On one side is the ability to give and on the other is the ability to receive. And it is often said that unless one can receive, then it won’t be possible for them to give. So the ability to receive is generally considered to be the most important aspect.

This makes me think about how breathing works. One breathes air in and then breaths it out, but unless one could breathe air in (receive), then they wouldn’t have anything to breath out (give). And then one wouldn’t last very long as a result of this. So this example shows how important it is to receive.

But even though receiving is incredibly important, it doesn’t mean that this always takes place for someone. What some people can relate to is the experience of always giving and rarely, if ever, receiving.

Areas Of Life

This can affect every part of one’s life, from the insignificant areas to the areas that are incredibly significant. It may include trivial moments such as: when one shares their drink or holds the door open for another and yet doesn’t receive these offerings from other people.

But, the biggest challenges are likely to be when it comes to ones: relationships, finances, career, time and mental, emotional and physical energy. These will be where the biggest problems are created.


For some people, getting their needs met in relationships could be a problem and they are always giving, in one way or another, to their: friends, colleagues, family or partner. And yet, when it comes to their own needs and wants, they generally have to go without.

Or it may be known through one always paying out money, but not receiving enough money to buy what they need or want. One could be someone who is always there to help other people and when it comes to being helped themselves, no one is ever available.

Needs And Wants

So there is likely to be patterns involved and one will be used to not getting their needs and wants met in certain areas of life. To feel angry and frustrated would be normal, as will the feeling that one has no control as to whether their needs and wants will be met or not.

While some people can question this and wonder why it is taking place, for others, this can be seen as normal and how life is. One may even come to conclude that giving is the right thing to do and that it wouldn’t be right to receive or expect anything from others.


The term ‘running on empty’ is what comes to mind here. While one may not experience the same consequences as they would if they were unable to breath, they can still be severe. One’s life is going to be out of balance and this can lead to a whole myriad of challenges.

Mental, emotional and psychological exhaustion can ensure and financial problems can occur. Having enough time to do what matters for oneself can also be a challenge; as ones time may be used to take care of other people needs and wants.

The Mind

All kinds of reasons will be created by the mind, as to why this is taking place. As a result of observing reality, the mind interprets what it sees and this is how meaning is formed. And this meaning can come about through: past experiences or a combination of past experiences.

So what one has experienced, heard from others or read about, will then be utilised here. The mind will form all kinds of stories and these stories will often be seen as the truth. One can feel like a victim and that the external world is defining what is taking place for example.

The Body

However, the real answers are not in the mind, they are in the body. And the reason one is not receiving is because this is what is familiar and therefore what feels safe. Intellectually this might sound irrational and appear to make no sense whatsoever.

This association is often formed during ones childhood years and through many years passing, one can lose all awareness of these experiences. But whether one consciously remembers or not is irrelevant, as these associations can still define one’s life.

Childhood Years

How someone’s primary caregiver responded to ones needs and wants as a child will make a massive impact here. If this was a caregiver that was attuned and emotionally aware in most cases, the child would generally have had their needs and wants met. And this would typically be done in a way that respected the Childs personal space and didn’t lead to them being overwhelmed, smothered or controlled.

However, if this was a caregiver that was out of tune and emotionally unaware in most cases, the child would generally have had their needs and wants ignored and it could have lead to them being used to fulfil their caregiver’s needs. So the Childs personal space is unlikely to be noticed or respected. Here, the child would have felt overwhelmed, smothered and controlled by the caregiver. As their main priority was the fulfilment of their own needs and not the Childs needs


Through these early experiences taking place, the child learns that it is not safe to receive. To receive means that one will be end up being: controlled, overwhelmed, smothered and lose themselves for instance. So by not receiving, it will be possible for one to feel safe.

The trouble here is that by not receiving, one is out of balance and setting themselves up for all kinds of problems. So while this association may have kept one safe as a child, as an adult, it can only lead to pain and suffering. And as these associations exist, it can cause one to re create the same experiences.


Whatever has been associated as familiar and therefore safe, is what the ego mind will see as the truth. To the mind, the truth is what is familiar and not necessarily what is functional or healthy.

So in order for one to receive, it will mean that these associations will need to be changed and there could be emotions that also need to be released. This can be done through the assistance of a therapist, healer or a coach.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Oliver J R Cooper and I have been on a journey of self awareness for over nine years and for many years prior to that I had a natural curiosity.

For over two years, I have been writing articles. These cover psychology and communication. This has also lead to poetry.

One of my intentions is to be a catalyst to others, as other people have been and continue to be to me. As well as writing articles and creating poetry, I also offer personal coaching. To find out more go to - http://www.oliverjrcooper.co.uk/

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