Learning to receive

Learning to receive

Why do some of us have a hard time receiving?

A special and wise friend of mine gave me a ‘good talking to’ the other day. He said ‘Wendy, you need to learn to receive. Do you feel worthy enough to receive?’

His message was this:  It’s OK to receive – whether it be help, love, money, support, a listening ear – whatever it is, that I am worthy of receiving and to drop any guilt in doing so.

Many of us are helpers – I know this is at the core of my being.  We help others all the time. When someone is hurting, troubled or stressed, we immediately go into rescue mode.  Want to ease the suffering, and hope we have made a positive difference in someone’s life.  We want to practice compassion. It makes us feel like good human beings. But somehow when it comes time for me to say ‘Yes’ to offers of help, my default response is ‘No thank you, that’s OK’.

When people like me say ‘no’ to help, I think the reasons tend to be:

  • We don’t want to bother anyone and put them out.
  • We feel weak because we’re accepting help.

But what happens when we don’t let people into our lives who truly want to help?

  • We wear ourselves down, because we’re giving and giving and do not receive.
  • We deny others the gift of being able to help and feel useful. We deny them the opportunity to exercise compassion.

If you saw my last post about the current health scare I’m facing, the outpouring of love and support from friends and my blog readers has truly made me pause in my tracks, and take extra time to feel the gratitude of the human spirit. I honestly took several moments to cherish all the compassion sent to me.

Here is an excellent article from another friend of mine, Bruna Martinuzzi, called the Neglected Art of Receiving’. And an interesting article called ‘How to take compliments without looking conceited’, because people like me also find it difficult to receive compliments.

The message from my friend is something I’m taking to heart. I’m starting to question my default response of ‘no, thank you, I’m fine’ and really considering if I could use help from the person offering.

Thank you to my dear friend for making me take notice,


5 thoughts on “Learning to receive

  1. I think of you often. Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable. I suffer from the “I’m fine” syndrome too and hope to find a little more balance (any day now) 🙂
    Be well,

    • Hello dear Kim, I love what you said – the ‘I’m fine syndrome’. That’s our default response, isn’t it. When having a casual, quick encounter with someone to exchange pleasantries and a hello, our culture always says ‘How are you doing?’ and often people don’t even listen for a response. But also, it’s a decision we make whether to get into a conversation, because if the answer isn’t ‘fine’, then it needs a longer conversation.

      Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that when our true friends and supporters are genuinely concerned about our well-being, it’s those times that we helper-type people need to watch our syndrome and be open to receiving love, support and help.

      Wishing you well, Kim, always,

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