‘Tis The Season For Receiving

There is no doubt about it. December is the time of year that is synonymous with giving. Whether it is to family, friends, co-workers, charitable organizations, or the people who make our lives better, we all have our lists and are checking them twice!

Most of us love to give – and when we do so, we feel good about ourselves, abundant, and alive.

But what about receiving? Most people feel very uncomfortable about receiving!

Whether it is a gift, an act of kindness, help from others, or even a compliment, we have a difficult time receiving.

For many, our awkwardness around receiving started at an early age. We were brought up hearing messages like, “Tis better to give than to receive” or “Give more than you get.” We decided, consciously or unconsciously, that people who receive are greedy, selfish, weak, or needy – and since we didn’t want to be any of those things, we made receiving wrong. When I first looked at my inability to receive, I realized that I had a belief that if I received something from someone, then I would owe them something in return. For me, being beholden to anyone was a loss of control and a very scary place, so receiving became taboo.

But here’s the thing…

  • When we make receiving wrong, we not only limit what we don’t want but also that which our heart truly longs for.
  • When we make receiving wrong, we diminish the amount of love, abundance, happiness, and magic we allow into our lives!
  • When we make receiving wrong, we erect an energetic barrier around us that keeps us from attracting all that we do desire as well as that which we do not.
  • When we make receiving wrong, we knowingly or unknowingly make a declaration to the Universe, others, and ourselves that we do not feel worthy and deserving enough to open ourselves up to the unimaginable gifts that the Universe has to offer.

I always love to hear stories about people who knew each other for years and one day, in an instant, their relationship turns into love. Or the person who is paralyzed by a problem for months and then all of a sudden has a flash of genius and finds the solution. What has changed? Somehow, they opened themselves up to receive something that was previously unavailable to them.

Years ago, when I was determined to shift my relationship with receiving, I decided to make December my month of saying “Yes!” I had just ended a relationship and I was afraid that I would be lonely and depressed during the holidays. So,

  • First, I texted my friends and told them to include me in whatever they did.
  • Second, I made a promise to myself that no matter what the invitation, I would say “Yes!” (I would not let my usual excuses of “not feeling like it” or “it may feel awkward” lead the way.)

In making December my month of saying “Yes!” I learned:

  1. To let the Universe lead.
  2. To trust that the Universe is a benevolent partner and friend and has so many amazing futures lined up for me, if I can only get out of the way and go with the flow instead of trying to control its every move.
  3. In every moment a multitude of invitations exist, all dancing right in front of us, ready to be received, promising to shower us new possibilities.


As Debbie Ford writes in Spiritual Divorce, 

“Miracles can show up in our lives when we are open to receiving them!”

So, if you are ready to open up to the magic and opportunities dancing around you and to truly make this upcoming month “a December to remember,” then I invite you to join me in what is now my yearly tradition of making December my month of saying “Yes!”

Think about what will be possible in the new year if you complete this year making the declaration that you feel worthy of receiving and are open to accepting the magic of the moment and promise of the present!

Transformational Action Steps

(1) Journal about your beliefs about receiving. What were the messages you received when you were young about people who receive or being a giver vs. a receiver?

(2) Become aware of how you feel about receiving. For example: If you are given a gift this holiday season, notice how it automatically makes you feel. What emotions come up for you?

(3) Be fascinated by your actions around receiving. If you are given a compliment, do you ignore it, deflect it, or breathe it in? If someone offers to do something for you, how do you respond?

(4) Say “Yes!” Let the Universe lead and see what happens.