Some people feel weird about being given to.
The moment someone volunteers, ”I’ll pay for this one,” they automatically fend off the generosity saying, ”oh, no no, no…” and go into immediate resistance, hurriedly fishing out their wallet. In this situation I always say to the refuser: “it’s safe to receive.”
It’s understandable that those of us who have been given love so transactionally in our earlier lives are cautious to receive it when it’s offered because we have learned since childhood that the pay-back police are never far behind.
When we were taken to the park and bought an ice cream we had no idea that when we disobeyed our caregivers later on that they’d rebuke us with, “I took you to the park, I bought you an ice-cream,” counting on their fingers each treat we now owed them for.
We never realised we were notching up bad credit—after repeated experiences of this we’ve become wary of any ‘freely given’ abundance. But this auto response hugely limits intimacy. The thing is, having our gifts received is one of the most pleasurable and nourishing experiences on offer for us humans.
Around the holidays, isn’t it so much more exciting to watch someone open a present we took ages creating for them or took real care in choosing than we, ourselves, opening yet another scarf?
If I always say “no” when someone tries to give me something then I’m never giving them the chance to feel generous and have that exhilarating experience of giving. I want to have my gifts received. We all do.
So let’s be generous in our receiving, and generously allow others to feel generous in giving to us.
Intimacy is in receiving more and more of the other. Their gifts, their wounds, their truths, and generously allowing others to feel so received.
Please share with us below something you are now going to explore being open to receiving from someone close to you. I dare you to receive!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Melissa Horton/ Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons