Why Receiving Love Is Harder Than Giving Love?
How to Be Courageous and Allow Yourself to Receive More Deeply.
Is it difficult for you to receive love, caring, and compliments? Do you silently squirm inside when someone tells you how beautiful, handsome, inspirational or talented they think you are? Do you easily receive presents or gifts that others give to you or do you feel undeserving of them – whether consciously or subconsciously? Or do you allow yourself to deeply receive the gift of kindness, caring, and connection?
Receiving creates a long lasting effect of the deep connection between two people - interpersonal connection. Making it more important to give than having the ability to receive may be a convenient way to keep people distant and our hearts defended. But, in doing this, how much love are we missing out on that we deeply yearn for and need? Are we allowing ourselves to be vulnerable enough to risk being hurt in exchange for the incredible reward of being loved and even more, having a relationship that you never thought possible because you had the courage to receive love, as well as to give love?
You see, the above dictionary definitions of courage are defined as; “…withstand danger, fear or difficulty” and “…to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear”. But I don’t agree with this definition at all! I believe that being courageous involves being fearful and knowing the risks, and in some cases not knowing the risks, and doing it anyway! It is not in the absence of fear but in spite of being fearful. That’s a huge difference! And what’s even bigger is the insurmountable amount of confidence and motivation that we receive when we are truly courageous. Again, being courageous does not mean being without fear, but knowing your fears and acknowledging your fears and doing it anyway. This can be applied to all aspects of life including business, relationships, money, etc.
A valuable and an incredible technique (which I have applied myself), is to ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” And list them. Then ask yourself, “What’s the benefit or upside to going through with it?” And list them. Not only does this allow you to name your fears, but it also serves as a visual aid into how many more reasons there are to actually go through with it despite your fears, than not doing it.
Focusing on love is no different at all. I truly believe that when we don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable out of fear of rejection or being hurt, feeling disappointed etc., it prevents us from experiencing what could be the greatest love we’ve yet to experience.
But where do we start?
Let’s be honest. We all judge each other. We all judge a book by its cover. It’s not a good thing, but it’s normal, unfortunately. Anyone who says that they don’t is pretty much claiming they’re perfect, and we all know that no one is. I don’t even know what that would look like. Maybe, it doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen?
When we see someone, we read their body language and in an instant make a determination (judge) subconsciously, whether or not they will hurt us. If we believe they’re genuine and loving, we let our guard down and if not, then our guards are up. We, therefore, must acknowledge that we will not be willing to receive the love that they have to offer if we have already determined that they are a risk to us. And the same is true for the other person.
Being vulnerable shows that you are comfortable and secure with who you are and that you’re willing to risk being hurt or disappointed. If the other person is not also willing to be vulnerable, and receive your love and kindness, they won’t engage you in the same way because they are fearful of being hurt and, are not yet at the stage that you are. It’s really that simple. Being vulnerable is sexy, smart and confident. It actually scares away those who aren’t and eventually, you will connect with the right person who is vibrating on the same wavelength.
Letting Go of Control.
When we give, we’re in control in a certain way. It might be easy to offer a kind word or buy someone flowers, but can we allow ourselves to surrender to the good feeling of receiving a gift? And to what extend? Does our giving come from an open, generous heart versus bolstering our self-image of being a kind and caring person? Are we expecting anything in return when we give and in turn carry resentful feeling towards that person?
Receiving invites us to welcome a vulnerable part of ourselves. Living more in this tender place, we’re more available to receive the subtle gifts we’re offered every day, such as a sincere “thank you,” a nice compliment, or a warm smile.
Think about it. If everyone were busy giving, then who would have the time to take in all that good stuff?
Fear of Strings Attached. What’s the Catch?
We may be uncomfortable receiving if it came with strings attached when growing up. We may have received compliments only when we accomplished something, like winning at sports or achieving good grades. If we sensed that we weren’t being accepted for who we are but rather for our achievements and accomplishments, we may not feel safe to receive.
If parents narcissistically used us to meet their own needs, such as to showcase us to their friends or cling to an image of being good parents, we may equate compliments to being used. We were recognized for what we do rather than for who we really are.
We believe it’s selfish. It feels guilty to receive.
We may be conditioned to believe that life is more about suffering than it is about being happy. Some of us may believe that not taking up too much space or being too happy, or smiling too broadly brings too much attention to ourselves and as a result of this, we may feel shame to receive.
An inflated sense of self-importance and believing we deserve more than others is indeed rampant today. Interestingly, a new study suggests that wealth can actually increase this sense of entitlement.
Sound self-worth, feeling deserving of receiving with humility and appreciation keeps us balanced and nourished.
Feeling the Pressure to Reciprocate
You may be blocking yourself from receiving love from another as protection from being in someone’s debt. We may fear their motives thinking about what they may want in exchange. When we presume that compliments or gifts are attempts to manipulate us, we defend ourselves from any sense of obligation or debt. Blocks to receiving love, kindness, compliments or gifts may reflect protection from being in someone’s debt.
“The parched earth can’t let in a life-giving rain if it is covered by plastic tarp… Without the capacity to be touched by caring and appreciation, we render these gifts less meaningful. Sacred receiving, letting things in with heartfelt gratitude, is a gift to the giver! When we are visibly moved, it conveys that they’ve made a difference in our lives. We may then bask together in a non-dual moment in which there is no distinction between the giver and the receiver. Both people are giving and receiving in their own unique ways. This shared experience can be profoundly sacred and intimate—a moment of delectable grace.”
Take notice how you feel inside the next time someone offers you a compliment, gift, or looks lovingly into your eyes. What's happening in your body? Is your breathing relaxed and your belly soft or are you tightening up? Can you let in the caring and connection? Being conscious of the pleasant or uncomfortable feelings of delight might allow you to be more present for the present.
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present!