Your happiness truly depends on you mastering the art of receiving.  We have been taught, relentlessly I think, that “it is better to give than to receive”.  Yet, in order to give someone MUST receive.  If there are no receivers then there is nobody to give to.

Before you can truly master the art of receiving you must first understand the tangled web that is woven as we deny ourselves receptivity.

I have found in my years of working with clients to help them to increase their self-love and self-worth is that their resistance to receive (help, compliments, favors, money) is riddled with guilt.  If you have been following me for any length of time at all, you know, that one of the basic concepts that I teach is that guilt is poison!

I have discovered that those people that find it the most difficult to receive also feel an obligation to say yes to almost every request they receive.  This creates a huge imbalance in their life as they are constantly giving and never receiving.  They find that if they receive they feel guilty for taking.  They feel guilty for having put another person out, for having been an inconvenience.  So the pattern that they have set up in their life is that they have two choices 1. Receive and feel guilty or 2. Don’t receive and feel alone, overwhelmed, and even resentful.

Anytime receiving is riddled with guilt you know you are dealing with unworthiness.  Guilt is a horrible emotion and we will do anything to avoid it.  We make too many decisions based on what we want to avoid rather than what we want to experience.  But that’s another article.  If you won’t allow yourself to receive from people you won’t allow yourself to receive from the Universe either.   Receiving is receiving, no matter the source.

Let’s take a quick look at WHY you feel too guilty to allow yourself to receive.  More than likely you are a person that feels obligated to say yes to every request that comes your way.  I remember being a young mother and my children asking me to do something and I would getting angry.  My son would say, “mom, all you have to do is say no.”  That was a huge awareness for me.  I realized the discomfort I felt because I hadn’t given myself permission to say no…to anybody.  I was being “Accommodating Mom”.  And frankly we get a lot of love and approval from being accommodating and even self-less.

But if you are like I was, you feel a sense obligation to say yes to avoid disappointing anyone.  But, then you find yourself doing things you don’t want to do, which eventually leads to resentment.  This is exactly why you feel guilty to receive anything or even ask for help.  You assume, that like you, the other person will give to you out of obligation.  You assume that like you, they have not given themselves permission to say no, and you know how awful that feels…and you don’t want to put anyone in that position.  Am I right?

You are literally projecting your own emotions and beliefs on the other person.

Guess what?

  1. You are not required to say yes to anyone!
  2. No, is a complete sentence. You do not need an explanation.
  3. You are not responsible for anybody’s happiness but your own.

When you know these three things, you can give when you want and only when you want.  You can also receive because you have learned to take responsibility for yourself and your happiness which allows you to allow others to take responsibility as well.

Let us pause here for a moment….I invite you to read all of the prior paragraphs a few times and allow the information to sink into your mind… And I mean really let it sink in.  There are layers of learning about the limitations we place on ourselves and even how we project those self-imposed limitations on others packed into it.

Ok, did you read that over and over?  If you have questions please ask them in the comments section below.  I will respond.

Now, let’s begin to change your ability and willingness to receive with the following steps:

First:  Imagine how your life would be different if you were to allow yourself to receive free of guilt.  Write it down in your journal in as much detail as possible.  Would you have more time?  Would you feel more energized?  Would you do more activities that you love to do? How would this allow you to ‘show up’ differently for your family?

Second: Begin to notice how you limit your choices. Do you think you have to choose between ‘not receiving’ or ‘feeling guilty’?  With only these two options you can never be happy.  What other choices may be available? Are you constantly choosing between your happiness and the happiness of another?  Does there really have to be a choice?  Is it possible for you to bask in the pleasure of allowing another the gift of feeling good about giving to you?  (Journal about this too)

You know how good it feels to give from your heart.  It feels nice to be helpful.  When you deny yourself the ability to receive you are also denying another the gift of giving.  See how receiving is giving.  They are one and the same.  This is where true balance can be found.

Third: Notice everything that you do receive every day.  Breathe deeply and notice that you are receiving life through your breath.  Also notice that by receiving the breath of life that you are not taking away from anyone.  Begin to notice the beauty you receive through your physical eyes.  You can see the love shared between parents and children and couples.  You receive the beauty of nature around you.  As you receive nobody is losing anything.  Now begin to allow yourself to receive compliments.  Just say thank you.  You don’t have to return it with another compliment.  Just receive.

Making positive changes always begins with releasing the past stories.  Emotional Freedom Technique is a powerful way to destroy the stories that keep you fearful of saying no and receiving.

In what other ways can you begin to practice the art of receiving?  Make this a daily practice.   Practice receiving every day.  What can you receive today that you’ve never allowed yourself to receive before?

Please leave your comments and insight below.