Are you someone who lives by the maxim, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”?
Do you see “giving sacrificially” and “giving till it hurts” as the highest form of giving, and something to be admired?
When someone compliments you on something you did well, do you automatically try to deflect it?
When someone treats you to a meal or gives you an unexpected gift, do you feel uncomfortable because of the imbalance it creates, and feel pressured to give something back?
In her book Sensitive Is The New Strong, Anita Moorjani recommends that it’s important to notice where we are not allowing ourselves to receive, and learning to receive more.
But, you say, isn’t it better to give than to receive?
Don’t all faiths teach us to be generous and cheerful givers?
Shouldn’t receiving only be reserved for those who are less fortunate?
Yes and no.
I was brought up to believe that giving is better, and receiving is for the needy and weak.
Lately, I have been made aware of a concept practised by the Andean peoples, called AYNI: the law of reciprocity.
In practice, the concept says: “Today for you, tomorrow for me”.
Everything is interconnected, and there is a time and a season for everything.
Life is generous and abundant and plentiful; there is more than enough for all of us.
When we resist someone else’s attempt at practising generosity, we are depriving them of the joy of giving and the joy of blessing us.
When we deflect someone’s praise, we are implying that they have bad judgment, that they are exaggerating our talents and abilities.
More seriously, the reluctance or inability to receive, may well point to an unhealthy imbalance and low self-love and self-worth.
“For those who find it hard to receive and are unable to say “no”, a health crisis can often be the body’s way of rescuing us from our current path in life, or obliging us to change,” says Anita.
What does receiving look like?
It looks like saying a simple “thank you” when receiving a gift or compliment.
Acknowledging someone for taking the time to notice and draw attention to a good deed.
Receiving with gratitude and appreciation the blessing and favour that comes to us unsought.
To maintain harmony and balance in life, it’s important to know both how to give and receive.