Let’s presuppose you believe that it’s greater to give than to receive.
With this practice there are at least two participants, a giver and a receiver. You might recall a time when you gave something to someone and they were very pleased with your gift. You felt like a million bucks.
Let’s look at this experience from a different angle. Someone gives you a gift and your reply is, “you shouldn’t have”, or they share a compliment and your reply is “it’s not a big deal.” Consider this: a reply like this is minimizing and discounting the giver’s experience of giving you a gift, be it materialistic or verbal.
The act of giving is two way. Without one, there wouldn’t be the other.
Generally, when a person is adamant about being the giver they have hidden agendas – such as seeking acceptance. They justify doing something for someone else yet they are unwilling to do the same for themselves.
Giving and receiving is a balance of reciprocation.
When the exchange is off balance – it’s real easy for a nasty personality to appear – it’s known as the martyr. The giver’s story is “they give, give, give” and when they need or want something – nobody is there to reciprocate and if they are, it’s not what the martyr expects.
Before you shoot me – not every person as I’ve described is a martyr, there is however a common thread - all who prefer to avoid being the recipient of gifts lack of self-worth.
That’s the good news and the not-so-good news. It takes courage and self persistence to change. Not everyone is interested in change. Change requires an awareness of what we’re doing to ourselves as well as to others and
finding healthy ways to replace the old patterns.
Sometimes it can be as simple as taking a deep breath when you’re complimented and as you respond with a ‘thank you’ you STOP the negative inner dialogue. This is a virus that feeds ‘being unworthy’.
Here are a few suggestions to make that change:
Allow people to share with you the same joy as a giver as you do with them.
Learn to laugh at your humanness and enjoy you. You’re a great person. Believe it to be true.
Treat your self with the same love and generosity that you’re giving to others.
"The giving and receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy." - Kahlil Gibran, "The Prophet"
To your week being filled with gifts!
(c)2000 Food For the Soul
Author Glenda Gibbs