Learning to Receive

Road to Wellness

Many of us were taught early on to be givers. We learned that "it's better to give than receive." Give to charity,give of yourself "without measure," give it your all, give it your best shot and so on. Give selflessly, and ask nothing in return. We know that giving is a "good thing," and that's what we should do.

It's just that in concentrating so hard on giving some of us have never learned how to receive. Graciously, deservedly, willingly or guiltlessly. That it's absolutely OK and even necessary to be able to receive. We feel uncomfortable if given a gift "for no reason." We feel badly if someone gives us something or does something for us and we can't reciprocate in kind. We feel the need to keep score. Why is this?

Probably, somewhere in our past we heard that we didn't deserve. Or that we didn't need it. Or that it was too much to ask for. Perhaps we feel guilt or unworthiness. Sometimes it comes down to a core belief that we hold, either consciously or unconsciously. We don't allow ourselves to feel joy in receiving, because it's selfish or some other false self-talk.

It is worthwhile to ask yourself how you feel about receiving or to listen to your reaction when you are given something, however small. Remember, there must be a balance. Giving and receiving are really each part of the same whole. There really is no such thing as selfless giving, because the giver always "receives" something from committing this act: thanks, affection, gratitude, a good feeling, etc. If you allow yourself to receive, you're automatically allowing someone to give, thereby completing the action.

The next time you're fortunate enough to be the recipient of a gift, an award, a compliment, etc., just allow yourself to accept it graciously without any reservations. Remember that it's all part of the plan, and you deserve it!

CONTACT JANET BERG via her Web site, janetberg.com

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