Part 4 of Embracing Support series
When was the last time you allowed yourself to receive support?
Hopefully your experience of receiving support was positive. Though I’m thinking of times where people will offer their unsolicited advice, and even with the best of intentions, it does not feel like help or support. But this is where even the act of giving support needs to be done with mindfulness and an open heart. I’m thinking of the ‘Platinum Rule’, something I learned about two years ago through Sam Killerman’s book, “A Guide to Gender: the social justice advocates handbook”.
The platinum rule is different from the golden rule.
The golden rule says to do unto others as you would have done to yourself. The Platinum rule invites us to do unto others as they would like to have done unto them. Sometimes what one person needs is not something that we would want or need. And this invites us to ASK!
How beautiful is that! That in this series on embracing support, even in giving support we can be asking. That instead of assuming what we think the other person needs, that we ask what they need. This gives the other person, the autonomy and empowerment to speak their need.
My invitation to you right here, to circle back to all of the blogs in this series. From the first one around self-acceptance to the second one on presencing and getting clear on what we need, and the third one around asking. This last installment is about allowing yourself to receive.
Knowing your worthiness in receiving.
This is the blog that completes the series, and yet opens up so much more in a continual healing journey. This has been a journey about loving yourself without any conditions. It’s a journey about getting quiet and really seeing all parts of yourself (*new series on recognition starting next week in all my classes; and it starts with recognizing yourself). It’s a journey on supporting yourself, and supporting yourself enough to ask. It’s a journey about knowing your worthiness in receiving.
So you might be wondering why I started this blog around receiving with really speaking to how we might be giving. And yet, when we are reminded to ask the other person what they might need, this means that we must go back to being clear within ourselves to know what we need in order to ask and therefore receive.
So what happens when we receive what we asked for?
And what happens when we are given a beautiful gift that we did not ask for? How do you receive? Can you receive? Can you receive without feeling the need to give back?
I’ve been asking myself the question why it feels hard to receive support more often than not. And then I’ve discovered this beautiful poem by Reverend James A. Forbes, Jr., entitled ‘Poem about receiving and giving’:
I’m a novice when it comes to receiving.
Giving has become my second expertise,
But giving a loan without getting
Become soon if fatal disease.
If the intake valve is not opened
There’s no way to maintain a supply
There comes a point in a cycle of life
Where the outgoing stream runs dry.
Straining out love from a vacuum
Is like drinking from the heart of a stone.
Try as we may, at the end of the day,
We are exhausted, frustrated, alone.
‘Better to give than to receive’, We are taught
Yet another truth I’ve learnt just by living:
Only the soul with the grace to receive,
Excels in the fine art of giving.
I love the beauty and simplicity of this poem. I love its direct statement towards the acts of receiving and giving. I love its clear naming that only when we keep a valve open to receive, can we truly give.
The Yoga of receiving
Sally Kempton wrote a beautiful article on the yoga of receiving, I really invite you to read it. You can read it here!
In her article she writes, “receiving is a yoga in itself – one that demands a high degree of sensitivity, awareness, and even skillfulness.” And I have only discovered this to be so true.
She lays out a beautiful four part flow around receiving. And I found this funny and resonant because I have just completed this four part series around embracing support. And, it really goes to show how even within the four parts of embracing support that I’ve laid out, there are so many deep dives that we could go into each part.
The four parts that she lays out are:
- Recognizing you’re being given a gift
- Being open to receive
- Appreciating, even if just the intention*
- Feeling and knowing you deserve it
One of the highlighted takeaways that I really received from her article was to be present to the giver and really recognize their light, which she calls their ‘holiness’, and to perceive them as a teacher and a bearer of Light.
The energy of blessing
And, not only might they be a guru, bearer of Light, for you, this means that the gift is filled with, as she calls it,”the energy of blessing”. So their gift is infused with an energy of blessing.
*Even when we might not like their gift, even when we might not want their gift, can we recognize the giver in their Light and just be open to receiving? I have to admit that this doesn’t fully resonate with me, but I am open to receiving what this sentiment is saying. And I want to support each of us and remembering that it’s okay to ask for what we need; because maybe what we need to be asking for is to ask the other person to stop giving.
The example that I am clearly thinking of here is how people will often continue to give you their unsolicited advice on parenting. And they might continue to give their advice on parenting, but it might not always be welcome because it doesn’t align with your parenting style. And I’ll be the first to say that this can be challenging, but it just reignites the need for self-acceptance, presencing and naming what you need, asking with kindness in your heart for yourself and the other, and really allowing yourself to receive the boon of what you’re asking for.
I do want to note that what Sally is talking about in terms of the gift, is a genuine gift from somebody with good and positive intentions and who holds a positive regard for you.
She goes on to write about how the Latin root word of receive, recipere, means ‘to take back’ or ‘accept’. So beautiful to me how in receiving we are taking back and accepting our own light. How so, you might ask? As I am a believer in each of us having the hearts thread connection of Oneness, and that the light in me is the light in you, and the divine in me is the divine in you.
The light in me is the light in you
When we receive, we are receiving back the light that we need, and the light that we give out.
Sally writes it beautifully here, “In fact, the word “receive” comes from the Latin word recipere, which means “to take back.” This implies that what we receive is already ours in the sense that we do, indeed, deserve it, that it completes something within us, or simply that we’ve attracted it by the nature of our being.”
“When we aren’t able to receive a genuine and heartfelt gift, we subtly upset the balance of the cosmos. One of the core Vedic understandings is that life is based on exchange, the dynamic interaction of giving and receiving.”
There are many reasons why one might not be able to receive so open-heartedly. There might be a childhood trauma, there might be the feelings of unworthiness, or the belief that one does not deserve it. But I invite you this week, and always, to allow yourself to receive those heartfelt compliments, those heartfelt gifts, and those supportive moments when we’ve asked and receive what we need.
I’d love to hear from you. When have you recently received, and really truly allowed yourself to accept the gift?
All my love,
Breathe and Believe.