I have a confession: I am a massive giver. I have been my entire life. It’s one of my love languages. So much so, that at times I have depleted my energy and life force. People pleasing is my forté, as the youngest sibling growing up in a chaotic environment. I am the poster child for wanting to keep the family together by any means possible. I have sacrificed my own happiness time and again for other people’s well-being, not only in family and work relationships, but in my own friendships and even marriage.
At 32, I am finally learning to honor my own happiness and truly give from a place of authenticity. I don’t give because I’m yearning for acceptance or from a place of lack, but because I want to. Not because I should. Giving isn’t limited to material gifts. It can be our time, energy or physical space.
Over-giving has lead me down a rabbit hole of enabling those around me to enjoy and reap all of the benefits of my nature. It’s not their fault, it’s mine. Ultimately, it has put me in a position where I didn’t allow the universe to take care of me, for things to flow, or the opportunities for others to give to me. What happens when one person is always giving? It becomes one-sided, and the giver can feel pain in the end.
Like I said, one’s gifts don’t have to be material. Receiving can come in many forms: a compliment from a stranger, a friend offering space for you or someone offering their time. Do you accept it or deny it? Do you genuinely believe the compliment? Do you thank them or shut it down? Do you cover it up with another compliment? Notice your response and see how it feels in your body. How does it feel to allow people to give because they want to, from their hearts and to fully accept it?
Our heart space is intended not only to give love, but to RECEIVE love. For it is in receiving that we can heal, trust, and allow. I am still working on this, but here are some ways that we can practice receiving a little bit more:
- When someone offers a compliment, look them in the eyes and thank them. Feel the compliment and find joy in whatever it is. Take a breath and really hear what they just said.
- Accept a gift wholeheartedly and trust that the person truly wanted to give to you without an agenda. If they want to pay for your coffee or meal, trust that they want to do it and allow it to happen.
- You deserve EVERYTHING that you are given. Know that. Feel it in your bones. Try this mantra: “I deserve everything that the universe is offering. Thank you.”
- Feel in your body the same excitement you do when you give a gift. Receiving is also a gift because it gives the other party an opportunity to do so. Doesn’t it feel good to give? Why shouldn’t it feel just as good to receive?
- Show your appreciation by handwriting a thank you card. It means a lot. Receiving a letter in the mail feels really good. Put the pen to paper!
- TRUST that the gift is coming to you because the person wants to give to you.
- Only give when you REALLY want to. That includes your time, energy and personal space. I am committed to showing up as my best self, and if I’m not able to meet someone even halfway, I choose to do what serves my highest good. Protect your energy, people can feel it.
- Give back to yourself. Get rest and say no to excess. If it’s not a FUCK YES, don’t do it. You deserve personal time, quiet time and sacred space. Honor that.
- Look yourself in the mirror and give yourself some love, too! Like, “damn you’re beautiful, self!” or “I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished.” Love yourself and take care of you.
Until next time, I love you.