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  • Writer's pictureRev. Barbara Samuel

By the way, it's OK to receive!

Updated: Feb 28, 2021

Until we can receive with an open heart, we're never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.” 

― Brené Brown,

I've been a giver most of my adult life. Giving of my time, help and money and I always felt that giving was a good thing. You know, the more you give the more you receive. What I didn't realize was that there needs to be a balance between giving and receiving and if there isn't a balance it can affect you and your life. My inability to receive impacted my finances and my personal life.

The Giver

I was a giver, one of the first to chip in when it came time to buying gifts or donating money for presents at the office. Generous with my money and quick to reach for the tab when I went out with friends. In fact, I was an over giver and at times an over tipper. Doing more than what was asked of me and giving more than required. I loved giving and doing things for other people, because it made me feel good.


It wasn't until I had an incident of identity theft and that circumstance actually left me in an incredible position of having to file bankruptcy. This occurrence happened literally the same month I was planning on retiring my job of 25 years. My cash flow had slowed down and I really started to feel the impact of my inability to receive. As a divorced mom, I was used to doing things on my own and I was used to making good money. I had a decision to make: Do I go back to my 0ld job, which was exhausting me? Or… do I start living my passion even though financially I was devastated?

I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do. I had been working in a stressful environment for 25 years that no longer felt a good fit for me. So I decided to just go for my passion until I figured out what I wanted to do next. As the months rolled on, I accumulated a good amount of credit card debt since I didn't have a lot of money coming in and all my savings had been stolen. At times I felt stressed and anxious and often wondered how I was going to pay my bills. Because of the situation that I was in, I realized that I needed to be more open to receiving help and money; something I wasn't used to doing.

It was difficult for me to receive and sometimes I felt uncomfortable when I would receive gifts or things for free. At times when people would offer to do something for me or buy me something, I would say no thanks or you don't have to do that, instead of accepting the gift.

In truth, I didn't know how to receive and I needed to learn. I needed to do something to transform this crippling habit that I created over the years and learn how to receive help, love, money and support.

My inability to receive had stopped the flow of money and abundance in my life. At the same time, I also learned that by not accepting gifts or money from other people that I actually prevented them from experiencing the same joy that I had experienced when I gave.

New Habits

After becoming more aware of my issue, I slowly started to make positive changes in my life. It took a little practice, however when people would buy me gifts or meals, I learned to just say thank you instead of saying no thanks or you don't have to do that. I also started to learn to receive in all kinds of different ways. I used coupons and reward points for some of the things that I wanted to buy. I accepted groceries and meals from friends. I said yes to the person working at the grocery store that offered to take my groceries to my vehicle. Saying yes to some of the small things helped me to get into the practice of receiving.

At the same time that I was practicing receiving, I also stopped doing so much for other people in my personal relationships. I realized that I had been over giving and attracted some unhealthy relationships in my life. People had taken advantage of me and my good nature and I ended up feeling hurt, angry or resentful. I still feel that it is important to give and I still love to give however; I have learned to value myself too. Instead of always putting the wants and needs of other people first, I learned to make myself a priority and I established healthier boundaries knowing that when I serve myself, I can serve others fully too.


Deep down I feel that my inability to receive was related to some core needs and beliefs. The need to be "loved and accepted" as well as the belief that "I don't deserve or I’m not worthy" to receive. I had also come to realize that I had been associating receiving help, money and support as a weakness. Receiving, money, love and support is not a weakness it is actually a strength and it supports the flow of abundance in your life. We all need to feel loved, we all need to be supported and we all need money.

There are all kinds of limiting beliefs that can hold us back from expanding and moving forward in our life. These beliefs are picked up throughout our life and exist in our mind. They can have serious negative impact on our relationships, our health and our financial well-being and, in fact, they are not usually true.

Giving and Receiving

So… if you are a giver, practice receiving. If you are a receiver, practice giving and notice what comes up for you. Keep the flow of abundance in your life by practicing both giving and receiving. The more you receive the more you have to give.

Shared with abundant joy and love,

Rev. Barb



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