To Give AND To Receive!
Much has been said about allowing ourselves to receive (which is just as important as giving), but how many of us really know how to do it? I would count myself among those who – rather unwittingly – seem to resonate with the old adage “it is better to give than to receive.”
I’ve always considered myself a giving person. Giving of my time, energy, compassion, laughter, and yes, some of the more material things in life too (my present wrapping skills are top notch!). I’m a natural giver. It comes to me very easily. I do what I do because I want to, and because I know it makes a difference in people’s lives. I like making people feel special, and I’ve been told I have a particular talent for it.
However, receiving is another story!
Oh, I know that you can’t have giving without receiving. I also know that someone else has always been on the receiving end of my giving. Becoming the receiver myself has always been difficult. It’s not that I’m not appreciative. I am! Deeply and truly appreciative. However, on some level, a part of me seems to wonder if I really deserve it. I wonder if you feel the same way?
Of course, it’s easier with the smaller things. You made cookies for me? Thank you, that was very nice. I need a ride to work while my car is in the shop? Your kindness is so appreciated. And when I needed to shoulder to cry on, you were the very support I needed. But as soon as a certain threshold is reached, that little voice inside my head pipes up and says that it is too much. Too much money spent, too much of an imposition for you, too much of yourself shared with me. “Who am I,” the voice proclaims, “to deserve so much?” This often stops me in my tracks and causes me to feel hesitant, insecure, and even bad about being on the receiving end of such a lovely gift. Why do I not feel worthy enough to receive such a large expression of kindness? From being on the giving end, I can tell you that I enjoy making people feel special and doing things to let them know I care. I certainly feel as though they are worthy of my gifts. Why then, would the same not be true for me?
Clearly, this is something for me to explore in more depth. In the meantime, I am going to work on receiving with gratitude instead of meeting it with insecurity. In fact, this may be the only New Year’s resolution I set this year! If you find that you also have difficulty receiving, I invite you to join me. We’ll soon find that is better to both give AND to receive!