Have you ever wondered why it’s so damn hard to receive?
For some of us, receiving 👀 can make us feel like crawling under the bed 😳🙈
I’ve been having some conversations with clients in Radiance Collective, my six-month group coaching program, who have hugely impacted the lives of the people they work with and support.
As they close out chapters with these organizations, they’ve felt overwhelmed by the amount of genuine love and appreciation coming their way.
It can be physically painful to feel love. Why is that?
💔 For those of us who didn’t get all of our needs for affection and love met by attuned empathetic caregivers growing up, love can actually feel unsafe, since it's unfamiliar.
💔 If you’ve been hurt by somebody (which comes with the territory of being human, aka this is ALL of us) opening your heart to receive can feel like you’re opening yourself up to being hurt again.
💔 If we carry a wound around not being good enough or not being lovable, love can feel unbearable to receive since we don’t believe we deserve it.
At a body level, when I feel a deep YES to something or someone, it feels like my heart is literally cracking open. That doesn’t mean anything is wrong, it’s just an example of the depth of the human capacity for feeling. It’s beautiful, wonderful and a little bit painful.
Since love can actually feel painful and threatening, we all use strategies to avoid letting it in. You know, all the ways we deflect compliments, stay busy, turn things around, and always stay in the giver, rather than the receiver role.
If this is something you’d like to work on, here are some ways to practice building your capacity for receiving:
1️⃣ Connect to your body
What happens when someone approaches you with a gift, whether tangible, verbal or emotional? Do you tense up? Does your breathing get shallow? What would it be like to invite your breath to deepen and perhaps connect with the energy of your heart?
2️⃣ Remind yourself you deserve love
You can place a hand over your heart and tell yourself “I deserve love” or “I deserve to be happy” or “It’s safe to receive this” or something that works for you
3️⃣ Take in 1% of the love
If you notice yourself wanting to shut down, deflect, or hide, see if you’re open to just letting in 1% of the love coming your way. Does that feel different? Perhaps more doable?
4️⃣ Give yourself permission to walk away
The truth is, we all do have capacities (which are mutable, of course) for how much love and goodness we can allow ourselves to receive and sometimes it’s just too much. Give yourself permission to take a break and come back when you feel ready. You can alternate back and forth between taking it in and taking a break until you feel complete.
If we can let ourselves be open enough to feel the heartbreaking feeling of love, that means we’re growing 💓
If this is something you’d like personalized support with, I have 1:1 coaching spots available now. Book a free coaching call so you can decide if this is for you.