I grew up believing that giving is more important than receiving. I still believe that giving is extremely important. In fact, I feel it is my purpose to give my unique gifts. That is what we are all here to do. What has changed is that I don’t believe giving is more important than receiving. They are equally important.
A few years ago, I had the realization that I was not fully receiving love from other people. I was blocking it instead of really receiving it. I was uncomfortable when someone was giving me love unconditionally. I would look away or avoid it because I knew if I kept looking at the person who was giving love to me, I would end up a teary-eyed, snotty-nosed, blubbering mess. Why did it have that effect on me? At the core of the issue was my false belief that I wasn’t good enough and I didn’t deserve to be loved that way. So instead of allowing myself to feel that incoming love, I blocked it out. What I didn’t realize was that I was also interfering with my ability to give fully. Unless I fully loved myself and fully received love from others, I wasn’t able to fully give it. Life is full of opposites and polarities. The degree to which I feel sadness affects the degree to which I can experience joy. What I find really interesting is that we tend to label one of the poles as being more negative. Giving is far more noble than receiving. Joy is much better than sadness. The darkness within each of us is bad and the light is good. The kicker is that without the so called negative pole, we couldn’t experience the fullness of the positive. Without darkness, we wouldn’t know what the light is. The darkness isn’t bad. It is just the absence of light. Sadness is the absence of joy. To fully give, I must fully receive and vice versa.
I also blocked receiving compliments. Whenever someone would give me a compliment, I would downplay it and tell them they were crazy or pass on the credit to someone else. Not only was I losing out but I was also robbing the other person. It was like a gift was being placed in my hands and I was just throwing it back at them. That must have sucked for that person! Here they were trying to be nice and give me a gift and my refusal to receive it was like a slap in the face. I robbed them of the giving experience. So we both ended up feeling crappy. Once I had this realization, I began receiving compliments. It felt very strange at first because it was unfamiliar but I just took a deep breath and simply said, “thank you”. Now I am able to genuinely receive and it feels really good.
Moms are notorious for giving, giving, giving and not receiving. Even when help is offered, the tendency is to refuse it because they feel they should be able to do everything. Accepting help would be admitting failure in some way. What a load of hogwash! I used to feel this way but I am so glad I dropped that belief. Just recently, I received a wonderful gift from my lovely girlfriends. They paid for 4 hours worth of housecleaning! I’ll admit, my initial reaction was “Crap! Does my house really look that bad?” After the two minutes it took for me to get over myself, I happily received the gift. I hate housecleaning and because of that, it is usually at the bottom of my priority list. They knew this and they also knew that raising a toddler and a baby and running my business from home was consuming most of my time. It felt so amazing to have my house clean and tidy without me having to spend the time doing it! They also took my 2 year old daughter on a playdate giving me time to catch up on some unfinished projects. Look what I would have missed out on if I hadn’t allowed myself to receive those amazing gifts! I have even become better at asking for help. I used to let my pride get in the way but if you don’t ask, you definitely won’t receive. You may not receive even when you do ask but the odds are much better! Being a successful mom and an entrepreneur without me burning out requires more than just me. It requires a team effort. I am so grateful for the team of amazing people in my life. Together, we are going to rock it!