There exists a disease especially prevalent in women but not exclusive to them, that is more deadly than any known to medical science. It is more deadly because it attacks the spirit, which eventually affects the physical. I have given the name ‘It’s better to give than to receive’ to this infliction.
It creates a tumor called guilt in the majority of American women. When or where this disease originated I can only guess. I do know it is very often inherited, passed from mother to daughter and so on.
Its physical symptoms are numerous. Some of the more obvious are malfunctions in the female organs (often resulting in their removal), depression, poverty, suppressed creativity, breast cancer, and PMS, to only name a few.
When I approach some clients on this subject during therapy or counseling, they become extremely defensive and even angry. Some common verbal responses are; ‘It makes me feel good to give’ or ‘its duty to give to my children or husband’ or the lamest response of all, ‘That’s what my mother and church say God wants me to do’. These are the same women who come to me because they are unhappy and have exceptionally low self-esteem and self worth.
Some clients through years of living with this disease take on the role of martyr as a defense, which cripples their spirit even more. Even when wonderful things are given to them, they find some way to sabotage the gift. With guilt and a feeling that they do not deserve, they make certain something else in their life that they value is given away.
I have taught methods of practicing unconditional love. What exactly is unconditional love particularly in reference to this disease? It is the willingness to give unconditionally, which most women have mastered, but it also is the ability to receive unconditionally, which most have no idea of its meaning, much less do it.
Unconditional giving is giving something to someone and not expecting anything in return including not dictating how that something is to be used. Unconditional receiving is being able to receive something without feeling you owe the giver something in return. I can hear your rebuttals; ‘But I like giving, it makes me feel good’.
In most ancient teachings, a circle represents the divine, a complete circle not a semi-circle. When you only give and do not receive you are creating a semi-circle. The same is true when you only receive and do not give. It is just another half circle. We talk of out of balance being a reason for our lives not working in a way we want them to work. Creating half a circle definitely causes an imbalance thus creating dis-ease in the body.
When working with a client, a couple of the diagnostic questions I ask are; ‘what do you say when someone compliments you?’ and ‘What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone gives you a very expensive gift?’ It is sad for me to report that most clients deny the compliment and immediately think of how they can possibly repay the giver for such an expensive gift.
Try this simple test on yourself. The next time someone tells you that you have pretty hair or your eyes are magnificent; take note of your reaction. If you respond by thanking them and believing what they are saying is true, then you probably know how to receive. But if you respond with comments like ‘Oh, I really need a haircut or I can’t get rid of the bags under my eyes’, you have work to do on the receiving side of your circle.
Concerning the receiving of material gifts, whether expensive or not, try receiving that gift with an inner knowing that you deserve all of the abundance of the universe. Then don’t question from where it comes. You know inheritently that you are a giving person so you will complete that half of the circle without much conscious effort. Reciprocating the gift need not be to the bearer. It could be given to someone else when appropriate. The universe is a master at balancing everything as long as you don’t interfere. You interfere by refusing to receive unconditionally. In other words no accounting degree or balance sheet is needed when you practice unconditional love.
To strengthen your ability to receive, try using the affirmation, ‘I am worthy and deserving of all the abundance of the universe.’ Say these words out loud to yourself until you believe them. This type of affirmation and the inner belief in its truth has proven to be an effective antibiotic for this crippling disease.