Are you like me and do a better job of giving compliments rather than taking them?
Do you give freely without attaching expectation to that which you are giving – whether it be the gift of time or a physical gift?
Giving of yourself wholeheartedly in time or putting thought into a physical gift and giving feels vulnerable, doesn’t it? Will they like it? Will they appreciate it? What if…..?
Have you ever received a compliment and outright didn’t even acknowledge the compliment or even down-played the kind words someone shared with you?
We have to examine ourselves in these situations because it’s damaging to both the giver and the recipient. More importantly, it’s detrimental to ourselves when we can neither give wholeheartedly or receive graciously.
In Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, I highlighted this passage:
Until we receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.
Ohhh, that’s juicy stuff. Let that sink in a bit.
I was one of those people who prided myself on not needing help; bound and determined to do it all. And, at the same time, if a friend was going through a difficult time, I could give them three hours of my time, no problem. It’s how I obtained my sense of self-worth: never
needing asking for help but always willing to dish it out. At the same time, no one ever saw the hot-mess I was. I still have my days (sometimes weeks), don’t get me wrong. Thankfully, I don’t stay in hot mess land too long.
How do you give fully with an open heart and receive graciously?
Give love to yourself first. We’ve all heard the expression that you can’t give others what you don’t give yourself. It’s true.
When you feel worthless or derive your worthiness in self-destructive ways, it’s impossible to neither give wholeheartedly nor receive graciously.
Start today. Ask yourself this:
Have I talked about the things that get in the way of doing what I know is best for me?
If the answer is no, you know what you gotta do. Share your story with someone who will hold your heart with empathy and compassion. Then let.it.go. Instead, make a plan to move forward. Research backs up having a gratitude practice. I’d say give it at least 30-40 days. Each day, at the end of the day, reflect on the day and finish this sentence:
Today I am grateful for _________________. You could also add in a meaningful-to-you mantra at the end, too. My mantras as of late have been I matter, and I have a purpose.
Starting the journey of self-love irritates old wounds at the start, but it’s the opening that allows the healing, too. Don’t be afraid. Be more afraid of staying where you are – another day, month, or even another year.
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