Have you ever started putting on a pair of socks, only to realize a thread is beginning to unravel?
So you give it a tug, to break it off and move along with getting dressed?
Except the thread just keeps unraveling and unraveling?
Most annoying to me, is when this happens with a pair of underwear.
Strings attached are unpredictable, uncomfortable and leave you feeling undone.
Strings Attached with Giving & Receiving
Somehow this experience of pesky strings attached shows up in our relationships - when we give and when we receive. Though generally unseen, expectations about how the giving or receiving will be reciprocated exist.
I mean, we just have to start there: Expectations for how giving and receiving will be reciprocated exist.
I'm not even suggesting that expectations are right or wrong - only that they are.
Without having to go down THAT rabbit trail, the conversation I am most interested in today, is around noticing what our wiring is. It is likely unconscious right now, so this is simply an inquiry into what may happen internally.
What's Your Wiring?
Do you expect someone to repay you in an equitable fashion if you do something kind for them?
When you give them a compliment you think they should give you a compliment, as well.
If you offer to drive to an event, you anticipate that they will probably offer to drive next time or pay for the gas.
Do you expect someone to repay you in an equitable fashion if you gave them something?
When you offer to pay for a meal, you assume they'll offer to pay for your next meal.
You anticipate they'll get you a birthday gift that is comparable in cost and quality to what you got them.
Do you expect someone to
acknowledge what you did or
acknowledge what you gave or
acknowledge what you said
and return it with a "Thank You"?
It can happen in reverse, too:
Do you expect someone assumes you'll repay them in an equitable fashion if they do something kind for you?
When they give you a compliment you assume they want you to give them a compliment, as well.
If they offer to drive to an event, you figure they will probably expect you to drive next time or at least pay for the gas.
Do you believe someone expects you to repay them in an equitable fashion if they gave you something?
When they offer to pay for a meal, you assume they'll expect you to pay for the next one.
You think they expect you to get them a birthday gift that is comparable in cost and quality to what they got you.
Do you assume someone expects you to
acknowledge what they did or
acknowledge what they gave or
acknowledge what they said
and return it with a "Thank You"?
Innate Giving and Receiving is Not Transactional
On some level, in some way, we all have expectations about how a person will engage with us, after there has been a giving or receiving. Again, not right or wrong.
This expectation stuff exists in our collective experience: There have been strings attached in the past, collectively, and we anticipate there will be strings attached in the future, collectively.
Strings attached, expectations, assumptions, what we anticipate, what we think someone else thinks...it feels mucky.
We feel uneasy, dissatisfied, and undone because we aren't naturally wired to give and receive in a 1:1, transactional sort of way.
The energy of giving and receiving is simply that: Energy. It is innate within us - like the urge to smile at a cooing baby. The urge rises up because that is how we are designed as human beings. Not because there is a strict 1:1 correspondence in every single moment of every day.
The Urge to Give and Receive Is Natural
When we are grounded in the healthiest version of ourselves, we naturally feel the urge to give rise up. We also naturally feel the urge to receive rise up.
Sometimes we'll be present to a capacity to give much.
Sometimes we'll notice our capacity to give is less.
Sometimes we'll be present to a limited capacity to receive.
Sometimes we'll notice an expanded capacity to receive.
We do give and receive. In and out, just like our breath.
There is a relationship, because each moves in the direction of the other.
AND our transactional habits limit our capacity to be in the natural rhythm of Giving and Receiving.
The invitation here is to raise awareness of how Giving and Receiving shows up for you, so that you can consciously expand your capacity to be in the natural rhythm of Giving and Receiving in the world.
Sending you lots of love as you explore your edges,
Exercise Your Soul
Notice the relationship between giving and receiving for you. Is it transaction? When have you felt there are strings attached?
When you do you feel the natural urge to give?
When are you feel the natural urge to receive?
What might shift in your life, as you increase your capacity to Give and Receive?
Rachel Sartori is an Embodiment and Wholeness Coach. She is kick-ass and heart-centered whether she is showing up as a workshop/retreat facilitator, a private coach, a writer or a speaker. Rachel invites you to exercise your soul, and participate in the healing of your own heart and the world around you. With Rachel, all is welcome, all the time.
Read: Exercise Your Soul: Ignite Healing and Wholeness in your Life and Live from the Inside Out