Ask Azim | Q&A (October 2016)

Azim-JamalQUESTION:  I prefer to be a giver than a receiver. That way, I feel I never owe anyone anything.

AZIM: None of us can claim to be only giving even when we think we are. The very moment we are born, we are also taking from life around us. The air we breathe, the warmth of the sun, love of family and friends, the kindness of strangers, the generosity of farmers who grow our food and the list goes on. If we start keeping count, we will realize that we can never pay it all back. Hence, being only a giver is an illusion you keep; and this isn’t a sign of humility or independence, but rather denial.

The cycle of giving and receiving is inviolable. We cannot give without receiving and vice versa. However, by denying the gift of receiving, you might be missing much more than just a feeling of gratitude.

Because our inability to receive openly affects our ability to give openly as well. The same fear that prevents us from receiving holds us back from giving. In fact, some people become so wary of being trapped by their sense of obligation that they never let anyone ever give them more than they can easily return.

Some people simply do not feel worthy of the gift.

All these feelings generally arise from a fear of rejection or being used or controlled by others. Either way, you do not realize that you are already being controlled by your fear.

So look deep within and examine the beliefs that are preventing you from reaching out to life and accepting its gifts. Refusing to receive alienates us not only from our loved ones but also renders us unapproachable and closed to life. Instead, learn to give and receive gracefully with an open heart. Once you start doing this you will be better able to discern which gifts are genuine and which come with strings attached. You can then choose to courteously refuse or accept them without allowing yourself to become vulnerable to manipulation.


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