During the first couple decades of your life, you learned to do everything from feeding yourself, walking unassisted, and using a toilet to staying home alone, driving unsupervised, and, eventually, moving out on your own—independence.
Not only is independence a life goal, applauded and admired, but it can also be a repellent—for abundance.
Stay with me. I’ll explain.
What kind of receiver are you? Can you effortlessly and graciously accept assistance from others? How about compliments?
Or does needing help make you cringe with awkwardness and leave you feeling like you’ve failed somehow to figure out how to manage on your own?
Do you then keep score of the obligation you consider is owed to whoever helped you? Do you see the relationship as unbalanced, and you’re embarrassed that they’ve witnessed your “weakness”? Well, I’m here to tell you that’s all a load of crap!
We are deeply programmed to be self-sufficient in all areas of our lives. You are not to blame. Society respects, honors, and expects us to be independent. It’s not a fault… until it becomes a barrier, a repellent to abundance and generosity. Here’s what I’ve learned the hard way.
When we help others, it feels good. In general terms, this is true. We want to make others’ lives better, happier, easier if it is in our power to do so without negatively impacting our own lives. I think we can agree on that. Recall how it feels to be the giver and to help others.
Now turn the tables. How do you think the person receiving your generosity usually feels? Do you think most people experience the kind of awkwardness described above? Sometimes to the extent that they distance themselves from you in the future?
When you consider how others might be feeling when you are generous, how does that make you feel about your reaction to someone else’s generosity shown towards you? Hmmm… that’s a tough one to work through. Maybe read that last sentence again.
I had a harsh lesson when both my hands were in splints and I had to wear an air boot and still found it hard to accept or ask for help. That’s when someone pointed out that I was actually denying others the joy I experienced when I was the giver.
This is how she put it: “How do you feel when others accept your help?” My answer was that it made me feel good to be able to help someone, and I was especially happy when someone asked for help, rather than me wishing I knew what I could do for them.
She bluntly responded with something I’ll never forget. “Then why are you denying others that same joy?” Ouch.
And abundance? When we put up blocks and resistance to receiving generosity, kindness, and assistance from others, that builds a barrier, a block to receive abundance from all sources.
Abundance flows to where there is the least resistance.
How can you change that and still salvage your independence? Well, now that you’re more aware of this programming, you can catch yourself when abundance is offered and your first reflex is to decline. Even with the little things, like someone offering to get that coffee for you, help you carry your groceries out, or give you a compliment.
When you do accept, watch how you feel about receiving. Catch the negative, awkward, “What will ‘they’ think of me for needing this help” or “Now I owe them back” thoughts and try replacing them with a simple smile and a warm feeling of gratitude. Let that fill you. It will get easier.
The abundance will start to show up more often when you quit blocking it with resistance!