Because you’re worth it!
On birthdays I never had any problems with it. Christmas gifts from my former employer? No problem. Actually receiving anything tangible was never a problem. But when it came to something intangible, I had difficulties. With compliments? Yes, problem (omg, no, look at you, you are so much more this and that). Taking a stage? Yes, difficult (someone else can do that a lot better than I can). Other kinds of offerings handed to me? DIFFICULT!! And what if I receive something negative from someone? It went under my skin, straight away. No problem at all with receiving that. ‘Somehow,’ one of my friends said ‘it seems even easier to receive something negative, than truly receive a compliment.’
Now why does it seem to be so difficult to receive something offered to you? To take on? I have had quite some chats with friends about this these last days and I am for sure not the only one who thinks its hard. We actually all agreed on the fact that it is difficult to receive. Now what is it, that makes receiving so difficult and why do we take on negativity so easily?
It has everything to do with your sense of love and belonging. Brene Brown puts this beautifully in her ‘Power of Vulnerability‘. If you don’t feel worthy of love and belonging, you will never be able to truly receive. As she states: “We are all programmed for struggle. But you know what? You are worthy of love and belonging.” And as soon as we understand what that means, we can expand our capacity of receiving. Receiving positivity is such a beautiful thing. It makes you grow, it gives you the courage to go on, to hold on to what you’re doing, it feeds you in the most essential way. And as for dealing with negative ‘gifts’? There’s a beautiful short story of Buddha:
‘One day Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up to him and began insulting him. “You have no right to be teaching others!” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else, you’re nothing but a fake!” Buddha was not upset by these insults. He just smiled. The man insulted him again and again but the only reaction he could get back from the Buddha was a smile and silence. Finally he stomped his feet and left cursing. The disciples were feeling angry and one of them couldn’t keep quiet and asked the Buddha:”Why didn’t you reply to the rude man?” The Buddha replied “If someone offers you a gift and you refuse to accept it, to whom does the gift belong?” “Of course to the person who brought it.” replied the disciple. “That is correct” smiled the Buddha.
So in order to truly receive ‘things’ (read: compliments, gestures, offers, anything) you have to believe you’re worth it. Let the person bringing it know that you are grateful for the gift. Only then, they’ll feel as much joy in giving as you’ve experienced in receiving. As everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.