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Giving and Receiving

May 2010 metroSPIRIT: The Soul's Journey

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Many of us are much better givers than receivers.

In fact, we may have heard that it’s better to give than receive a time or two. When we give freely and unconditionally, we’re coming from a place of Soul. Being of service to others in whatever form that takes, opens our hearts and takes us to a higher level. When we are able to give in its purest form, it automatically opens up our ability to receive, as what we give comes back to us.



However, through our conditioning and misinterpretations, many of us have distorted ideas about giving and receiving. We can believe that it’s selfish to give to ourselves, that others needs always come first, that we’re not worthy of abundance or love, that allowing others to help makes us weak. So, often we go through life with a sense that we’re not enough as we are, and seek to give to others as a way of filling ourselves up. Here are some ways we give out of a sense of lack or not being enough.

Giving distortions:

  • Give in order to be liked, gain approval, become indispensable, in control
  • Give because we feel sorry for the other person, or it helps us feel a bit superior
  • Give out of a sense of obligation in order to be a good wife/husband, father/mother, son/daughter, friend
  • Give because we think our needs don’t count, or everybody else’s needs come before our own
  • Withhold giving to ourselves

If we give from a place of lack or not being enough, we’re seeking to fill that up by something outside of ourselves. So, often times our giving is motivated by an inner agenda of getting something back. If we’re giving from a place of lack, the validation is short lived and soon we find a need to fill ourselves up again in order to feel good enough. Or, if we only give to others and never to ourselves, it won’t be long before our resources are depleted and we begin to feel anger and resentment or not being appreciated. These same beliefs create limiting beliefs about receiving.

“Many people who come to me ask how they can learn to receive. But really what they are asking is how they can give in a way that is free from conditions, because when we give freely and unconditionally, we automatically create the place where we can receive.”

Receiving distortions:

  • Not feeling worthy of receiving
  • Not wanting to ask for help
  • Not wanting to be a burden on others
  • Believing it’s not okay to have more than others, or that it’s not spiritual
  • Believing having too much will separate you from others or make you arrogant
  • Not knowing what you want, knowing only what you don’t want
  • “It doesn’t matter what I want, I’ll never get it”

If how you give to yourself is a reflection of how you give to others, or what you allow yourself to receive, what is this telling you? How open is your heart to yourself? When we love ourselves so much that our heart is overflowing, then the giving we do comes from such a pure place. And, we begin to receive in ways we hadn’t even imagined.

If we can’t receive of our own loving, we will often have an agenda in giving to others. If we can’t receive even the simplest things from others such as compliments or offers of assistance, chances are we will block the things we’re wanting to manifest in our lives, because we’re telling ourselves on many levels that it’s not okay to receive. So, then we give with an agenda, don’t allow ourselves to receive, don’t know what we want, and then wonder why we’re not getting what we want in life or feeling unfulfilled. In order to increase your awareness about your own giving and receiving, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I do to take care of myself and love myself on a daily basis?
  • Do I stop and ask myself if I’m willing/able to do something before I commit to it?
  • Do I honor what my body is telling me it needs?
  • Do I acknowledge my feelings and accept all parts of myself?
  • Do I know what I want in life?
  • Do I even know what I want just for today?
  • When something good happens to me, do I doubt it, or believe I don’t deserve it?

For many of us, truly loving ourselves, giving ourselves what we need, and being open to receiving means moving through some old conditioned patterns that have been around for awhile. The good news is that we learned those old ways, and we can begin to let those go when we choose. We can open up to our true nature, which is Soul. And, our Soul gives to all, receives from all, loves all. Starting with ourselves.

The following are suggestions to move through old patterns:

  • Set your intention each day to love yourself and be open to giving and receiving for the Highest Good.
  • Give yourself permission to know what you want and to also know that you deserve it.
  • Ask for help when you need it (Start with just saying thank you when you receive a compliment)
  • Fill your heart up with your own loving so the overflow goes to those around you.
  • Open your heart to receive all the gifts God has for you

Living in your intentions of loving yourself, and giving and receiving with an open heart makes this journey a lot more enjoyable.

Dixie Clark, MS, MSS, LPC is Director and co-founder of Morning Star Center, a holistic wellness center. A licensed counselor and ordained minister, she holds a masters degree in both counseling and spiritual science, and is currently obtaining her doctorate in spiritual science. With over 26 years experience in mind/body therapies, she combines psychology and spirituality to help people release emotional blocks, heal past trauma and change limiting beliefs to open to soul awareness.

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