Is your receiver open?
Receiving can be challenging! Through my work inspiring people to kick their dead-end habits to the curb, I’ve seen that when we have trouble receiving Life’s goodness (gifts, love, compliments, joy), we’re left with a painful void. That void often begs to be filled with unhealthy behaviors and addictions. Interesting, eh?! The more we allow ourselves to receive Life’s goodness, the healthier and more joyful we become! So, if we’re ready to receive–and replace a “nasty little” habit or two along the way, READ ON!
The story of a man who refused to receive …
Once upon a day, there was a hungry, homeless man. “I wish I had a delicious feast!” he thought. “But that’s not going to happen without any food or money!” So he opened his dirty cotton sack and pulled from it his wooden bowl and spoon. He walked to and fro over the roadside, filling his bowl half-full with this and that, stirred it and sat down to sup. Just as he put the spoon to his mouth, a woman came round the bend and offered him an enormous tray of delicacies. “This feast is for you,” she said. The hungry man bristled. “No thank you,” he said. “I’ll eat this mud and gravel.”
Are we turning away life’s gifts, even when we are in need?
Just like the hungry man, each of us has probably refused the very gifts that life has offered us—at one time or another. We may even have refused the very things for which we once wished and hoped. We’ve refused kindness, encouragement, support, nourishment and love of all forms. We can all relate. Maybe we chose to eat mud and gravel in our job, family, health or relationships. We allowed ourselves to receive the pain and suffering of digesting those “gifts” while denying ourselves the feast of goodness, bounty and love.
Why is receiving difficult?
To receive openly, graciously, joyously and genuinely, requires inner strength. It requires us to know that we are worthy. If we don’t know we are worthy, we will find a way to deny, disrespect or discard the good gifts that life intends for us—even when we are starving for them.
Do you believe you’re worthy to receive? Take the worthiness quiz!
Answer the four questions below and rate your answers: 1-if you feel angry or like running away, 2-if you feel irritated or awkward, 3- if you feel uncomfortable, 4-if you feel grateful but not deserving, or 5-if you feel deeply honored and worthy.
How do you feel when someone gives you a heartfelt (true) compliment?
How do you feel when your friends give you birthday gifts?
How do you feel when you are given a very expensive gift?
How do you feel when someone does a favor for you, without being asked?
If you scored 15 to 20 points, you’re worthy and you know it or you lie like a dog and you’re probably laughing right now. If you scored 10 to 14 points, you are often confident but still don’t know your incredible value (worth). If you scored 0 to 9 points, you probably wonder why people do nice things for you and often feel not good enough (unworthy)—this is common and most people feel this way!
For many years, I struggled with receiving. Whether it was the gift of someone holding the door for me as I walked into a room, the gift of a real compliment from someone who meant what they said, or the gift of a beautifully-wrapped present with a crisp-and-shiny bow, I felt deeply uncomfortable. When I did receive, I felt like I would need to somehow “repay” the person’s kindness. I also felt guilty. Already having so much (at least in my perspective), I judged that I did not deserve more. I thought, “I’m doing fine, I’m not starving and I have a home and a vehicle and a job and my wits. Why should I receive more when so many people suffer?”
I felt unworthy
I could not receive more love, gifts, time, life, support, encouragement, money or whatever else—than I believed that I deserved. Having judged myself as not worthy of receiving all the gifts that life offered me, I “unconsciously” found ways to refuse, deny or dismiss gifts. At times I said, “No I simply couldn’t accept this” and refused to take the gift. Other times I felt so anxious and the need to explain why I didn’t deserve the gift. And in some circumstances, I simply stewed as I “sucked it up” and took the gift, then quickly exited and plotted ways to give back. Regardless the size or cost of the gift, I rebelled since I did not believe that I was worthy to receive it.
True compliments are gifts of gratitude from one heart to another. This gift can seem just as difficult to accept as a physical gift. Think of that someone you know who is gorgeous (or smart, or talented, etc.) but he or she doesn’t believe in their mind that this is true. No matter how many times and in how many ways we may tell them they are gorgeous, they will not be able to receive our compliments. Sometimes, they may even “parrot off” a list of reasons why they believe that they are unattractive and don’t deserve the compliment. Their judgment of themselves as being unworthy of receiving our compliment blocks them from receiving our gift.
Who are we to judge our worthiness to receive?
Because we know all of our “secrets,” “mistakes,” “habits” and reasons why we believe that we don’t deserve goodness, it can seem easy to judge ourselves. We know exactly how “bad” we have been. But who are we to judge anyone … including ourselves?
Can we stop judging and start receiving?
Yes. To stop judging and start receiving requires two things that might feel hard to do at first, but they are free and simply require a change in our perspective. If we’re ready to begin the process of releasing judgment of ourselves and receive more, this is the first step: WHOLEHEARTED WILLINGNESS. The wholehearted part is key—meaning that every part of us is willing to be open to the idea of releasing judgment of ourselves.
To discover whether we’re wholeheartedly willing, we can ask ourselves, “Is there any part of me that is not willing to be open to the idea of releasing judgment?” Then “listen” for our truth (not searching—listening). If our answer is “Yes, part of me is unwilling!” then we can take the next healing step and ask, “What would it take for me to become willing?” Then we can listen and follow through, to give ourselves the security of whatever we need (that’s in our best, healthy interest). After we’re wholeheartedly willing, we can open ourselves to receiving!
How can we allow ourselves to receive more?
Receiving is truly honoring life and what we are. Most of us could benefit from receiving more. If Life wants to give us a feast, why not invite a crowd and enjoy? If Life wants to give us roses, why not stop to smell them? I’m not saying we should overindulge in pleasure-seeking and greed, but there is something to be said for receiving the beauty, love and goodness that is given to us with a humble, happy heart. So how can we say “Yes” and allow ourselves to joyfully receive more of the goodness Life is giving?
What does forgiveness have to do with receiving (we might ask)? Well, whenever we judge ourselves as being wrong and unworthy, we block our ability to receive gifts and healing. The antidote to this painful void is forgiveness. Forgiveness allows us to change the way we see ourselves from a bad, wrong and not-good-enough person—to a humble, patient, and loving person who accepts that we are a worthy simply because we are alive and being our best. If we’re not being our best, then we can begin to be. And when we GIVE our best to life, it’s much easier to RECEIVE what’s best from Life!
Don’t wanna? Are you afraid? Angry?
If we feel resistance or “dead weight” around the idea of forgiving ourselves, other people or Life and wish to read more about forgiveness so WE CAN RECEIVE, check out some past articles here http://www.willyou.guru/forgiving-ourselves/ .
What say ye?
Are you ready, willing and open to receive more of the beauty, joy and love that Life has to offer? What would you like to receive this week, month or year? Please share your thoughts and feelings so we may grow in strength and willpower together …
Always with love,
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