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As activists (and those drawn to better the world), we often can fall into the social worker mentality where we want to help everyone, constantly giving—and then we burn ourselves out.
We exhaust ourselves to the point where we no longer know what we want or feel able to provide for ourselves or others. If we give and give, we will have nothing left. It’s like trying to pour water out of an empty pitcher.
I think, cognitively, we know that we should be able to receive. That it is important. But we don’t know why. We are often praised as being selfless and for putting others first, but reciprocity in life is paramount. We need to not only be able to give but to receive, so that we don’t cut off the flow of life.
Do you feel worthy to receive?
Many times, when we have a hard time receiving, it can come back to our self-worth and a sense of not feeling worthy. Let’s take a simple example. When was the last time someone genuinely complimented you but you hushed or dismissed them? Saying, “Oh, no, you are wrong, these are actually really old shoes,” or “No, my hair is such a mess today.”
Now, let’s pause and flip the script for a second. When the roles were reversed and you genuinely paid someone a compliment but they were dismissive, how did that make you feel? Or when you’ve tried to do something nice for someone or give them a gift but they were trying to say no for whatever reason, how did that make you feel?
We can get caught up in thinking that it’s us being humble by not accepting, but it is really stifling the flow of all that wants to come to us, from compliments to opportunities to money to love–true, unconditional love.
We need to break these patterns and allow ourselves to receive.
I am worthy of opportunities, abundance, and prosperity.
I am worthy of all that life has to offer me.
I allow myself to receive.
I welcome opportunities, abundance, and prosperity.
I am open to receiving.
When you say these statements, how does that make you feel? What comes up? Take note of it. These are areas you still need to explore and work through.
When we talk about dismissing compliments or gifts from the frame of mind that it is us trying to be humble, we are missing out on the lesson. The reality is, the more you receive, the more you are able to give back because you can only give what you have. It’s filling up that water pitcher rather than pouring from an empty container.
Are you able to freely give to others? If so, how can you freely give to others but not give it back to yourself or allow others to give to you? This is the importance of self-love and self-compassion. We can’t have a healthy relationship with others if we are in an abusive relationship with ourselves.
The importance of being a good receiver is that it is part of the balance of the giving and receiving cycle. It is a circle, it is not linear. You are worthy of receiving. You don’t have to “earn it” to be worthy. You are allowed to receive just for being you, because you are worth it.
We treat ourselves often like we perceive ourselves. If we don’t feel we are worthy, we will shut off the valve of receiving, which in turn, shuts off the value of all that we are desperately wanting but wondering why it’s not here yet.
If I block receiving, I’m blocking others from giving.
What we hold in our consciousness is what we create in the world. If we are holding ourselves as unworthy, we are teaching people that’s how we should be treated. If we are not grateful for the little things, like a compliment, why would bigger things come to us?
Success creates momentum. No matter the size of success, it creates momentum. Start small. Notice how you react to someone when they try to give you anything. When you start to receive with an open and willing heart, it will capitalize.
When you don’t recognise the success, it happens less and less, and will likely be replaced by drought and failure.
Allow yourself to receive.