Community//

Are You Willing To Receive?

If you wonder what the least is that you can expect, you're asking the wrong question.

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(c) Gerd Altmann
(c) Gerd Altmann

Most of us are primarily concerned with the question: what can I get?

That question is futile. You can have it all. The real question is: what are you willing to receive?

When I ask people that question I usually get some funny looks. “Why, of course, I’m happy to receive. After all, I’m asking for it! Who wouldn’t want to receive a check over $500,000 or a whole pack of orange-flavored chocolate?”

Think again. How do you react when someone praises your work? Do you take it in with a smile, say thank you and enjoy the message? Or do you brush it off with a shy: “Ah, that’s nothing.” Do you have a habit of receiving a gift with a “Oh, but you shouldn’t have…” Have you ever felt uncomfortable when the Jones’s invited you the second time over? Are you offended when your date proposes to take the bill (“I’m emancipated!”)? Do you have a hard time charging for your art, your product or services?

Then, my friend, I welcome you to the club of faulty receivers. If you cannot receive little, then what in the world makes you think you can receive a lot? As in A LOT!

As long as you believe you are not worthy to receive and that every time you receive you go into debt, you will forever remain stuck in the loop of wanting and rejecting. When you receive and it seems like it’s never enough, it’s because you actually never received to begin with. You reject every gift as not enough. You fear receiving anything less than the ‘perfect’  gift that will forever fill your void, because you believe that you are indebted. When the Jones’s invite you over for dinner you make sure you return the invitation and serve more dishes and more deserts. When your partner gives you a silver necklace for your birthday, you make sure you get them a gold watch in return. When the neighbor praises your beautiful roses you insist that his tulips are even more spectacular.

Listen: you are not receiving! You are engaging in a frantic race to remain debt-free. And I hear you, because the bigger part of my life my motto was “I don’t owe anything to anyone.” That, I thought, was my freedom. Except it wasn’t. It made me scare away from every act of kindness, every support, every gift that came my way.

If you want to change your life and stop being frustrated about ‘not getting’ what you want do this: Look inside at your capacity to receive. Observe how you react to any kindness that comes your way and notice how that makes you feel. Do you feel happy and grateful or do you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, indebted or even guilty? Maybe you feel both. It doesn’t matter. As long as the discomfort and feeling of debt arises, you have work to do.

Make it a habit to receive without objection or resistance. Allow the other person to feel your genuine gratitude and joy. Let them know that you welcome their gift, that you are willing to receive it and appreciate their intention to share the love. Even if you do not like orange-flavored chocolate.

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