Do you allow yourself to receive and how well do you receive?
As children, most of us are brought up to give rather than receive. When we do receive, we are told to do so graciously. If we expect too much, we are considered to be selfish or greedy. Giving makes us a better person. It makes us feel happy to give. Giving a smile to a stranger, or kindness to someone in need, stimulates our brain to produce endorphins, our ‘feel good’ hormones.
Giving is also said to be beneficial for our health as it reduces stress. This is certainly shown in the practice of gratitude. If you are feeling anxious about something, but concentrate instead on what you are grateful for in your life, those feelings of anxiety diminish.
Do you also allow yourself to receive? It’s great to give to others, but it’s also very important to learn to receive for yourself. Being a martyr doesn’t serve anyone and those who never allow themselves to receive, may end up resentful. I’m not just talking about material things, but also simple gestures such as compliments. If someone compliments you on your hair or your dress, do you accept reluctantly and feel you instantly have to compliment them on their own appearance? Or can you accept the compliment as it is, without feeling that you have to give one back?
If a friend spontaneously buys you a gift, do you feel you have to buy one back or can you accept the gift happily and excitedly, in the manner in which it is given?
It isn’t always easy to receive and many of us aren’t very good at doing it. If we are brought up to always think of others, we very often forget to think of ourselves and our own needs and then neglect them. As children we may have been given love and validation mostly when we gave to others. We may feel that we will be judged if we receive too much or else feel guilty when we do.
Consequently we try and compensate by giving something back to lessen the guilt, or we may refuse the gift because we feel we are unworthy. If I accept help, I may be perceived as weak, or if I am given too much, there will be expectations placed on me to reciprocate.
We may have poor boundaries and allow others to dictate their needs, instead of respecting ours. We may ignore our own desires because we always put others first. We may not treat our own health with the priority it deserves, because we put the health of others first.
How often have you pushed through when feeling exhausted, just so that you didn’t disappoint a friend or client? How often have you worked late to meet a deadline for your boss, when your body craved to be in bed? Why not give your body the rest it needs? What about treatments such as Reflexology? Do you see them as just pampering your body, or do you allow yourself to receive the deep gift of relaxation and rebalancing that your health needs?
Allowing ourselves to receive is a gesture of self love and self worth. If we truly care about ourselves, we know that we are worthy of receiving.
To give to others is a wonderful practice. It makes us kinder, more considerate human beings. However to be really happy, healthy and fulfilled within ourselves, it is equally as important to allow ourselves to receive in abundance.
When did you last allow yourself to receive? I would love to know.
Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.