Articles and Books
Receiving: The Other Half of the Equation
by Corrine Bucher
I highly recommend checking out the inspirational story of Cami Walker and her 29-Day Giving Challenge (http://www.29gifts.org). She experienced firsthand the healing power of giving and provides a plan for you to do the same. Knowing how to receive, though, is just as vital. Shakti Gawain says, "Receiving and giving are opposite energies that are inextricably linked together in the natural flow of life, like inhaling and exhaling. If you can't inhale, you will soon have nothing to exhale, and before long, your body will be unable to continue living."
A lot of my clients are what I like to refer to as Type-E, as in Everything to Everybody. Giving, for them, is easy -- maybe even obsessive. They give to family, friends, school, and work, while often asking nothing in return. The problem: while their intentions are good, all that giving can leave them feeling depleted and even inspire resentment. The remedy for them isn't just spending time taking better care of themselves; that's still energy from the same source. As uncomfortable as the thought may be for anyone with an independent spirit or mindset, it is essential that we allow others to give to us as well.
Sometimes my clients are not even aware that they are refusing the very help they seek. One client was upset with her husband because she always got up in the middle of the night to take care of their crying infant son. When she finally told her husband how she was feeling, she was stunned to hear him say, "but you wouldn't let me." Upon reflection, she realized that at times she had turned down his offer to get up or practically raced out of bed to get to their son first. The simple "You got him or should I" middle-of-the-night refrain made them feel like a team, strengthening their bond, enriching the father-son relationship -- and provided mom a few more hours' of valuable sleep.
It's an illusion to think that any of us can survive by ourselves. For those still stuck, think of it this way: allowing someone to help you is your way of giving them the warm fuzzies you get from helping someone else.
Corrine Bucher is a veteran coach and mother devoted to transforming the lives of both working and stay-at-home mothers. Her Workshops for Working Mothers, originally developed for a Fortune 500 Company, challenge and inspire women to define their work/life balance vision so they may begin to feel a sense of control again. Learn more and sign up for her online newsletter, Embracing Motherhood, at http://corrinebucher.com.
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