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Receiving HandsOne of the biggest issues that shows up in the couples and individuals I work with, particularly in regards to their relationships, is where they are so challenged to comprehend what it means to receive. When you dig down even further with the issue, it becomes clear that a LOT of people don’t know how to fathom the notion of receiving without first having earned it and/or without being sure that the right kind of score-keeping is happening to be sure that the balance sheet of worth is properly maintained.

If you’re reading this article, and you’re already noticing a little pull in your tummy, or some internal gasp of recognition, then keep reading. offers three definitions of receiving:

  • “To take into one’s possession (something offered or delivered); to receive many gifts
  • “To have something bestowed or conferred”
  • “To have delivered or brought to one”

The word “Receive” comes from the Latin “regain; to take back.” When you look at those definitions and the root from which they come, and then think about what your definition of receiving is – and how you relate to it, what comes up for you?

When you look at the partner you love dearly (or anyone else that fills that bill), do you not have frequent desires to bestow, deliver, and share the gifts you have to offer them…particularly love, compassion, and attention? When you decide to do that, does your partner evade it, minimize it, or just plain seem pretty darn awkward with the whole thing?  If that happens, then what happens to you, inside?  Maybe you get discouraged, insulted, hurt, or shut down…particularly if this is a frequent dynamic.  It wouldn’t be at all unusual if you even start going down the mental highway of believing that your partner/loved one doesn’t even love you anymore.  It’s healthy to look at why you have issues with getting that which you so easily share to others.

I want to suggest that, while those kinds of reactions aren’t unusual, to confuse the reaction with the TRUTH is likely a big mistake.  For someone – given the origin of “Receive” above – to let in what you’re trying to offer them means they’d have to take themselves back; specifically, whether on a conscious or unconscious level, receiving (particularly loving actions/energies) puts you in the position of getting to take back your worth…to take it in, actually. Your partner wanting to give to you is surely about them loving you and wanting to communicate it in different ways.  However,  have you ever thought about looking at it as a way – intended or not – for you to see yet another degree of yourself through the reflections that being given to put in front of you?  If you could do that, you could deepen your own appreciation for who and how wonderful you are.

Now, to the average bear, you’d think that this would be easy, welcomed, and wanted. Yet, it’s NOT.  So many people just can’t grasp why someone would want to give to them, to see them and acknowledge them in any way, shape, or form.  If you have that going on, can you see that that’s not really natural?  It’s natural to be loved and loving, and it’s natural to both give and receive. So, if neither are natural for you (anymore, if ever), it’s probably time to consider that it might be time for you to look at what scares you about being given to…particularly being loved. Were you to allow it to stay unexamined, you and your relationships will progressively get depleted and uninspiring.

If that’s not what you want, here are some areas to examine inside, to help you with that:

  • Notice what the almost automatic thoughts are that come into your head when your partner is spontaneously loving on you.  If it’s easy to let in, great.  If not, what are you thinking (“Why are they doing this?” or “What do I have to do in return?”) are not uncommon for a lot of people.
  • Write down what the costs were to you when you were growing up (yes, it almost always has some roots in how we were brought up) of trusting love and compassionate being shown to you?  Was there a lot demanded in return?  Was it given so sporadically that you lost touch with what was because of you and what was a manipulation?
  • Take an honest, hard look inside to see if your challenges with receiving also have anything to do with things you haven’t communicated to your partner that has now elevated to a level of guilt and/or resentment that receiving from them feels impossible…because you know you’re not coming clean with things and, therefore, don’t deserve to be given to.  In other words, does keeping receiving at bay allow you to passive-agressively get back at your partner/friend for slights/hurts that you haven’t acknowledged or cleaned up with them?
  • If you’re often the giver, do you often take the time to pause for a second, and really check in with your heart and gut to see why you’re giving in that moment, and if it’s being driven by the sheer joy of giving…or, from an (un)conscious attempt to re-balance the scorecard of what you can trust about being loved based on where the score is?  If you feel resentful a lot after you give, there’s a clue for you.

Taking a look at those things will help you be able to really not only get what might be the matter, but will also help you begin identifying where you need to focus your efforts to begin getting back on the track of regaining yourself through the mirror that others’ giving provides you…if you’ll only look.

If you want to get even deeper into the heart of this issue in your relationship, consider clicking on the link at the top of this issue to have a complimentary chat about it.

I would really love to hear what you think and feel about this topic.  If you would be willing to share, and would want it to be anonymous, please email me at  If you’re willing to have your experiences be of more immediate use and support for others trying to figure all this stuff out too, I invite you to post a comment or a note, to my Living Your Spirit Now Facebook Fan Page.

– is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.