What is it that keeps us from feeling as abundant as we would like? Abundance in the areas of our finances, pleasure, relationships, recognition, contribution or health, can often be hard to come by or feel just out of reach leaving us stuck or blocked. How can we unblock the energy of abundance so it flows into our lives?
First, we need to realize that abundance is energy that we either allow or block based on our inner experience when we give of ourselves and receive from others. When you give, do you give from love or from fear? Do you give only to get from others, using a scorecard in your mind to keep things even? Or perhaps you give to keep from losing, imagining that you cannot keep what you have if you don’t give something of yourself - as if you don’t deserve it? Unconditional love is something we all desire, yet most of us learned that love comes with conditions. Our cultural norms say “If we do ‘X' or are like ‘Y', then others will love/approve/accept us” - these beliefs are handed down from each generation to the next.
The reality is the energy of abundance flows back and forth between us like any other energy. To be in that flow, we must be both giving and receiving of that energy. If we only receive abundance from others but give nothing back to others, we block the flow. Feelings of uselessness and apathy set in and can lead to hoarding, entitlement, and greed when we hold onto that energy for too long.
On the flip-side, giving all the time and never receiving from others blocks the flow as well. We may give everything we have, yet if we never allow ourselves to receive from others, filling up our own energy ‘tank’, we will become empty and burnt out. Resentment can settle in and we often react to or suppress the pain in unhealthy ways.
Giving From Fear
If we "give to get", we never receive the full gift of giving and limit what we allow ourselves to receive from others. We try getting our needs met in a roundabout way when we don’t ask for what we want or express how we feel, then end up feeling that what we want or how we feel doesn’t matter. We think that we can only receive from the source we give to, yet that is not true. That idea keeps us locked into keeping score with others. By imagining that we can never get more than we give, we never truly receive the abundance that is always flowing to us.
When we give to others to "keep from losing", we hold back from those who do give to us. When there is no threat of losing the person who is already giving to us, we don’t focus on giving to them. We only give when we are afraid we may lose. We protect ourselves from feeling the fear of loss by hoarding and holding back. When others give to us, we think there is an ulterior motive since we cannot connect to the gift in giving.
When we don’t give to others, we close our hearts. When we don’t receive from others, we take away an opportunity for them to open their hearts. Both create limiting expectations that we then attach to giving.
Examples of giving from fear:
If I spend time with you, you will give me money.
If I help you with your problems, you will help me with mine.
If I watch your kids, you will watch mine.
If I lose weight and look beautiful for you, you will not leave me.
If I give you advice, you will tell me how wonderful I am.
Examples of receiving from fear:
If I accept this gift from you, I will owe you something.
If I thank you for your compliment, I will look conceited.
If I let you do it for me and you do it wrong, I will look bad.
If we do what I want, then I will have to do what you want.
Giving & Receiving From Love
When we give from a place of unconditional love, there is no expectation of a response from another. Our giving is simply something that feels good to do and we feel inspired to do it. It increases our sense of connection to the whole of life. Giving from love has an unconditional quality to it. It comes with the intention to provide healing, solace or joy to another. It comes from a place of compassion where we see ourselves in another and are moved to help. It is a remembering, on some level, that we are one.
It feels good to give and it feels good to receive. When we allow others to give to us, they get to feel the ‘good feelings’ that come from giving too. That is one reason it is critical that we let others give to us. To allow others to give to us, we must allow ourselves to receive what they offer, if it is what we really want or need. To push it away, or say we are not worthy of what they offer, closes down the flow. The cycle is only completed when we allow the energy to flow out and come into us. At the same time, there is no need to receive something that we don’t want or need and it is important to say “no” to what does not feel good to us – regardless of what the other person wants or needs.
Notice your experience when someone gives you something that feels good. Do you say ‘thank you’ and feel gratitude for what they have to offer? Do you make excuses as to why you don’t deserve it? Do you experience a sense of isolation and a need to do it all yourself? When you don’t allow yourself to receive from others, the universe cannot reach you. Often, the universe gives you what you need in the form of other people. Life does not have to be hard. If you allow the energy of others to support you, an increased feeling of connection to the whole is available.
How can you give and receive from love today?
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