Indeed, it is as important to learn how to receive a blessing as it is to be willing to give one. –Joel Osteen


I’m great at giving. Giving my time, giving my talent, giving my treasure. I love it. Not only is it my nature, I also cultivate it. I value giving to others. It gives them joy.  It gives me joy. And joyfulness makes the world a better place, in my opinion.

However, I kinda suck at receiving.

Up until now, my prideful giving side wouldn’t let myself receive. As if in doing so it somehow negated the giving. Like they would cancel each other out. Or that I’d get selfish and stop giving. As if receiving would be like a dazzling high from which I’d never come down, turning myself into a taking, selfish freak. First one’s free, kid.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

I’m sure you’ve heard the angle that in not-receiving, you deny the giver of the giving. And since you wouldn’t want to be denied in your giving…well, you see that you really should also receive. Great. Now I feel that Receiving = Guilt + Failure. Gee, this is fun.

The slightly less guilty version is that in receiving, you are actually giving the giver a gift. So, I feel better about receiving…but am I, really? Receiving? Or have I just reshaped it back into giving?

Then it finally occurs to me that in learning to receive, I enrich my entire giving/receiving interlaced experience. Which I do believe is true, and it also unveils the deeper learning that I’ve really got going on here…  

Receiving is tied to my vulnerability, my worthiness, and my self-value. Ouch.

But hold on. Let’s make that Ouch for the ripping off of the bandage, rather than for the wound. Because look–what’s actually underneath that covering is smooth, luminous, beautiful. There was nothing to protect in the first place, no flaw to heal.

That’s where I want to get to. So I’m finally ready to learn about receiving.

In my process I’ve discovered that I actually equate receiving with taking. And here’s my unconscious math from that one:

  • Giving is good.
  • Taking is the opposite of giving.
  • Taking equals receiving.
  • Receiving is the opposite of giving.
  • Receiving is bad.


Then I made a huge leap in understanding: receiving does not equal taking. Receiving is not the opposite of giving.

Receiving doesn’t undermine giving. Receiving and giving are each a side of the same coin. Two parts to one whole.

You could say that receiving is thus the opposite of taking! Which then completely debunks that whole funky math theorem.

And for those of us who also think in Language as well as Math, feeling as well as thinking, let’s examine new synonyms in order to help create new mental patterns. According to Thesaurus.com, some synonyms for Receive include:

  • Collect
  • Take in
  • Reap
  • Gather
  • Inherit
  • Perceive
  • Redeem
  • Be given
  • Come into

And another good one I realized as well: to receive is to surrender.

Holy cow, does that put a new light on the gift of receiving for me! 

I’m offering up a daily prayer: I’m ready to learn more about receiving.  I’m ready to surrender.

And I no longer fear that in doing so, my giving will be compromised.


Now it’s your turn: share in the safe space of the comments here how you feel about receiving. What’s your mental math around it? Or your learning language?

We are Divine enough to ask and we are important enough to receive. –Wayne Dyer

3 Comments on “Homecoming”

  1. Pingback: Question of the Day – gina drellack

    • I’m glad it invoked a response–thank you for sharing it here. ❤

      This whole receiving thing is opening me up even wider and deeper than I had imagined. It's a beautiful path to explore!


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