The Art of Giving and Receiving

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November 23, 2020

“Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.”


The gift during this time of year is that we focus on giving thanks. Our thanksgiving rituals are varied, but gratitude is one of the celebrations most treasured (along with yummy food, of course). Gratitude for our life, our family, our kids, and everyone’s good health is usually at the top of the list, and these days so is clean air! The list of blessings to be grateful for is endless.

But when there’s more giving going on than receiving, it usually leads to resentment or burnout and this gets in the way of feeling much authentic gratitude. Not surprisingly one of the proven life hacks for anger, resentment, and frustration is to think of things we’re grateful for. However, if there is an imbalance with the giving and receiving equation, we are going to struggle.

You know the expression, “to give is to receive”? Sometimes it is difficult to keep these two things in balance, and I have tended to have a harder time being on the receiving end of giving. Somehow it feels safer to give and not so comfortable to receive. This is coming from the old belief of not feeling deserving or the belief that I have to “do it all myself.” For example, if someone pays me a compliment. I might say “it’s no big deal” or if someone offers to help me carry something, my automatic response is “that’s ok, I can do it.” I have had to work on this and with practice have found it easier now to say “thank you” when I receive a compliment or say “yes I would love some help” when it’s offered.

Giving and receiving are one and the same according to the teachings in the Course in Miracles. If we give without expectation to receive, we will automatically receive. It just may not be in the form we think we want or expect. This is why I believe self-care and being loving and giving to ourselves is so important. If we have given/received care and support ourselves, we automatically want to give to everyone else. And it is thus given from a more loving generous spirit.

Forgiveness is also needed and necessary to master this giving/receiving art. This balancing or recalibrating action can only uplift our spirit. When we forgive, it is actually a gift to ourselves as well as to whoever we are forgiving. Forgiving yourself first, leads to easier forgiveness toward others. Ask yourself:

Have I given to myself lately? 

Am I over-giving as a habit?

How good am I at receiving?

What would I love to receive?

Is there anything I need to forgive myself for?

Who do I want or need to forgive?

Answering these questions honestly may shed some light on what’s needing your attention. Then you can work on your gratitude list. In the meantime, treat your Gorgeously Healthy self to something wonderful. You totally deserve it!


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