PICTURE YOURSELF RECEIVING
CHALLENGE SEVEN: RECEIVE
This blog is part of a series. You might want to check out the initial blog of the series http://hubpages.com/hub/MERRY-HUBS-MONTH
to get a quick overview snapshot of the series and how this blog fits in. BUT this blog also stands on its own!! Well, maybe it’s tilting just a tad! Okay, I’ll shush so you can read.
Some folks are pretty good at giving, but have a difficult time RECEIVING. My Dad was one of those folks. Perhaps it was something left over from the Great Depression or related to his father’s premature death.
We were always excited to try to find the perfect gift for Dad’s birthday and for Christmas. But if we were ever successful, he sure never let us know. He was always dismissive of our gifts and made comments to the effect that he didn’t need the gifts we gave him. "What am I going to do with this?" he would ask.
As I grew up a little bit, I finally realized whatever was happening there with Dad was really about him and not about us. I can only speculate, but it seems that he did not feel worthy to receive. As I alluded to above, perhaps it had to do with the premature death of his father when he was fifteen years old and the subsequent craziness he experienced within his own family as a result of his father’s death.
Traumas can leave a person with a deep sense of shame and unworthiness. It perhaps makes no sense to the logical mind, but it makes perfectly good sense to the overwhelming emotional experience of trauma. Something along the lines of "there must be something terribly flawed or bad about me that God or life would choose me for such an awful and inexplicable trauma. No one will want to be around me, let alone give anything to me. Whatever I have might be contagious!"
Shifting gears a tad, I guess there is a line between being open to receiving and taking advantage of another person’s generosity. I say, "I guess" because I’m not really sure about that. I think sometimes we say to ourselves, "I don’t want to take advantage," as a defense to being open to receiving what someone else is wanting to give to us.
Being able to receive is an important experience. It requires giving up control. It requires humility. It means having to acknowledge
*that you DON’T have it all, and you can’t meet all your needs.
*Yes, you NEED loved ones and friends to meet your needs!
*Yes, as grown up as I am, when it is all said and done, I’m still dependent.
Unfortunately, the whole experience of dependence is very threatening to some folks. It is so threatening that they literally drive love ones away and sometimes even into the ground as a way of avoiding having to receive from them. If I allow myself the experience of receiving, I might have to acknowledge just how empty I really feel, and for some folks, that is paramount to annihilation.
Some developmental psychologists suggests, that if all goes well, by the time we are nine months old, we learn to love and be loved. So the experience is not only LOVING, but BEING loved. Receiving again.
Well, it is obviously not a perfect world, and none of us are perfect parents, so none of us are going to get through the first nine months of life without some bumps in the road, and perhaps those early bumps set us up for having difficulties RECEVING. This is not about blame, but just about the world not being perfect.
When I hear couples talking about marriage or partnership being a give and a take, I like to suggest that they look at it a tad differently. It is a giving and a receiving!
I just had this interesting thought. Perhaps the physiological correlate to receiving is BREATHING. So many of us do not breathe. We spend most of our waking moments holding our breath or breathing very shallow! Isn’t that wild! So perhaps the road to being more open to receiving, is becoming more conscious of our breathing and taking the time each day to do a little yoga breathing and RECEIVE an abundance of oxygen into our body (if there’s any left out there!), and restore our openness and receptivity to life itself.
Perhaps my lack of whatever, is less about luck, less about worthiness, less about smarts, and more about my lack of openness to receive what is already there waiting for me.
Someone, in recent years, took the Jabeth prayer and expanded it into a small inspirational book. In this little book, the author suggests that there is literally a "warehouse" of blessings designated for specific people who have not received their designated blessings because they are not open to asking and receiving.
What an interesting thought!
I am sure that the bottom line for many of us is we are afraid of being indebted to whoever it is that is giving to us. Wow! We are afraid of being indebted. What is so awful about being indebted to someone who loves us so much that they want to give us the perfect birthday or Christmas gift, or they want to see a smile on our face, or they want us to be happy, or they want to be in relationship with us? From the perspective of not wanting to be indebted, being closed off to receiving is really very very–here it comes, that word we all hated when we were little-- SELFISH!
Share with us your experience of receiving and what keeps you from being more open to receiving.
I'M STILL TRYING TO FIND WHERE YOU CAN PURCHASE THAT INSPIRATIONAL BOOK I REFERRED TO.