“The universe operates through dynamic exchange . . . giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.” – Deepak Chopra
As we approach the time of year where giving and receiving may begin to be at the forefront of our minds I wanted you to consider what is better, to give or to receive?
The answer may not be as simple as it seems. The action of giving and receiving has a powerful impact on our relationships, not only with others but with yourself as well. Are you better at giving or receiving? I know that I certainly favour one over the other…and it’s probably not the one you would think! Whilst I love buying gifts for others and make an effort to compliment others, I”m not very good at receiving either of those myself.
Receiving is as necessary and important as giving. While giving feels wonderful, it only works when there is a receiver. Allowing yourself to be a gracious receiver is a humbling experience and a true act of love because it offers a chance for others to give.
Receiving is not about expecting others to give to you. It is about receiving a gift without guilt or without feeling obliged to give back. Maybe you can’t receive gifts without negative thoughts popping up, such as, “I don’t deserve this” or “Now I feel like I owe her/him.”
How you receive is just as important to the giver’s happiness as it is to your own. To receive in a good way requires you to do away with the negative thoughts and instead pause and reflect on the exchange and what it means: friendship, support, love, etc. This fuels a great deal of happiness in both the giver and receiver.
Nature provides perfect examples of this dynamic exchange of giving and receiving that is necessary for the flow of life. You receive the gift of oxygen from trees, and you give them carbon dioxide. Insects receive nectar from flowers, and they give the gift of pollination. Symbiotic relationships are abundant in nature and are needed for the ecosystem to continue to thrive. Since you are also part of nature, you too need to both give and receive to stay happy and healthy.
Giving can inspire great positive change and healing in a world that needs it.
Spending more time thinking about ways you can give is often accompanied by feelings of peace and joy. Giving comes naturally to humans because it taps into that innate part of ourselves that gravitates toward connection.
Become conscious of your current relationship with giving and see how it can be improved so you don’t fall prey to the downside of giving too much (or too little) of yourself.
This is where self-care, in the form of being able to receive support, love, and encouragement from others plays a vital role in keeping the energy of giving and receiving circulating in your life.
Here are some small (free) ways you can strengthen the flow of giving in your life:
Compliment a stranger.
Send a message of appreciation.
Give a hug.
Say “thank you.”
Give a homemade gift.