Giving is a gift in itself.
How many ways can you define giving which have nothing to do with anything material?
We give of our energy, our time, our efforts, and of our hearts.
When we listen, we give.
When we care, we give.
We offer answers and provide support, we give.
Sometimes when life is, challenging, just showing up is an effort in giving when you do not have enough of your time, energy, or efforts to go around.
Although our hearts appear to have an endless supply of giving, they too can become depleted, but we always find a way where we can give.
It seems endless, right. Isn’t giving easy to define?
Now… how many ways can you define receiving that have nothing to do with anything material?
Do you define receiving the same way as taking?
How do you differentiate the two definitions?
When most people think about receiving, they think that receiving only means taking.
However, this is not the same thing.
Let us examine further how define the difference.
Some people receive energy, time, and efforts. We can accept and receive the energy given to our hearts in “answer” to what giving is done from someone else.
HOWEVER, what happens when some people take more than they give, or they do not bother to reciprocate and only take… how do you then define the difference?
Taking is not the same thing as merely ‘receiving.’
Some people may know how to take; but they do NOT know how to receive.
Have you ever met someone who cannot accept, receive, or take a compliment or praise?
Have you run across someone who shuns, repels, or denies accepting an offer of help?
Help is perhaps the most challenging LINK to address. Some do not know how to ask for help; others would not dare to get help; and there are others still who believe getting help is a sign of weakness or a lack of independence.
Therefore, the idea of ‘receiving’ is actually given a stigma where receiving is compartmentalized as a form of taking. Since the idea of only ‘taking’ is considered rude unless you are giving, the idea of receiving is often misinterpreted stunting the receiving process.
How we perceive giving and receiving is based on how our minds process the terms, how we were brought up generationally, culturally, socioeconomically, and how you were raised to understand the term “help” or “receiving” a hand.
Giving and receiving is an art of balance. Without balance, we do not understand how to communicate within our own beings the meaning of an exchange.
If we examine something as simple as a houseplant – we give it water, sunlight, food, fresh air, and love. When it grows and thrives, it is showing it received what we gave it and in turn becomes a healthy plant returning and giving us back energy and oxygen.
Nevertheless, when it comes to human life behavior, we do not always examine that giving and receiving is like a game of tennis. If you give too much, your arm gets tired. If you do not receive, there is no ball to return and the game is over.
Too much giving is overcompensation.
Too much receiving is selfishness.
Giving without receiving leads to lack of self-worth.
Receiving without giving can be identified as insecurity, neediness, and void filling.
This is why balance in giving and receiving is an art. The ‘fine line’ is a tricky one to walk without going over the line in the next arena.
It is like caring for that houseplant. If you give it too much water, it will become waterlogged and die of root rot.
If you ignore it, taking it for granted, let it dry out, the plant withers away, and dies.
How can balance be achieved in the art of giving and receiving and how can your link be tweaked for creating said balance?
First, we have to understand that compartmentalizing occurs in the human psyche and we isolate our giving and receiving experiences early on from childhood.
When ego is involved, people become attached to the emotional response of give-and-take and keeping score of who gave what vs. what was received.
When you remove ego from the process, you understand that nothing can thrive or survive solely on only giving or only receiving, there has to be a balance of both actions.
Receiving is sometimes more challenging for people to do than giving because accepting involves trust. Sometimes humans do not trust the intention of the giver, questioning motive for giving or if there are strings attached, or a reciprocal action that is imposed, obligated or expected.
We are much more able to receive freely when the intention of the giver is not questioned; however, this goes back to the process of giving.
If people only give with the idea that they get back, the intention is not pure as it comes with great expectations that the recipient may not understand.
If giving is done with a pure intention with zero expectation, and receiving is done with gratitude, there is a healthy exchange.
Healthy exchanges are vital to healthy relationships. Without understanding the give and take process and the balance of what that means, we have misunderstandings.
Misunderstandings lead to miscommunication.
Miscommunication leads to conflict.
Conflict leads to discord.
Discord leads to unrest.
Unrest leads to anger and resentment.
Anger and resentment lead to grudges.
Grudges lead to lack of forgiveness.
Lack of forgiveness spiral out into a domino effect of guilt, blame, distancing and disconnect.
When you are disconnected, your LINK to giving and receiving is gone.
In addition, what is left is a dead plant, no life, and no tennis match, only racquetball with the ball whacking you in the face.
Understanding your receiving link is as equal to knowing its importance in the process of giving, along with pure intention and no expectation.
How we achieve balance is remembering that it is natural for us as humans to do both with detachment when we honor the practice of give and take without our ego present.
When we are more aware and allow ourselves to simply be present for exchanges throughout our day, and be gracious in the process, we become better at participating in both giving and receiving.
It is here we as humans can begin healthy conversation and actually living, giving and receiving the way It was naturally intended. Let’s remember to say “Please, receive my assistance” and “Thank you for offering your help” when we’re finished.