The Gift of Receiving

‘Tis the Season to process feelings! Fa la la la la…las la la la!

I saw this quotation from Abraham-Hicks today and thought it was worth sharing and expanding on.

 “You might say, “How do I know if I’m in a receiving mode or not?” And we say, you always feel good when you’re in a receiving mode. When someone offers you a compliment, do you receive it, or do you sort of just shrug it off? There’s something about believing that you must justify your existence through your effort or through your perseverance, through your struggle. And many of you just have not practiced the receiving mode.”                                                                        — Abraham (Abraham-Hicks)

I have heard many people say they prefer giving gifts to receiving them. What is it that creates discomfort for many of us when we are faced with receiving?  The cause is probably different for each of us, but may all be connected by the common thread of self worth. We can feel like the hero when we give someone the perfect gift, but when it is our turn to receive we can become shy and uncomfortable.

There were so many messages about giving in my lifetime, all altruistic, generous and on the positive side of “good”. Rarely does anyone talk about the gift of receiving in a positive way. Receiving can be aligned with selfishness, lack of deserving, disappointment and sometimes there are “strings” other than ribbon attached to gifts that can cost us emotionally. Warm, gracious, receiving is a reflection of self worth. It isn’t about gifts, it is about feeling. How do you feel about expressing care and love? How do you feel about receiving the care and love of others? That is what gift giving, although somewhat distorted materialistically at times, is symbolic of. We can feel the difference between a thoughtful gift and an obligatory one. I knew someone who was so uncomfortable receiving gifts that the look of discomfort transmitted a message of disregard to the giver that was painful. The giver felt the dismissal of his care. It wasn’t about the gift at all. The more we can work with our wounding around love, the more gracious, loved and connected we can be.

What do you feel when you look at this picture? Uncomfortable? Guarded? Embarrassed because you having nothing to give in return? Curious? Eager? What are the thoughts that come to your mind? Memories?

One thing I know is true. When we can tolerate the uncomfortable feelings we learn more about ourselves which enables us to make new choices. We are better for every moment we can be open to feeling, noticing and becoming more conscious of who we are. There are abundant opportunities at the holidays to practice conscious awareness, self love and appreciation.  Perhaps the gift we are about to receive is one that is much bigger than what is wrapped in pretty paper and ribbon.

Wishing you Happy Holidays filled with the spirit of giving and receiving.