Sunday, August 14, 2011

Giving and Receiving Gone Bad

Whenever I am presented with an insurmountable issue by one of my clients, I like to observe the world around me and see if I recognize the same issue or pattern elsewhere.  Two of the most common issues my clients want to be coached on, are being stuck and lack of abundance of opportunities. I know that we all get stuck from time to time and can’t see what is available to us or feel uncreative and hence can’t produce anything to get us out of where we are stuck.  However, when life deals us a bad hand, some people have an excruciatingly difficult time getting out of their negative tendencies and so, sink deeper and deeper into the muck.

I’ve identified at least two categories in which we can get lost in.  These categories are extreme cases which in a healthy mental state we can go in and come out of.  Some can’t get out for many reasons and that is not the topic of this post.  I wanted to invite you to take a look at yourself and how you might fall into one or both of these categories from time to time.

Over-givers:  They tend to be women, mothers, multi-taskers and very good at many things.  In fact, many keep on giving even when there is nothing left to give.  What do they give when it is all gone?  They give away their frustrations, compulsions, stress, anxiety, worries, you name it, they dish it out and there is an endless supply of these.  They mean well, they just don’t know how to stop themselves.  It’s as if giving is programmed into their DNA, and they can’t stop.  It has nothing to do with the quality or even the content of what they are giving, they are caught up in the act and they keep at it. 

Many over-givers have control issues. They tend to choke off the life force in the receiver of their giving. They also tend to blame everyone who isn’t happy or cooperative about receiving what they are shoving their way.
Non-receivers:  The non-receivers won’t accept anything from anyone.  Many of the over givers are non-receivers too.  Some non-receivers on the other hand, aren’t interested in giving or receiving.  They are like a closed fist that does not know how to open up and hold or receive.  Everything is impossible, irrelevant, unrealistic, impractical, useless or a waste of time to them.  These beliefs keep the fist closed and serve their negative mental state. 

The non-receivers are stiff and not easily humored.  They cannot laugh at themselves, they are angry at the world.  They believe they are smart and not easily fooled like those other happy, gullible people they despise or envy.  Non-receivers cannot engage in any positive activities or conversations that challenge their position.  Challenging a non-receiver requires them to open up their fists and they can’t do that and remain a non-receiver at the same time.  It challenges their whole identity.

The over-givers are non-receivers for the most part.  They cannot receive because most of the time they are in their giving mode, and receiving would mess up with their giving function.  However, if and when they want something specific to be delivered in a specific way by a specific person, and it happens, then they will receive!  That however, rarely happens, so they keep on giving.

We all fall into one or both of these categories from time to time and about certain things and with certain people.  Like anxiety, a little bit of it is a good thing.  It stretches you.  However, when done over and over again, it becomes part of your personality and not only is it hard to get out of, it is hard to be around.

Do you find yourself falling into one or both of these categories at any time or with certain people or situations?  Are you stuck and can’t get away from your thinking patterns?  When stressed, what happens to your giving and receiving tendencies? 

If you would like to further explore these concepts and how they may be contributing to your level of dissatisfaction with life, please contact me for a complimentary 30 minute session to determine if spiritual life coaching is what you might be interested in.

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