Recently, I received an email from a person who owed me money. In the email, she second guessed the amount. My gut clenched; my chest tightened. A part of me felt judged and criticized. Another part was afraid she was angry with me (which I couldn’t tell from just reading the email). My confidence drained away, and shame flooded in. I immediately wanted to write an email, apologize, and offer to take less than what she owed.
Growing up, the underlying message I learned was it was selfish and shameful to ask for what you wanted. I interpreted this to mean I had to “earn” other’s approval in order to feel good about myself. This led to a lot of achieving on my part. I figured if I did enough, and others approved, I could now feel worthy and receive things. Little did I realize I was still carrying this belief with me today.
When the woman sent me the email, and I felt she disapproved, I no longer felt I was worthy or had the right to ask for my needs to be met. In other words, I had to earn my right to receive.
The ability to receive is letting down our guard against other’s opinions of whether we deserve it or not.
Other people’s judgments are a reflection of their own judgments against themselves. They withhold love from themselves and then judge other’s receiving as a way of justifying their withholding.
Receiving money, compliments, help, time off, and joy in our lives is a gift from our Source to us. To turn away that gift because we feel we must “earn” it first from another human being is to tell our Spirit, “I’m not going to receive the love You’re trying to give me.”
Receiving is not based on whether we do enough, do it right, or worked hard enough to have it. Receiving is about acknowledging your own Life Force, your Spirit, as sacred and deserving, right now, just as you are.
So the real question is, “Am I willing to receive right where I am – not when I get good enough, not when I’ve done enough, not when I’ve pleased enough people- but now, as I am, flaws and all?”
Many of us have learned to feel worthy only through conditions. As an adult, we feel we must still meet these conditions in order to let ourselves feel good about ourselves.
Yet, we don’t have to wait until we’ve done something “good” to feel significant, worthy, and special. We can let ourselves feel it now- in this instant. Because it’s true.
When we can acknowledge and graciously accept the good things without self-condemnation, Life says, “Your welcome. Let me give you more.”
(By the way, I didn’t react. I was able to proudly and lovingly answer her questions.)
Action: Where do you “do” things in order to feel worthy of receiving?
Notice the times you feel judged, resistant, embarrassed, or ashamed by someone else’s response or lack of response to you. Chances are you’ve touched on a place of unworthiness within yourself, and you’re either judging them or yourself.
Notice where you feel the compulsion to “do more”, “accomplish more”, or “prove you’re right”. Chances are you’re acting on a belief system that says you have to reach a certain level of perfection before you’re “allowed” to feel good about yourself (which, by the way, we never really let ourselves actually reach!).
When those times arise, get quiet; put your hand on your heart. Think of someone or something you love. Feel how much love there is inside you for that person or thing.
Now direct that Love toward your own heart. Let that Love love you. Feel it. That’s the love of your Being loving you. That’s love without conditions. That’s the love that wants you to feel good about yourself now, not someday. And that’s the love that wants to give you more. Be willing to receive it.