To give and receive is one the most fundamental energetic movements of life. Every breath we take contains this wisdom. And like all the most profound things in life, there lies a paradox – that in its full beauty and potential, by deeply giving we can receive, and by deeply receiving we can give.
But looking out into the world, for the most part it appears we are supremely rubbish givers and receivers… and are not even aware of it! All this beauty and nourishment that mama earth offers us and we’d rather destroy it than receive it. So much martyrdom and boundary-less giving. Taking rather than graciously receiving. So much muddied ‘giving’ as a sneaky attempt to actually get something.
What went so wrong?
When asked, most people will probably say they are more comfortable giving than receiving. In so many ways we have been unconsciously indoctrinated to see being receptive as the weaker position. And when we receive we ARE vulnerable. We’re not as in control as when giving. Our defenses our down. We run the risk of desiring and not getting our desires met. Or the vulnerability in getting our desires met and the intensity of joy this might create, which we humans, tragically seem to be afraid of or feel we don’t deserve.
And I believe that the two poles go hand in hand… when we cannot receive properly, we cannot truly give and vice versa.
When we are not able to receive properly and stick to our comfort zone of ‘giving’, without realising it, we are often taking, rather than giving, and giving in a way that primarily feels good to us. I have had countless intimate encounters asking to receive something else and a man losing his interest suddenly, because it’s not within his agenda and/or because his ego is so wrapped up in being a good ‘giver’. Tragically, I think that women are so used to being taken from in the name of ‘giving’, that most of the time we don’t even realize. And not to single out men, of course women are just as culpable – I have given affection and attention to men in order to receive validation back my whole life long. My self-doubt has caused me to block myself from receiving properly, creating chronic burn outs. My own struggles are definitely the catalyst for my work.
I believe that learning how to give and receive deeply is such a powerful key to dancing masterfully with life, healing the planet and living in our potential.
How do our dysfunctional patterns around giving and receiving in an intimate encounter affect what happens in the rest of our lives? What does the complex interplay of biology and gender conditioning have to do with it? How do we allow ourselves to receive deeply and fully? What do boundaries have to do with giving and how are we able to give with joy and devotion, from an empowered place?