Opening to Receive

Many of us are good at giving. Receiving is another matter. While we give all we can, we seldom ask for what we need, accept help or admit that we could use it.

We brush off compliments, (“Oh, this old thing? I got it on sale!”) explain away our good choices (“It was nothing, really!. I just threw some stuff together.”) or give away the credit, (“My putting together the project wasn’t all that much, it was really Joan, she did all the scheduling!”) Add to that the ignoring other’s advice while giving away plenty of our own and then there is the deadly: “I don’t mind, I love to help!”

Not being able to receive, there’s a limited amount we can give. ‘You can’t pour from an empty pitcher.’ Sooner or later, good givers who are bad receivers either become sick or unholy martyrs.

“I don’t understand why nobody but me does anything around here!”
“Am I the only one that cares?”
“What about me, when is it my turn???”

We begin to think we’re victimized, overworked and unappreciated. And we’re right. It’s only that we think the world is doing it to us when we’re really doing it ourselves.

Here’s some ideas if you’d like to move in the direction of balancing your life:
” Accept help graciously. No, they don’t load the dishwasher the way you do – let it be! You may learn something!
” LISTEN to other’s advice and consider it
” Take a deep breath and allow yourself to feel a compliment.
” When your brain chatter starts with “yes, but…” turn off the volume
” Respond only with “thank you.”
” Say “no” when you don’t want to do something (I tell my clients if you can’t say “no” learn to say “I’ll get back to you.” This gives you time to choose!

As I continue to give up unholy martyr status I realize at deeper and deeper levels the joys of being a giver and a receiver, the joy of being in the continual flow of life rather than a dam that holds back the waters of life, the beauty of allowing others to contribute to my life as we truly share rather than take on roles. It would be fun to receive your feedback here or by email. When you share your responses on the blog others get to enjoy them and respond too.

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