As always, I learned some valuable lessons this week about the importance of GIVING & RECEIVING AND ASKING FOR WHAT WE WANT. Many of us have no problem with giving to others, but find it difficult to receive and especially ask for what we need and want. It is important to learn how to have this “flow of energy” of giving and receiving in our lives so we can be whole and healthy. When we only “give” and have difficulty receiving and don’t ask for help from others, we actually block the love that others want to give us. Our inability to ask for what we need often comes from a place of not feeling worthy. So we rob ourselves of receiving love and rob others of giving love to us.
My girlfriend, Barbara, from Maui is moving back to the mainland next week. When I moved a few months ago, Barbara was kind enough to let me store my belongings in her second bedroom until my new home was ready. I so appreciated her kindness.
So when Barbara emailed me a few weeks ago and told me that she was moving, I called her and said, “I would be happy to help you do whatever you need me to do.” I called her a couple of days ago and invited her to lunch. Again, I said, “How can I help you, what do you need me to do”? She told me she could use some help cleaning her house.
I went to her house yesterday to help her clean and then we went to lunch. At one point, while I was washing the blinds, she peeked her head into the room and said, “I have had a hard time asking for help and I usually push through things and do it all myself. This feels really good to have your support and love today.” I asked myself, “Why do we think we have to do it all ourselves and that asking for help is weak, bad and wrong?”
I thought about her comment and the people I have counseled over the years and the problems they have had asking for help. I decided to talk to her about it while we were having lunch. I sensed that God wanted me to write about it in my blog this week (especially since I prayed that morning for an inspirational blog.)
Barbara was open to talk about it when I asked her, “Why has it been so hard for you to ask for help?” She immediately said, “It’s a pattern. I learned it from my mother. She never asked for help. It’s also because I don’t feel worthy to ask because people probably won’t want to help me and I don’t want to bother them. Another big part for me is that I know I’m capable to do it myself. And when push comes to shove, I have always gotten it done, no matter what.”
I asked her, “What did you do to move through this?” She was quiet as the tears started to roll down her cheeks and then she said, “Something has shifted inside of me and I was able to say YES to being loved and supported. I felt worthy of having the help.” More tears as she looked into my eyes and said, “I didn’t know how much that people loved and cared about me. I sense my life is going to be different in the future because I don’t have to push and be in control. I like this flow of energy and it can be easy now that I am awake and aware that I am loved and supported.”
Wow, what a blessed and precious moment for me to witness and be in the presence of Barbara’s breakthrough. Haven’t we all been there at one time or another when we didn’t know how much we were loved and supported? Is it that simple that all we have to do is say YES to being loved and supported and ask for what we need? I believe it is simple, but we must do the inner work first and identify beliefs that no longer serve us. We often don’t ask for what we need and want because we don’t know what we want. Once we know what we want, we need to know how to communicate that to another in a way that we will be heard.
I had the experience of asking for what I wanted in my relationship with Larry this week. We both read the bestselling book, The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. If we don’t know what our love language is and what is important to us, we will not feel loved and our partner will not feel loved, no matter what we do.
In his book, Dr. Chapman describes the 5 love languages as being: 1. Words of affirmation 2. Acts of service 3. Receiving gifts 4. Quality time 5. Physical touch
Thankfully, Larry and I have the same #1 love language and that is physical touch. We can’t keep our hands off of each other and we look like teenagers because we are always holding hands. Strangers comment to us that they want to be like us when they get to our age. And we say, “SENIORS ROCK.” Now, I have to admit that is not a bad thing! What is interesting is that I didn’t know that physical touch was so important to me to feel loved.
Pretty close to the top of my list and perhaps equal to physical touch is #3 Receiving gifts. I was clear and communicated to Larry about what would make me feel loved. I told him that sending me a card or buying me flowers or small gifts of love would really light me up and I would know how much he loved me. This is not his love language and what he needs from me.
A few days later, when I went to the mailbox and saw a card addressed to me from Larry, my heart skilled a beat and I said to myself, “He heard me as the tears flowed down my cheeks.” What a gift it is to me to be truly heard by Larry.
I understand why this is so important to me now because my ex-husband wasn’t able to love me in the way I needed to be loved and I wasn’t able to love him in the way he needed to be loved. Perhaps if we had known each other’s love language, we would still be together.
I thank God for blessing me with love and for the grace to give and receive and ask for what I need in my life. Are you able to ask for what you need? Are you open to receiving the many blessings that have your name on it? Like Barbara did, say YES and know that you are worthy of love from others.
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