Receiving is a space of vulnerability, openness and oneness with everything.
When you are in the space of receiving there are no boundaries or barriers. You experience communion with yourself and the world.
What is the connection between receiving and abuse?
Unfortunately, “receiving” has gotten twisted up in this reality by abuse. Instead of being an experience of communion, receiving becomes an experience of destruction and separation.
As a child, receiving meant being judged, beaten and even raped. Receiving meant being and living other people’s realities with a desperate desire to get nurturance and love, which I never got except in the form of money and objects and ultimately, abuse.
In the first two decades of my life, “love” equaled judgment and hate. I believed if I had thick enough skin I could tough it out. So I became the porcupine with invisible quills: desperate for connection yet always defended.
The abuse I experienced blocked me from receiving the kindness and generosity I truly be, and that the Universe truly be. Yet I found a way to overcome two decades of abuse so that I could create a life beyond my wildest dreams. If I can do this, you can do this too.
Whether or not you struggled with abuse, there may be something in your life that feels like a trap, a cage, some way you feel locked out of receiving yourself and your life as fully as possible. This invisible cage keeps you from living the life you truly desire.
So what can you do to unblock yourself from receiving?
Consider taking these 3 steps…
Step 1: Ask – Am I Being an Invisible Porcupine?
How often do you get prickly when someone comes towards you?
This is the “invisible porcupine” I described earlier. It’s something I know very well, both in myself and in the thousands of clients I’ve worked with over the past two decades.
These quills were once your best attempt to protect yourself. They worked well back then yet they are outdated now.
What have you misidentified and misapplied as receiving that is actually defending?
How much are you uninviting into your life with these quills?
Just like you hoped the quills would keep your abuser away, they now keep love, money, clients and all else at a “safe” distance.
The first step to unblocking yourself from receiving is to acknowledge that you’ve been an invisible porcupine with quills armed and ready to defend 24/7.
Step 2: Weed Out Stories That Block Receiving
If you experienced abuse you were forced to “receive” something you didn’t wish to receive. In that moment you created a story that it’s not safe to receive. Any form of receiving: love, money, health, etc., became dangerous.
As I shared earlier, receiving as a child was dangerous for me. Receiving meant physical, emotional, mental and sexual abuse.
What does receiving mean to you?
What stories have you told yourself about receiving that keep the quills in place?
Whether or not you were abused, you may have been the recipient of someone’s anger, judgments or expectations, or you may have never received the love you craved. All of these can twist your experience of “receiving.”
Are you now willing to let these stories go?
Step 3: Recognize The Quills Hurt Both Ways
How often do you get prickly at you and judge you?
Just like the “quills” of the invisible porcupine point outwards and keep everything in life (love, money, health, etc.) at a “safe” distance, they also point inward and keep you from coming forward into your own life.
At some point, perhaps a long time ago, you learned it wasn’t “safe” to come forward.
So you went away from yourself (by disconnecting or dissociating) to try to keep yourself safe.
Now you keep poking yourself with your own quills in the form of judgments and stories that it’s not safe to be seen or heard. Just like with Steps 1 and 2, you need to acknowledge the quills hurt you, too, and let go of the stories you have made about what it means to come forward in your own life.
Know what the most painful thing about all of this is?
You live your own life at a “safe” distance from yourself and never fully receive the beauty and potency of YOU. You never get to RECEIVE you.
This is the real epidemic of abuse: divorcing yourself from yourself.
Yet when you take these 3 steps you begin to move beyond the blocks that have been holding you back from receiving yourself.
What else is possible when you move beyond the blocks and receive more of you?
What would the world be like if we all chose to be the space of receiving?
Written by Dr. Lisa Cooney, MFT and Access Consciousness Certified Facilitator, bestselling author and the catalyst of the Beyond Abuse Revolution. This article is an excerpt from her chapter in the book, “The Energy of Receiving.” You can find more tools and resources for moving beyond abuse HERE.
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Jul 24, 2015
Thank you so much for this article. I’m 55 and still struggle with childhood abuse. It’s blocked so much in my life and even with awareness, forgiveness, understanding, and *logically* knowing I deserve happiness, I’ve sabotaged it at every turn. Thank you for hope.
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Sep 15, 2015
thank you for speaking Karen! Check out the weekly Voice America show on my site and more…so many resources to move beyond abuse and out of limitations to your Radical Aliveness!
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