With the holidays upon us, it’s fair to say we’ll probably be doing a lot more giving in the days and weeks to come – whether it’s giving parties, gifts, donations, side dishes, or our time. For women, in particular, giving tends to be our default… our wheelhouse. Many of us have no problem giving, whether during holiday time or throughout the year, but when it comes to receiving, it can be a whole other story.
From an early age, many of us were taught ‘it’s better to give than to receive’ – to the point where some of us feel almost guilty accepting anything from anybody. When compliments are given, I often hear women brushing them aside by saying things like, “Oh this jacket? It’s old.” or “It’s just the lighting in here,” instead of simply saying “thank you” with appreciation. When presents are opened, how often have we, or someone close to us, said “Oh you shouldn’t have.” or “This wasn’t necessary.” While one might feel this is an honorable response, it can actually serve to bring the party down. In addition to taking the joy of giving away from the giver, this type of response says to the world, “I’m not worthy of receiving.”
In the book, The Power of Receiving: A Revolutionary Approach to Giving Yourself the Life You Want and Deserve, author Amanda Owen reminds us that giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin…that there can’t be one without the other…that it is as honorable to receive as it is to give. Owen makes the case that, in blocking one side of the equation – by not being open to receive even the little things such as compliments and gifts – we can inadvertently be blocking the bigger things…the flow of abundance into our lives.
On the very first page of The Power of ReceivingOwen writes, “The world will only give you as much as you can receive,” so I hope that, amidst all the giving this holiday season, you’ll allow yourself to receive with appreciation and joy. When it comes down to it, the more you allow yourself to receive, the more you have to give!