BY PRIYA ALI
For many years, we have heard the old saying, “it’s better to give than to receive” and for many people it has become a type of moral value. In some cases, this has led to another old saying, “too much of a good thing can be a bad thing”. We have become somewhat conditioned that to give without wanting something in return is unsavoury, even selfish.
Energetically giving without receiving creates an imbalance. Imagine going to the grocery store, shopping for your food, taking your items to the cashier, paying for them and then leaving without them. You wouldn’t do that because you would want to receive the groceries in exchange for the money. The same concept applies to giving energetically.
Can you recall a time where someone wanted to gift you something or treat you to a meal and you replied with, “you don’t have to do that?” Or maybe you’ve done something for someone and they ask, “how much do I owe you for this?” and you feel uncomfortable replying so you end up telling them not to worry about it or to just give you whatever. We are so fearful of being judged as a taker we often forfeit receiving what we are entitled to.
After a while though, when we keep giving to a person and they don’t give back, we find ourselves feeling resentful and now calling them a taker. It’s a little ironic, because we created the imbalance in this relationship. I personally feel I could have been the poster child for OverGivers Anonymous if there was such a thing. I was taught to just be grateful with what I had and never to want anything because that was greedy or selfish. This ultimately led me to giving and giving without asking for anything in return which in turn led me to having to work extra or harder to compensate for my own deficit, whether it be a deficit of time, money, emotional or physical good being.
Not only did I notice that I was creating takers but one day I learned something that blew me away. In one situation with a friend, I realized that they felt hurt and less valuable to the relationship because I would never allow them to give back. Whether it be grabbing the bill every time we went out to eat, to always being there to console her, she felt like the weaker link of the friendship and as though she wasn’t contributing.
After my epiphany, I began to change my receiving policy and noticed a difference in my relationships and in myself as I balanced out the energetic give and take ratios of my life. Even now when someone sneezes and I say, “bless you”, I follow it up with “and bless me too” Creating balance is always a positive thing for all parties involved and leads to healthier relationships. Maybe we can update the old saying and start preaching that it is as great to give as to receive. I’ll take it.