I just ordered my nephew’s first birthday gift! How wonderful it was to envision him enjoying and growing with it over the years. Giving gifts is such an incredible feeling, isn’t it?
Every Christmas it seems my family is asking me, “Did you open anything yet?” I get so excited to give gifts, that receiving them almost seem like emotional overload! But, when we really look at giving and receiving, it’s important to note that, without receiving, there is no giving. When I think about that excitement of giving, I ask myself, “What would happen if the recipient was unwilling to receive?” That would be a let- down, wouldn’t it? Receiving is essential for the circle of giving to actually happen. If we martyr ourselves, saying we need nothing, we don’t allow others to feel that exhilaration and self-pride of giving to us. Both giving and receiving are so essential for forming connections with one another.
The interesting thing here is, that how we give and how we receive says a great deal about our beliefs. In my Transformational Coaching Method course, one of the paradigms that we function within is: How you do one thing is how you do everything. There are patterns to our behaviors, and those patterns directly reflect our beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world.
An example: When I am in a conversation with another person, I focus all my energy on listening and being present. I listen for the nuances of what they are saying so that I can draw the person, and the details they feel are meaningful, out even more with insightful questions or observations. I want to get on their map of their experiences to revel in how their mind interprets and makes meaning and choices. I want them to feel heard, understood, and valued. What I recently realized, is that I do this because that is what I am seeking in my life. That is how I have always dreamed of being heard and understood. I relate it back to times in my life where I did not feel that way, and how much disappointment, frustration, and hurt I experienced. I made those moments in my life hold meaning about myself, and my value. How we feel valued, how we value ourselves, and how we value others – we all have a different idea of these concepts that were created during our childhood years. The pattern I’ve personally shaped from my experiences is to offer the behavior of intent listening. When I am listening intently, it makes me feel like a giver; the person I’d like to be, and also how I’d like to be received. That giver mindset forms that Christmas morning delay to receive, but it also defines how I manage my businesses (undercharging or tightly booking), my love life (quickly evaluating my part and apologizing first), my friendships (gifting personalized, homemade goodies), and every other aspect of my life. I’m sure writing these articles is part of fulfilling that desire to be heard and understood. So, how I do one thing is indeed how I do everything. Can you see any patterns in your own life? How do you feel about giving and receiving?
Now, let’s look at the other side of the coin: receiving. When we are giving, we feel a sense of control; when we are receiving, we are much more vulnerable. Receiving often boils down to self-worth. I run a dog walking company in Chicago, and one of my owners is constantly giving me incredible gifts. I’ve noticed that one of the first thoughts I have run through my head upon receiving them is — I don’t deserve this. But, the gifts have nothing to do with my deservingness. She offers these gifts from a place within herself that I have no right to intrude into with beliefs about myself. Receiving her incredible gifts also allows me to offer her the gift of receiving them. If I always stopped her with, “Oh, you shouldn’t have,” or “For me? I don’t deserve this,” I would put a kink in the circle of giving and receiving. By the way, this kink in the circle, it too will show itself in every area of your life. If you are aligned with the energy of, “I’m not worthy,” then your bank account, your business prospects, your love life; they will all reflect that. However, if you simply say thank you for the abundance in your life, letting the universe know you believe you are worthy, abundance will grow and continue to show itself in your life.
I offer these words to you today and I hope you can receive them. Let the abundance flow!