How good are you at receiving? I, personally, am pretty terrible at it.
When my husband I were first dating 15 years ago, he bought me a pair of sunglasses because I’d been talking incessantly about some I’d borrowed from my brother. It was a kind gesture and probably the first non-holiday gift he’d given me. I had the hardest time accepting them. I laugh now, but I remember we had to “have a talk” about it.
My husband is a gift-giver. He loves to get treats for himself and our kids. And, he doesn’t hold back. Unfortunately, over the years, I’ve been so resistant to gifts and so terrible at receiving them that I’ve actually taught him and others not to give to me. What a bummer - I love getting presents.
What I know is, my trouble receiving comes down to one big culprit - Unworthiness
Unworthiness is the thorn in my side to everything I try to do. Receiving is no different. Some part of me has forgotten the little girl who wrote Christmas lists categorized down to every item in her stocking with absolute belief she deserved and would receive it all. Some part of me thinks I just am unworthy of the attention a gift brings with it. I am not worthy of the other person’s time to shop, I am not worthy of the other person’s money. I am not worthy of the love that is being expressed by gifting.
When you believe you are unworthy of what is offered, you tend to turn away from it. You could become ungrateful or take gifts for granted. You miss out on seeing that gifts are given from heart as outward gestures of the love and appreciation the giver feels for you. As you shy away from gifts you deny the giver the joy of your warm reception. Your feelings of unworthiness can block a deepening of love and connection between you and the gift giver
And it’s not just physical gifts that you’ll tend to push away.
There are so many other ways we are gifted each day. You were born with innate gifts. When those are unreceived they go undeveloped and are under appreciated. Beyond that you are a recipient of the wondrous gifts of Life - breath, heartbeats, air, nature, sunsets. These are gifts that are so easily taken for granted that they are forgotten. Finally, I truly believe the Universe is constantly offering up gifts for you - tiny delights or huge opportunities that could only be for YOU. I’m sure you can think of just such gift. If you don’t take it as the gift that it is and receive it well you run the risk of missing out on the adventure of your life.
If you weren’t worthy of the gift - it wouldn’t be given. It is as simple as that.
Deep down inside you know you are worthy. You may forget a lot, but you truly are worthy of love and belonging as Brene Brown writes. We all are.
And you are worthy of gifts. Gifts given by others, gifts you were born into, gifts brought by the Universe - you are worthy of every single one. You are worthy of receiving all the gifts that are coming your way.
So this holiday season I am going to be practicing receiving. I’ll be reminding myself of my innate worthiness. And I am going to say Thank you from the depth of my heart.
A Practice for Receiving
You are receiving a gift, How Wonderful!
Try this: settle down, take a deep breath and remember your innate worthiness.
If possible make eye contact and a heart connection with the giver
Then drink in every layer of the gift - not just the item itself but the time, attention, money, and mostly the Love that you know went into it.
Remind yourself you are worthy of receiving this gift - and that your gracious receiving is a return gift to the giver.
Sit with any discomfort that comes up as you remind yourself of your worthiness. Journal or meditate on it at a later time if it is very uncomfortable.
Offer Thanks if you are inspired to do so.