The art of receiving

Receiving can take many forms

A few weeks ago, I attended a circle of women and one of the things I asked to manifest was to accept to receive more. I meant it in order to be more open to people, their help, their contact and connect more.

Shortly after this event, I visited my parents in France. Long story short, my mom bought me a new pair of shoes as I didn’t have money with me. 

It turned out that when I gave her the money back she didn’t want it. 

I felt bad, I felt it was expensive, I felt it wasn’t appropriate because it wasn’t Christmas. Now that I think of it, who said you could only gift expensive gifts at Christmas or for some special occasions?

I negotiated to pay half of it and then, and only then, I realised the situation was ironic. 

I’m not saying I believe in this manifestation thing (although I have more and more signs and examples that it could exists), but from a factual perspective, I wished to be able to receive more and I turned down a gift from my mom.

This is how I got the idea of this podcast episode. I realised I have so many examples of situations where my friends, my family, my partner and even myself aren’t open to receiving.

You should give first, in order to receive

For example, when I invite a friend for a coffee, which is a simple coffee, not a restaurant, the usual answer is ‘Thank you, but next time is on me’

It got me thinking: how come I say the same in the same situation when it happens the other way around. Why do we feel obliged to say that? Especially, why is it so difficult for us to receive? 

Conditioning from the society

I do believe there is some conditioning: how often have you heard ‘You need to give first in order to receive’? 

I don’t know about you but as a child, I also observed some situations and the most common one was my grandmother and my mom almost fighting at the cashier to pay the grocery. 

I sometimes felt ashamed, or annoyed because it seemed like a role play.

Even though my grandmother would pay, my mom would still pretend to want to pay, although she would accept it in the end. I’m not saying that’s what she meant and intended to do but from my perspective, it looked like a game. 

Conditioning from the education

I also remember a day, when my dad picked me up from school. A kid gave me a toy, a small toy, I was happy and showed it to my dad. He replied that I shouldn’t have accepted this gift because I had nothing to give back.  

This is a good example of how my family taught me certain things about giving and receiving. Luckily I grew up and experienced certain things on my own, I also met some people who taught to give, and thanks to them I became more generous. It’s still a quality I’m developing and I’m enjoying the journey. 

Even though I developed this quality on the way, I’m still wondering who taught us to receive? Where does it come from?

At this stage, I should be clear about what I am referring to when I talk about receiving and here are some examples: compliment, help, attention/time, gift, touch.

The 5 love languages

Going through these 5 examples in more details, I wonder:

  1. Compliment: what do you usually answer when someone gives you a compliment? Do you say a warm and simple ‘Thank you’? Or are you more like me and do you try to minimise or justify what the person complimented you on? For example: “Oh, you know, it’s an old thing” or “Thank you, it was a cheap one”. Can you relate?
  2. Help: carrying someone heavy and someone offers to help you: how do you react? Do you reply ‘Thank you, I’m fine’ although it would be nice to get some help or do you accept? 
  3. Attention or time: apologising to a friend because I spoke for too long, my friend gave me too much attention for too long. How do you react to that, when someone gives you her full attention? How do you feel?
  4. Gift: the most obvious one and the first example I mentioned earlier. It’s the most obvious because it’s a material form. How do you feel when someone gifts you something that is unexpected, for a non-particular occasion?
  5. Touch: this can be in intimate relationships but it can also be about receiving a hug from a friend or a family member. I’m talking about a real comforting hug is it something that you can receive? Do you allow someone to get close to you to comfort, support or simply show you affection? How do you react to signs of affection?

I don’t know if anyone has developed this idea before, I’m sure I’m not the first one, I just didn’t do my research but wanted to share and develop my own thoughts with you without being biased. 

While I listed these 5 examples of gifts we easily turn down I realised they could be related to the 5 love languages, the book written by Gary Chapman.

If you haven’t read or heard about it, please go for it. It’s one of my all-time favorite books.

In his book, Gary Chapman listed the compliments, services, quality time, gift and touch as being the 5 loves languages. 

This is how I made the parallel while preparing this episode: when we refuse or struggle to accept something from someone, could it be that we also refuse love?

Think about it for a second.

Learn to receive to nurture your own worth

I’m a big self-love advocate and I believe that accepting to receive would be another way to help us start feeling worthy, deserving and deserving of love.

By doing so, another way to start feeling worthy and deserving is to start to learn to receive love. 

So, it can really be about the small things, that’s why my challenge for you in the next two weeks, until the next podcast episode, is to train and practice to receive more love. 

I would like you to receive a gift, some help, a compliment, anything that will cross your way in the next two weeks. Remember about this podcast and remember to start receiving without any addition, any apologies, just say ‘thank you’. 

You don’t need to justify or say ‘Next time, it’s on me’, you don’t need to give back a compliment. 

The more you will start receiving, the more you should want to give, because you’ll know the power of receiving. And start to feel the love with it.

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