Look at the world around you. Everything alive breaths in and out. If you dig a hole in the dirt it fills with air or water or something. Everything is in a constant exchange. It is the natural way of things.
However, we seem to feel that it is somehow unsafe to let things be that way and block one or the other. We block the “inhale” of life which is receiving or the “exhale” which is giving. Sometimes we even block both.
What can we do about it?
The first thing to do is to get back in balance. If you give all the time you are likely depleted. If you receive all the time you have likely depleted those around you.
If you are depleted, start a rigorously loving self-care plan. If you have been taking all the time –just start to notice what you do and why you do it.
Second, examine what the underlying issues are. There are reasons why you are not comfortable giving or receiving. Why do you think that is? What negative experiences or social training have shaped who you are?
Third, practice doing the opposite of what you have been doing. Do you normally take up the space in a conversation? Try listening more. Do you brush off every compliment? Try taking a deep breath, smiling and saying thank you.
Wherever you are blocked with this particular dynamic, it will affect your happiness and your growth so take some time to work with it. The results will be gratifying.
You might notice that as you begin to change your life, you will see changes in your relationships. Sometimes, unfortunately, change means some relationships will need to fall away, but the ones that do not – or the new ones – will likely get deeper and more fulfilling. For those who have not had the joy of being in a fulfilling relationship, I will spend a bit of time describing some of what you might look to foster in your relationships.
Of course, you are the final judge of what truly makes you happy and fulfilled in a relationship, but these might offer some useful signposts.
Open communication: Knowing what you think and feel and being willing to share it.
Trust: Behaving in a way that is trustworthy, fostering trust and being more trusting.
Respect: Understanding that the other person is an individual and should not be criticized for not being like you or any other person.
Love:I like the expression, “Love is a verb.” Healthy relationships seek to continually work to foster love through behavior.
Integrity: The understanding that each person has his or her won path and it is not loving to take them off their path.
Partnership: The desire to share life – its struggles and its joys.