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The Gift of Receiving

My comfort zone is giving to others. I love sending a “thinking of you” text, offering a small kindness, organizing work parties, or making meals for my family. Putting others first is my default and I have been doing it for years.

I feel guilty and uncomfortable when others want to give to me. I don’t want to put someone out or have them go out of their way for me. I don’t want to be an annoyance or burden. Yet, when I give to others, I don’t feel that way. I feel good. I feel happy when I can ease someone’s way or let them know they are important. Why do I have this double standard?

Why is receiving so difficult? Is it that culturally we are taught to be kind and giving? Or perhaps the traditional female role is to be unassuming, supportive, and in the background? Perhaps the religious idea that ‘It is better to give than receive’ has been modeled in our culture as an ideal to aspire to. Maybe receiving implies that I am vulnerable or that I need help which challenges my history of being independent and capable of doing it all myself.

What if I think of myself the way I hope others feel when I give to them - appreciative of the effort made towards me, happy that one thing has been taken off my plate, and supported? If I can make this shift and change my perspective, I will likely feel gratitude and joy. In turn, that receiving may give a gift back to the giver and create a flow of giving and receiving that is more natural, common, and balanced. Who wouldn’t want that? This is my challenge.

Perhaps you are a great receiver of gifts or have created the optimal balance between giving and receiving. Share how that balance works for you. Or share your strategies, tips and tricks to let the gifts in as much as you give to others.

We are all in this together.

Until next time,


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