The Sacred Art of Receiving.

Republished with permission by Jacque Saltsman

I need your help. It's time for a change. I'm not talking about political change (although that is sorely needed in this country as well). However, today I'm talking about RECEIVING.

I want to start a Receiving Revolution!

I've become acutely aware of a major disconnect in our society, especially amongst us helpers, healers, teachers and givers. It's practically an epidemic. I'm talking about the delusional martyrdom so many of us exhibit when refusing to receive something that is offered to us that we actually want. I'm talking about starting a much needed revolution for all of us to relearn the gracious art of receiving  (compliments, acknowledgements, kindness, affection, attention, guidance, tangible gifts) without habitually refusing, rejecting, deflecting or disagreeing with the one offering.

How many times have you caught yourself or noticed others, upon receipt of an amazing acknowledgment or well-deserved compliment, saying things like, "Oh, that was nothing" or "I didn't do that much. So-and-so should get all the credit" or any other form of a rebuttal?

Have you ever been offered a glass of water, cup of tea, help with the groceries and immediately said (or thought), "No, don't bother. I don't want to burden you."?

Why is it so freaking hard for us to accept and receive? Why is it so difficult for us to let goodness in, especially when underneath all the "no thank you's", many of us are praying for the very things that we're refusing (love, acceptance, acknowledgement)?

We are givers. Whether born that way or learned behavior, most of this tribe are serious givers. We know how to give care, guidance, love, attention. We know the sacredness of giving; of being of service; of offering unconditional love; of being supportive to friends and family. We are excellent at giving.

But giving is only one half of the equation.

To keep in the natural flow of life we must learn to RECEIVE in addition to giving. If all we ever do is give, give, give we get out of whack; out of balance and we can also secretly become resentful towards those to whom we give.

But most of us aren't so good at receiving. Actually, lots of us suck at it.

We have become masters in the art of the deflection, rejection, refusal, rebuttals - all in the name of some confused humility we were taught very early on in life. We were told: Be humble. Don't be cocky or selfish. Don't be conceited. Don't be too full of yourself.

But rejecting a compliment doesn't make us humble. It's actually pretty selfish. Gracefully receiving what another human is offering us isn't conceited. It's sacred.

How the heck did we get like this?

Conditioning - It started as external conditioning; messages from our families and society. With the best of intentions, our community and care givers wanted us to grow up and be humble, not boastful. Eventually though, those external messages become our internal beliefs. Unfortunately for some, those beliefs got twisted from "I shouldn't accept a compliment or praise" to "I must not deserve praise or attention"  or "I must not be worthy".

Trust - Sometimes we just don't trust people to tell the truth or to offer things without strings attached. We don't trust their judgment.  We may think, "If they think I'm fantastic, what's wrong with them?" or "If they are offering something to me, they must want something in return".

Control - Some people are worried about receiving "too much" because the scales will be tipped and we will "owe" something. Then they are no longer in control of or able to "manage" the relationship.

Any of this sounding familiar? Ouch, right?

How is this hurting us?

  1. In addition to NOT experiencing the joy of receiving what is being offering,  we are actually blocking the connection with the person who is offering. When we block the connection with one person, we block the positive ripple effect that connection has on the community and world.
  2. We're also knocking ourselves down a notch every time we do it. When we choose to reject goodness we're reinforcing the message that we don't deserve what's being offered. We must not be worthy of it.  Those negative messages stay in our body and can cause emotional upset, internal conditions and dis-ease.
  3. Also, when we refuse someone, we are selfishly denying that person the amazing gift of giving. We all know how it feels when we're able to give something to someone that they really need or want. When we see how happy, grateful and lit up they are from our gift, it feels really good. When we refuse gifts, we're denying that person the gift of giving.

So what if we could receive gracefully? What if we could hear a compliment and instead of deflecting, we could just stop, breathe, let it sink in and say "thank you"? What if we could do that without feeling guilty, selfish or obligated to immediately repay the compliment?

What if we could just receive and let it be?

It would be great. It would help us feel more connected with those around us. It would help us feel more in the flow. We could breathe easier, be more peaceful, feel lifted up and supported, be able to offer acknowledgements and gifts more readily to others.

Ready to receive? If you are still having a hard time with the prospect of gracefully receiving, remember that it isn't just about you. Think of what receiving does for the other person and the positive ripple effect that the flow and connection have on the community and the world. Refusing to receive keeps us isolated and small.

Your homework this week is to practice. Practice receiving. When you find yourself in a situation where someone is offering something, become aware of your tendency to deflect. Stop, breathe, consider if it is something you really want. If it is, say "Yes. Thank you." and really let it sink in.  Essentially, receiving is just another form of being mindful.

We can also practice receiving from ourselves. If you find yourself in a situation where you're being very hard on yourself. Stop. Breathe. Think of what you would say to your best friend if they were in the same situation. Record the words. Write them down or just think them in your head and then offer those to yourself and RECEIVE. Practice receiving the love, kindness, acceptance and encouragement that we so easily give other people. Practice receiving that for yourself.

In A Course In Miracles it says to HAVE anything it must be GIVEN to others. Things must be shared to grow and extend out into the world. The more we give the more we have. The more we receive the more we have. Let's gracefully learn to let others give to us so we can all stay in the flow and increase the abundance in the world.

Because if I haven't told you lately, you're worth it. You're loved. You deserve all the goodness that you want in this world and that the world is trying to offer you. Receiving is not selfish. It's sacred.

Listen. Breathe. Receive. Repeat.

Jacque Saltsman is a Healer and Life Coach committed to the empowerment and healing of willing and adventurous souls locally and globally. She can be found at

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