If you wish for light, be ready to receive light. ~ Rumi
We have all heard it is better to give than to receive but I wonder if that’s partly because it’s easier for most people to give than to receive. We give our time, energy, and money to many things. Yet how often do we allow ourselves to receive?
Giving is easy – “Here you go, look at what I bought you “or “Look at what I did for you.” However, to be on the other end can sometimes be uncomfortable. We often deflect by saying, ‘Aw, you didn’t have to,’ or ‘you shouldn’t have,’ or ‘it’s too much.’
I find this is more so the case when it comes to compliments and acknowledgment. How often do you deflect compliments – ‘Aw, it’s nothing really,’ or not even acknowledge the compliment (by not even saying thank you and just shrugging it off)?
On the last night of my recent workshop, everyone wrote down something they either learned or appreciated from each person there. To be able to sit and receive compliments and recognition can feel awkward. I believe it’s because we’re not very good at it. We squirm in our seats, our cheeks turn red, we may even want to crawl inside our own skin. Interesting, isn’t it?
What if we could practice fully receiving, perhaps even comfortably and confidently? What if we allowed the words being spoken to us to sink in and fill us up with their positive energy? How might we feel?
Receiving well also honors the person doing the giving. When we deflect a compliment or positive feedback, we are basically discounting the person offering these words to us. In essence, not accepting a compliment or positive feedback is like calling them a liar or crazy, which can feel disrespectful.
We live in a culture that, while there are celebrities showing off their stuff, it still feels a bit taboo to boast. Perhaps we just need to move away from the idea of boasting and embrace the idea of celebrating our gifts, talents, and strengths with poise and confidence.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have struggled with this as well. I used to feel really uncomfortable when someone gave me a compliment and I would try to brush it off. It’s interesting to notice that if someone compliments one of our strengths, we tend to easily dismiss it because what we are good at might come naturally to us. What we forget is that just because it is easy for us doesn’t mean it is easy for someone else nor does it mean we should discount it.
Accepting a compliment with acknowledgment and gratitude is attractive. When you are comfortable in your own skin, in the good and the bad, you are magnetic.
Wouldn’t it be great if we gave and received more compliments and positive feedback each day? Why not start right now?
See how many compliments and how much positive feedback you can both give and receive today.
Prepare yourself for an incredible day.