Giving and receiving are like breathing, both inhaling and exhaling are necessary for a balanced, healthy life.
~ Tammi Baliszewski
To the bee a flower is a fountain of life, and to the flower a bee is a messenger of love. And to both bee and flower, giving and receiving is a need and an ecstasy.
~ Kahlil Gibran
Most of us are familiar with the phrase, “It is better to give than to receive.”
As children, we were taught to give; however, many of us were not taught how to receive. Generously giving and graciously receiving are equally important and vital to manifesting and maintaining a balanced, healthy relationship.
Based on my personal experiences and those of my clients, I find that many people have difficulty when it comes to receiving. They tend to have a belief system based on unworthiness and scarcity.
They feel a need to “get” or “grab” things outside of themselves. Those with truly abundant and loving lives “let” rather than “get.” They “allow” rather than “chase.” If you do not have all that you want, need and desire in your life, you probably have a challenge with receiving.
How well do you receive?
- Do you dismiss or deflect compliments?
- Do you feel obligated to return them or do you graciously and joyfully receive compliments?
- How do you respond when someone says, “You look great in that outfit!”?
Do you say:
- “Oh no!” or “oh, yuck!” (Dismissed)
- “Yeah, if I could loose 10 pounds!” or “Gee, I thought I looked fat!” (Disregarded)
- “I’ve had this old thing for years.” or “I bought it at a garage sale for two dollars.” (Diminished)
- “Gross!” or “Absolutely not!” (Rejected) “Oh no, your outfit is great!” (Deflected)
- “Oh, why thank you very much!” or “I really appreciate you noticing!” (Graciously and joyfully received!)
Receiving graciously and joyfully is more than just a perfunctory “thanks.”
It is allowing the compliment, gift, or act of kindness into your heart. It is taking the time and energy to acknowledge the person who is extending the kindness. It is also acknowledging and receiving the love behind their words and action.
Many of us find it more difficult to receive than to give.
Here are a few possible reasons why some of us might feel the way we do:
- We feel an internal lack of personal value and self worth We feel out of control, overwhelmed, vulnerable or weak
- We feel indebted or that we will owe the person who gives to us
- We have been taught it is better to give than to receive. It feels unfamiliar, embarrassing or uncomfortable
- We want to appear humble
- We do not want to be perceived as greedy or selfish
- We desire to appear independent, self-sufficient and self- reliant
If a person cannot receive graciously and joyfully, they tend to end up in relationships with “takers.”
Depletion, depression and exhaustion will soon follow. Over the years, I have observed many women in relationships with successful men. When the relationships end, most of these women ended up with less energy, less money and a diminished sense of value.
They often ask, “How did this happen to me?”
My response is, “You did not believe in your own value. You got exactly what you believed you deserved."
Some of these women have a superficial sense of worth.
They do their hair and makeup and know, on the surface, they look pretty good. One woman described her actions as putting frosting on a cardboard box to make it look like a beautiful cake. However, deep down inside, she did not feel good about herself, value herself, or believe in her substance.
A sense of having no value or worth was a familiar feeling in my life. After the breakup with my fiancé, Bob, I came out of the relationship with less money than I had going into it. He was very successful man and made millions of dollars every year. At the beginning of the engagement, I was advised by our therapist to give up my job so I could emotionally support him full time.
According to our therapist, being his fiancé was now my “job.” I did as I was told and for three years I put my life on hold to take care of him. When the relationship ended, I was told to go away.
I could not believe it! I felt I should get something for making this man, his career and his life my priority. When I mentioned this to him, he informed me that I deserved nothing.
When I meditated, I asked “Why am I taken advantage of? Why I am I always abandoned and left with nothing?”
The answer was simple. I got what I believed I was worth—nothing.
If I could not even accept a simple compliment or lunch from a kind friend, how could I expect to receive great love, abundance and all the riches of the universe?
I must admit I was far from being a gracious receiver in many ways. Before the breakup, Bob gave me a pair of eight-carat diamond earrings.
My response to his generous gift was, “Why are you wasting your money on me?”
All of us manifest exactly what we believe we are worth.
I finally began to understand some of my lessons that were coming out of this heartbreaking relationship. I needed to start working on my issues of self worth. I needed to learn how to say “thank you!” without argument, shutting down and push- ing kindness away.
