Receive: transitive verb
1. To come into possession of; acquire
2. To act as a receptacle or container for
3. To assimilate through the mind or senses
In The Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie writes:
Today, let someone give to you. Let someone do something nice for you. Let someone give you a compliment or tell you something good about yourself. Let someone help you.
Then, stand there and take it. Take it in. Feel it. Know that you are worthy and deserving. Do not apologize. Do not say, “You shouldn’t have.” Do not feel guilty, afraid, ashamed, and panicky. Do not immediately try to give something back.
Just say, “Thank you.”
How does that land for you? Easy-peasy no problem, or do you feel squirmy and weird at the thought? Some of you may be old pros at this. Others will struggle.
Notice that a few things need to happen to be able to actually absorb the kindness being offered instead of resisting it. In order to receive we must be willing to acknowledge a need, we must trust that we deserve that need to be met, and we must allow another to step forward to fulfill that need. There’s a whole lot going on here. Kinda explains why sometimes it’s not so easy to receive.
Here’s another thought. Society attaches a lot of worth to the practice of giving. After all, it’s better to give than to receive, right? Of course giving is a wonderful quality, but why is it better? Nobody wants to be labeled a taker, a mooch, a sponger – those are certainly negative words to describe receiving. But if no one is willing to receive, those would-be givers wouldn’t have anyone to benefit from their generosity. They’d miss out on all that joy of giving. And are people on the receiving end of kindness somehow bad because they’re accepting something that has been given freely? That doesn’t seem quite right. Giving and receiving must be an equal exchange otherwise a power and control dynamic is introduced and that’s not good for anyone.
So what’s your take on receiving? Still feeling squirmy? Or maybe you’re feeling bold enough to give it a try. If you decide to let a compliment sink in or accept the offer of a helping hand, I’d love to know how it turns out!
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
“Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgement to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”
“Service or giving is the other side of receiving. Giving and receiving is a full circle: a full circle feels more natural than a half circle.”
“When I feel the joy of receiving a gift my heart nudges me to join creation’s ballet, the airy dance of giving and receiving, and getting and giving again.”
Lewis B. Smedes
“Judgments that constrain your giving are the very demons that are keeping you from receiving.”
“Everything that you receive is not measured according to its actual size, but, rather that of the receiving vessel.”
Juana Ines de la Cruz
“The only way to experience the joy of giving is if someone is there at the end of the line wanting and ready to receive.”
The Power of Receiving: Brook ‘Queen Bee’* Yates at TEDxCSU