The Art of Giving and Receiving
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I have observed that some people do not like accepting and receiving help or gifts from other people. There may be a myriad of different stories as to why, and there are enough people who do this that made me inquire into it, not only for myself but for others.
This behaviour seems to be strangely prevalent in people who like to give to others themselves. It is more difficult to determine the reason why other people don’t like receiving help or gifts or both from others without asking them than it is to determine our own reasons. So I asked myself: Why don’t I like receiving help from others? My answer came back pretty quickly. In my case, it was a story that if I accepted help, it meant I was too dumb to work it out myself and that I was useless because I couldn’t do it on my own. I also realized I had another belief that only needy people needed or asked for help. What if others think you are now obligated to them?
I remember people offering me help and me saying, “No, no. It’s okay. I can do it myself.” Or, “It’s okay; I can get it myself.” On other occasions, I remember saying after someone offered me help, “I don’t want to trouble you,” and they would say, “It’s no trouble,” and I’d refuse again, saying, “No, I will be okay.”
This is the same as not being able to receive gifts and usually has the same background story.
Why couldn’t I accept help? I like to help people, but I didn’t like accepting help let alone asking for it. I was now aware I had another story in my head saying that asking for help was even worse than accepting somebody’s offer to help. I thought into how I would feel if I asked for help, and I immediately felt a feeling of total incompetence, of defeat and worthlessness. Wow! No wonder I never asked for help.
I feel it isn’t always important to know where these stories come from. What was more important for me was to recognize and accept that none of these stories are actually true. I had my breakthrough on this subject when my Taiji master asked me, “Why don’t you like people helping you?” I hadn’t even thought it was a problem until he asked. I thought about it and gave him the answer that I have already mentioned.
“Do you like helping other people?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said.
“How does it feel to help somebody?”
“It makes me feel great,” I answered.
“When somebody tries to give to you and you say no, you deny them an opportunity to feel that feeling, too,” he said.
I felt so bad that I was taking away somebody else’s chance to feel that. He explained it in a different way using the principles of Taiji energy exchange. He said that the concept of giving and receiving is an aspect in many religious and spiritual teachings. He then explained it using the Christian concept of the Holy Spirit. He explained that when you give help or love to someone, the Holy Spirit comes through you and out to the other person. He continued, “By not accepting their help or love, you stop them feeling the Holy Spirit or divine energy coming through them.”
This made me feel terrible. To this day, I remember that lesson, and I now accept help, gifts, and good intentions from people gladly.
Helping people feels so great, so why would I ever deny anybody else the opportunity to feel that? I also believe helping people is one of the greatest sources of happiness and contentment in life, and I now know so is receiving.
I thought this is a timely Blog on the verge of the Christmas and New Year festivities
This blog is an excerpt from my soon to be released first book.
Enjoy giving and receiving