Giving and Receiving & The Importance of Self-Care

A photo of a winter mountain scene in Kananaskis, AB, Canada, that reminds you that giving and receiving starts with self-care activities like being in nature.
Pocaterra cross-country ski, Kananaskis, AB, Canada
Copyright © 2020 Lee Spirit 

I was wondering how my cross-country ski in Kananaskis today might relate to this season of giving and receiving that is upon us. Then it came to me that before you can give and receive with grace, you must first give to yourself. You can do this in the form of self-care and self-love. One of the finest ways to love yourself first is to immerse yourself in nature. Whenever you need support, stability, and grounding, nature will hold you like a baby, comfort, and console you.

Self-care can also be in the form of doing something you love that makes you feel good. This may be going for a walk, sipping a cup of coffee in the sunshine, or taking the time to read or meditate.

When you take care of yourself first before giving and receiving to others, you come from a place of fullness rather than from a place of emptiness. For instance, if you have a lot of self-love, then your cup is overflowing with love to give to others with ease. Whereas, if you hate yourself, it’s like you are scraping up a gift from an empty barrel. What you give comes spewing out, and may feel inauthentic. So be sure to take care of yourself first!

Giving and Receiving in Balance

It’s helpful to think of giving and receiving as forms of energy in a balanced exchange. Even if you give a material gift, you’re giving the energy of love. It is the energy of something valuable. But it may not be received the way you had hoped if there are hidden expectations. This throws the balance between giving and receiving off. It’s important to be a good receiver just like it’s important to be a good giver. A simple thank you will balance the energy of giving.

You may think it’s better to give than to receive, but this balance of both is necessary. If receiving comes easy to you, you will accept all gifts with thanks and gratitude. A gift may come in the form of a present, a compliment, a smile, or a prayer. If you meet it with thanks, your energy with the giver is balanced, and you both feel good.

Give and Receive with Love

If you haven’t read the book, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, I’m always reminded of its great lessons at Christmas time. It explains the five main ways that people like to give and receive love. It explains how we can give according to what each person’s love language is. These are: “Words of Affirmation” (I love you), “Physical Touch” (a warm hug), “Gifts”, “Quality Time”, or “Acts of Service” (doing something helpful for someone).

It’s so easy to give someone a gift based on our own love language. But if we consider what the other person’s love language is, and give in their language, they will feel truly loved! If my love language is “Physical touch”, but I give a hug to someone who doesn’t like hugging, it may not be received well. If someone doesn’t like gifts, but likes quality time, perhaps it’s best to give time than presents.

The Pressure of Giving and Receiving

This time of year may be quite stressful for you if you have family members or partners with high expectations. Shopping and gift giving doesn’t feel fun if you feel you have to meet these expectations. It can also be hard if you can’t, don’t, or don’t want to meet the expectation. This can bring feelings of pressure and guilt.

This is why taking care of yourself and your needs is so important. In relation with others, it’s also important to communicate about what those needs are, and what your love languages are. You need to take the time and space you need to give and communicate from a place of authenticity. When you’re both being authentic and understand each other through communication, you’re being true to yourselves. When you’re in alignment with your souls, you are Attracting Abundance.

Hopefully this gives you a glimpse as to why self-care is so important before giving and receiving in a balanced dance of energies. Receiving is just as important as giving. There are many different ways to give and receive with grace and authenticity, and from a place of fullness rather than depletion.

Lee Spirit is an avid outdoors adventurer with a love for nature, photography, health & fitness, wellness, and spirituality. Her own personal journey has led her to the  study and practice of mindfulness, health, wellness, yoga, spirituality, sound healing, meditation, and personal development for over 20 years. Click here for her recommended Self-Care Healing Method!

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