Growing up as a child and a young adult, I had developed an identity of being fiercely independent. This identity served me then. I needed to feel strong and capable of taking care of myself. However, this identity eventually stopped serving me. Like all habits and identities, at some point they stop being useful. In effect, they expire. What had at one time been potent medicine for me, became my poison. My inability to accept help from others was stunting my growth.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found myself in many situations where I had no other choice but to accept help. There were times that I was struggling financially, and times that I was severely injured. It took a lot of courage for me to accept help. I had to learn that I was still strong and capable, and receiving support didn’t negate that.
Being able to receive support graciously, is the other side of the generosity coin. While we give without the expectation of receiving, we must also learn to receive without feeling guilty or shameful. We are communal creatures, built and programmed in such a way which necessitates we help each other. By learning how to give and receive, we tap into our inherent power as individuals, in community together.
What do you need more of in your life to find balance: giving wholeheartedly without regret, or receiving without shame?