Compliments and kind gestures are gifts. How well do you give and receive?

Tamra MerciecaBlogs, Mental HealthLeave a Comment

I begin this blog with asking you: How well do you receive?


Because many people I’ve come across over the years have at some point in their lives had trouble receiving – me included.

First thing we need to understand though is that receiving – whether it be receiving a present, a kind gesture, a compliment or sensual touch – is a gift.

And to accept the gift and feel the truth of that gift is to truly receive.

For me personally, I’ve grew up believing that in order to receive I had to give something back, much like a barter system.

Someone gave me a present, I gave them a hug.

Someone gave me money I gave them a therapy session. My partner touched me sexually I returned the favour.

And so it went on.

Yet while I had this barter system going on – this need to give back – I was not receiving whole-heartedly.

I was too busy in my head thinking about how I could repay the favour or how I felt indebted to that person.

Not once did I allow myself to sink into the pleasure of the gift I was being given.

Of course it’s lovely to give, and I encourage this completely, but if your motivation to give comes from a place of needing to return the favour, as opposed to simply wanting to give for no reason, then you have some gunky stuff that needs looking at.

What is that gunky stuff that makes it so hard to receive yet so easy to give?

Generally it has a lot to do with what we associated with receiving as we were growing up.

Our childhood conditioning is largely responsible whether we find giving or receiving easier.

It’s what programmed as to act and behave as we do today.

Consciously we may think we want to receive pleasure, gifts, kind gestures and the like.

But unconsciously we may not believe we deserve to receive those things.

We may have a little negative mind chatter telling us we’re worth-less or not enough.

And so to receive goes against what we believe to be true about ourself.

Let these beliefs and fears go on and they create a wall so impenetrable, that no matter how much people give to you, it simply won’t translate.

Receiving can be so vulnerable because it contradicts all the self-doubt and insecurities we have.

What you want to realise is that in order to give you need to receive.

It’s part of the natural flow of life.

There’s a directional flow that only goes one way from the giver to the receiver.

You can only do one of those at a time.

You cannot give and receive in unison, and if you think you can, I ask you to really explore whether you are in fact receiving, or simply perceiving yourself to be.

Receiving and giving are two different needs we all have – two needs that must be present in every relationship.

Neither can replace the other.

There is a time to give and a time to receive.

So this week give for no reason, and when someone gives to you, receive with all your heart, knowing that to receive is to give yourself permission to feel love, pleasure and all those other warm and fuzzy feelings we deserve to experience in this lifetime.

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