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It’s good to pour into others. But we must also learn to receive. We block our growth into maturity when we cannot accept both the affirmations and the challenges offered by others.

However noble it seems to be the one always giving to others, this is not intended to be a one-way street.

While serving others, we must also allow ourselves to be served – welcoming both blessing and correction into our lives.

Many of us struggle to accept a compliment or heartfelt well done. It’s embarrassing and we tend to downplay it or redirect it back to the other.

And for some this plays out in accepting our shortcomings and mistakes as well. Rather than just accepting the truth of our faults, we tend to blame others and reject the possibility of any wrongdoing on our part.

It seems the core issue either way is about our inability to receive.

Perhaps past wounds have taught us to keep others at a distance and we’ve put a wall around our heart to protect ourselves from the many risks of vulnerability.

It’s only natural to protect ourselves from future hurt, whether perceived or actual.

But, unfortunately, we’re not always aware at the time just how much this cost us in the long run. And our well-meaning efforts at self-protection keep us stuck, lonely, and impotent.

When we keep others at a distance we’re not able to receive their life. And in time, our presence brings the very hurt and pain we were trying to avoid.

We become cold, bitter, and resentful even as we keep trying to do for others. But the problem is not in our giving. It’s in our receiving.

We cannot grow into our highest potential without receiving what others have to offer – their blessings and their challenges.

Risk vulnerability and learn to receive again. It’s in this giving and receiving that love grows best.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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