A friend once said to me, “Tammi, when you do not receive, you are not allowing the person who wants to give the experience of giving.”
I now understand that by not joyfully and graciously receiving, I not only reject the gift; I reject the heart and the energy of the person who wants to share with me.
When we do not receive graciously and joyfully, we end up feeling depleted and empty.
Energetically, non-receivers emit a vibration of lack and deficit. When a person feels deficient, they need to replenish themselves in some way. They often become “energy vampires.”
At the other end of the spectrum are gold diggers. They are people who “grab” and have the greedy vibration of a taker and user. This also stems from a belief in lack and scarcity. Gold diggers are narcissists and have a sense of entitlement. They, too, have a deep-seated issues regarding self worth. In an attempt to validate and substantiate their value, they feel a need to fill themselves up using people and things from the outside.
Some people hesitate to ask for what they want and do not receive joyfully and graciously. Some people grab at all they can get thinking only of themselves and believe other people owe them. Others try to get more than they believe they deserve to compensate for an internal sense of worthlessness. People like these can enormously benefit from cultivating an authentic loving relationship with themselves and learning to receive graciously.
Ultimately, the receiving process needs to begin from within.
Before we can fully appreciate and receive someone else’s generosity, we must be able to give generously to ourselves. We need to be able to nurture ourselves with respect and compassion. We need to honor our hunger, fatigue, feelings and truth. Until we do, it will be impossible for someone or something outside of ourselves to give us what we truly need. It is necessary to care for ourselves and feel deserving before we can graciously receive compliments, respect, or love from someone else.
When I worked as a massage therapist, the most exhausting clients were “givers” who were unable to relax and receive.
I felt frustrated and depleted at the end of these sessions because of their resistance—it was like trying to push an elephant through a keyhole. While I understood that receiving is difficult for some people due to issues with guilt or unworthiness, it made my job much harder.
On the other hand, when a client was able relax and receive, their gratitude made me feel appreciated, energized and joyful. It felt as if a cycle of energy was present; a graceful flow of giving and receiving and a wonderfully balanced exchange.
While meditating on the dynamics of giving, taking and receiving, two situations came to mind.
First, I envisioned a child at Christmas. Excited about her presents, she quickly rips each gift open without any acknowledgement and hastily moves on to the next. When the last of the presents have been torn open and discarded, she expresses her disappointment that the experience is over. She is upset with the quantity of gifts she received and that she did not get everything she wanted.
In the second situation, another little girl is just as excited. She is present “in the moment” and expresses heartfelt appreciation for each gift and for the overall experience. In which scenario do you think the parents would want to do more for their child in the future?
I have wondered if God sees many of us as impatient and ungrateful children, whining about things not being different or better and asking why we cannot have more. We rip through the gifts of the world that are so generously bestowed on us, all the while complaining. Many of us focus on what we do not have rather than what we do have.
We often complain rather than appreciate.
I have put forth a conscious effort and made great strides with being appreciative and graciously receiving. Gratitude has been a powerful catalyst to opening the floodgates of profound abundance, love, miracles and support in all areas of my life.
While my husband and I were still dating, there was a time when I experienced great discomfort. Initially, I could not understand why I felt this way. I finally realized that it was scary, overwhelming and foreign for me to “sit” in this much loving—I felt I had hit my upper limits. I said I wanted a relationship with a loving man and had certainly done a great deal of inner work to get to this place. Now that I had manifested it, I was not sure what to do with it! When I meditated about my confusion and discomfort, I realized that I just needed to relax, allow and receive.
Expanding and allowing more love in can take some getting used to.
Receiving love can be like stretching your body when you muscles are tight. You have to go slow, be patient and keep stretching.
One day while meditating, I envisioned a funnel. I noticed that the narrow end of the funnel is constricted and does not allow much to flow through. Similarly, if we are constricted within ourselves and do not believe in our worth and value, we cannot allow the good to come into our lives. Everything that we manifest has to do with our internal sense of value and our connection to Spirit. We need to be able to breathe and gra- ciously receive love and support from God in order to more fully manifest the gifts and wonders of the world.
Giving and receiving are both wonderful blessings that continue to build on each other.
As you learn to receive graciously, you will find it is easy and natural to give generously. When we are fulfilled and abundant, we have so much more to share. Only when we are balanced in our ability to give and receive will we be able to experience the miracles and generosity of the universe.
The art of gracious receiving is a skill, social grace and a powerful gift.
As with all skills, we get better with practice. Set an intention to receive graciously and joyfully. The next time someone gives you a compliment, offers assistance, or a gesture of kindness pay attention to them. Graciously and joyfully receive! As we become conscious of the power of receiving, interacting with others becomes more authentic, heartfelt and enjoyable. By graciously receiving, we acknowledge, validate and appreciate the one who wants to give. Both the giver and the receiver benefit!
If you do not have all you desire, examine your internal constrictions.
To experience life from a place of appreciation and reverence opens us up to more love, prosperity, joy and synchronicity. Gratitude expands our hearts and creates a magnetic attraction that brings to us unforeseen blessings, great love and our hearts’ desires.
Exercise: Expansive Receiving and Giving
1. Take a moment to remember the most favorite gift you ever received.
Take the time to recall this experience as vividly as possible. Allow yourself to experience the expansive feeling of receiving—delight in the thrill, deliciousness and excitement. Bask in and allow these feelings to expand. Then, let the energy of gratitude and appreciation fill you completely as long as you can. Write about your experience in your journal.
2. Now try to remember a special gift you gave to a loved one.
Recall the experience. Bask in the positive feeling. Now let the energy of giving fill you completely for as long as you can. Write about your experience in your journal.
3. Go within yourself, relax and take a few deep breaths.
With your eyes closed, ask yourself these questions: What do I want to receive right now? What is my heart’s desire? Write the answer in your journal.
4. Was your answer love? Jewelry? A new car?
Think about how you can provide this for yourself right now. If your desire is a new car (or something that’s not in your current budget), look for something symbolic, such as a toy car. If more love is your desire, find and wear a simple heart pendant or find a symbol to place in your home. This is a clear, powerful and tangible way to let the universe know what you want. This powerful magnet anchors your focus, energy and intention to manifest your heart’s desire.
5. Experiencing and expressing sincere gratitude is the most important way to open more fully to receiving.
Take a few minutes to review your life and capture in writing those qualities, experiences and things that you hold most precious. This list could include gratitude for your health, family, friends, abundance and talents you possess.
6. Take a few moments to thank Spirit for the beauty of the world, the gift of life and for everything you appreciate.
When we focus our thoughts and energy toward the things we are grateful for, we soften and release constrictions that prevent us from being able to receive opportunities, assistance, abundance and love. Review this list or create a new list daily or weekly. Get ready to receive wonderful gifts from the universe!
You may read through this exercise and do it by memory, have someone read it aloud to you, or make a recording of it in your own voice.
Go slowly and give yourself the opportunity to really visualize and feel this process. (If you have a heart condition, check with your physician before attempting to do this.).
Close your eyes and focus your attention on your heart.
Feel its energy. Feel it beating and express gratitude for its magnificence. Imagine the energy of your heart starting to expand like a flower coming into full bloom or a ball of sun- shine growing within you. Know that God loves you infinitely. You are now opening and expanding your heart to receive God’s love.
Imagine your heart gracefully and graciously opening and receiving more wonderful experiences, incredible gifts and divinely inspired ideas and relationships.
Allow yourself to feel a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation. Imagine this energy of gratitude filling your whole body. Now expand it out to the earth and the entire universe. Sit in this place of connection, joy and gratitude for as long as you desire.
The greatest gift we can offer the world is to give and receive love.
In every encounter we have the opportunity to give to others the love, respect and compassion we wish to receive. As we do this, we can touch and heal the hearts of others and, in turn, our own. Breathing in love and breathing out love. Our energy and existence in this world creates a ripple effect. The ripple effect of love is the most powerful and most healing of all. When you choose to step more fully into your love, not only does it serve you, it blesses all of humanity.
Excerpted from Tammi Baliszeswski's Manifesting Love From the Inside Out. Reprinted with permission.
About the author
Dr. Tammi is an expert on relationships, prosperity, healing and health, from a psychological as well as spiritual perspective — it all starts within: by respecting, honoring and loving ourselves, the world loves us back.
Tune in to Dr. Tammi’s radio program, Journey to Center on Empoweradio.com for conscious conversation, exciting guests, empowering tools and real-life techniques to expand and your mind, your heart and your world.
To find out more about Tammi, and to download her free manifesting program and healing guided meditation please visit her website www.tammibphd.com.