energetic exchange taking place. At this very moment, you are in receivership of something you have given.
This is what I discovered in the process of working on my blocks to receiving: life works like a boomerang.
All that we send out returns, in one form or another. I try to be conscious of this fundamental principle in my daily life. What did I sent out today? Giving is not just about the physical act of giving, it’s energetic, as all is energy. Did you smile at someone today who needed it? Did you offer your place in grocery line to someone? What was the energy you put out? You can give by unconditional service, and by offering your authentic presence.
Giving without attachment is the purest form of giving
Kabbalah teaches that there are four ways to interact with the universal force of life, that work via either giving or receiving. The world “kabbalah” comes from the Hebrew root word l’kabel, which means “to receive.” In the Jewish culture, it is encouraged to regularly give away 10% your earnings. This is called tithing. But giving is not about calculating percentages, it’s about the flow. Giving something on a regular basis keeps the universal flow of giving and receiving in motion.
“For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis of Assisi
Buddhist monks who live in monasteries exist on alms and donations. In exchange, their offer selfless service to the community. A crucial part of their training is to give and receive. For many, the graceful receiving part is still a much harder practice, whether you are Buddhist or not.
How Well Can You Receive?
When you receive something from a place of sound self love and worth you are also giving something at the same time. The giver receives your love and appreciation, and feels a sense of reward and validation in your connection.
When giving and receiving come from the heart, it forms a sacred bond between the giver and receiver. Both feel valued, loved and respected. This is the true gift.