Power of Receiving

In day to day life, the act of giving holds more of a moral significance than the act of receiving. In fact, we often view receiving as a reflection of some kind of inadequacy on the part of the receiver. But this is not so. Receiving is as important as giving – listening, witnessing, observing, and paying attention are all part of receiving, and we cannot be truly spiritually open until we are as open to receiving as we are to giving.

There are many reasons why we feel uncomfortable receiving. Some people feel they are weak or have failed when they have to ask for help. However, if we seek help in areas where we are not particularly accomplished, we benefit a lot and give other people a chance to give.

Some people fear that if they accept something, they will owe something in return. We all practice reciprocity at some point in our lives. For instance, if you receive help from someone, it’s natural to want to help them in some way. There’s nothing wrong with that. If someone offers to help you, accept it. One day, you’ll have a chance to return the favor, but it shouldn’t be a burden.

Reflect on the following questions:

• Do you graciously accept a compliment, feedback, or a gift?
• Do you feel that receiving is a sign of weakness?
• Do you ask for help when you need it?
• Do you worry about paying back after receiving?
• Is independence more valuable to you than interdependence?
• Do you receive graciously and pay it forward by doing a kind deed for someone else?

Whether or not we realize or acknowledge it, we are all always receiving in some form or another. For example, nature gives us abundantly every moment; sunlight, the wind, food, the shifting seasons, the sheer beauty of the earth…the list is endless.

Receiving and giving are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other. We all exist because of this endless cycle of giving and receiving.

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