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Learning to receive has been a challenge for me over the years.
It doesn’t come naturally for me. It requires me to translate from my “original language” of pleasing, which often says no to me.
The practice of receiving, on the other hand, is linked to my desire to say yes. It is a path to trusting myself and listening to my inner wisdom.
When I receive, I admit I cannot do it alone, which is vulnerable and humbling. I have struggled with pride as I wished to come across as strong and capable. I don’t want to admit that I don’t know something and that I need to learn from others.
Recently, my husband and I purchased a new vehicle. Little did we know that the latest car models do not have CD players in them! We would have to synchronize our phones with the car’s audio system and find a way to play music. We had not used our phones for listening to music and both of us felt anxious about learning this new skill. I was upset. This was not what I wanted. It shouldn’t be so complicated. Why do I have to learn new technology? This was not my choice.
The more I wallowed in the slough of resentment and anger, the more unsettled and irritated I became. Then I began to feel a sense of shame that I was so stupid. My inner critic loudly reminded me of how little I knew, and how challenging this would be for me. I did not even want to ask for help because I felt so useless and ignorant.
What happened next?
I took some deep breaths and sternly told my inner critic to go away. I accepted myself exactly where I was at and reminded myself that it was okay to not know how to manage this new challenge on my own. I had compassion for the woman I was who felt overwhelmed and lost.
Then I admitted that I would need to ask for help.
Once I released my resistance, a space of possibility opened up for me.
One summer evening a few days later, my daughter and her husband were lingering with us after a delicious meal in our courtyard. I took a sip of my wine and said, “Would this evening be a good time to help us figure out the music stuff in our new car?”
Magic and ease followed!
They were eager to support us. Within minutes, they invited us to join their “family plan” for streaming music. Off we went to the vehicle to connect our phones and play some songs.
Lightness and joy spilled over from my heart as music filled the car. My husband and I felt the excitement of starting a new journey. Not only would we embark on a road trip, we would also experience the adventure of a rich and life-giving sound track as we travelled across the country.
My willingness to ask for help resulted in a “gift exchange” between me and my children. As I received from them, they were enriched with the joy of being able to help me.
There are some common beliefs that keep us from asking for help and receiving.
Myths about receiving:
1. It is a sign of weakness. Strong people don’t ask for help.
2. It is selfish to ask for help for myself when there is so much suffering in the world.
3. I don’t deserve to ask for help. I am not worthy enough.
4. I am not responsible if I ask for help.
5. I shouldn’t have to ask for help. Those who love me should know what I need without me telling them.
6. I am a burden to others if I receive from them.
These myths may be barriers to you practicing the art of receiving. I encourage you to be aware of the myths that might be present in your awareness, and start reframing them.
Reframing the myths:
1. Some of the strongest people I know are best at receiving help and graciously thanking others for their support. It is a sign of strength and confidence to admit one’s need for help.
2. Taking care of myself by asking for support, even when there is suffering, is a way of equipping myself to be of service to others. Neglecting my own needs does not benefit anyone.
3. I am a loved human being who deserves to receive.
4. Truly being responsible includes caring for myself, both physically and emotionally.
5. No one can read my mind. How will others know I need help unless I ask?
6. Allowing others to help me is a gift to them. When I receive fully, I am allowing them to experience the joy of giving to me.
When I receive, my energy is expansive, generous, light, and happy. I show up authentically as I accept who I am and put myself first. Because of this, everyone around me benefits.
This is an ongoing journey for me, and I encourage to join me in learning how to receive!