Giving and Receiving

By Jill Garaffa

We are taught as little children “it is better to give than receive”. If you really think about this, while this is a great concept in theory, it is a mathematical impossibility. If everyone is giving, then who is receiving? In order for this to work, someone has to be receiving and it might as well be you. We may mistakenly believe that “giving is good and receiving is bad.”

If we don’t learn to receive there can be consequences.

A common issue for women is the experience that we give too much. We’re exhausted. We give and give and give and don’t receive enough back to re-fill our reservoir. We’re always giving, we’re tired, resentful and then we reward ourselves with something: usually food or we give ourselves a “pass” to miss a workout because we’re so tired.

Consider for a moment that throughout your day the world is trying to give to you. Compliments, favors, love, acknowledgement, gifts, time, energy, money. If something inside you is programmed to resist what is being freely offered to you then you can’t receive it. It is blocked.

At the end of the day, you go home and the need to receive is still there, unfulfilled. There’s a big hole. So, we end up filling it with something. Usually food, alcohol or something else unhealthy. This is how lots of extra, unwanted, un-needed calories sneak in.  There is a real need to receive and be nurtured, to have our needs met, but if we are unconsciously resisting it, then the need to be nurtured will get fulfilled with food or other unhealthy habits.

It is possible to reverse the tendency to block gifts and let them in: Simply practice receiving. Just like a muscle that is weak and needs strengthening, your “receiving” muscle needs to get stronger. Your “giving” muscle is probably extremely strong—you have mastery around that ability. So much so, that there is now a muscle “imbalance”. If a person only worked out their chest muscles and never worked the back, they’d be hunched over. It doesn’t work because the energy is only going in one direction. The body, both physically and emotionally needs balance: the ability to give and receive equally.

3 Quick Tips:

  1. Begin to notice where the world is trying to give you things and then notice how you handle those situations. Notice what you say to others if they try and compliment you or give you something.  Do you deflect it?
  2. Practice receiving. Let the love in. The favors, the time, energy, money, compliments, acknowledgement—all of it. Notice it and let it in. Let yourself be filled all the way up…to over-flowing. Enjoy it. It’s also not a bad idea to practice asking for what you need. Women often think “I don’t want to be a bother”. One of the best feelings in the world is serving someone else’s need. If you don’t let others help you, you deny them the gift of giving.
  3. The next time you grab for sweets, wine or junk food, ask yourself, “What do I really need right now?” It might surprise you. Sleep? Time? Appreciation?  It’s usually not extra food.

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