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  • Marilyn Young

Learning To Receive

Today I need to share with you several synchronicities occurring over the last week that finally led to a giant “aha moment” for me with one of my life lessons.

As many of you know, Spirit will continue to provide messages for us until we finally “get it”. That is, until we finally understand that message or lesson. The messages get louder, clearer, bigger, more obvious, and more frequent until we finally pay attention. Sometimes we simply

cannot recognize the message for one of many possible reasons until the message becomes so huge that we cannot miss it or avoid it any longer. In our house, we call that final message, the “cosmic whacking”. Well, this past week has provided me with my latest, and probably one of the gentler cosmic whackings I have had. Let me tell you what finally led to my true “aha moment” about learning how to receive.

As far back as I can remember, I have been a giver. I love to help people. From doing my chores as a child and helping my siblings with their homework, to my work as a nurse, to helping family and friends whenever they need an extra hand or just emotional support. I love it. It is part of who I am. But somewhere along the way I must have really taken to heart the saying “it is better to give than receive”. Is this a familiar phrase to you? If not, maybe it is unique to my generation or even just the environment I grew up in.

I don’t know when I first heard the phrase, but it is deeply embedded in my belief systems. On reflection back over the years, I can see I almost wore it as a badge of honour. Giving made me feel that I was a good person, that I was approved of. (Perhaps there is a hint here, of a lesson in self worth as well but that is a topic for another day!) Are you a “giver”? Can you relate?

I am not saying there is anything wrong with giving – definitely not! But giving is only half of the equation. We live in a world of duality, opposites – black and white, good and bad, light and dark, hot and cold, fear and love, giving and receiving. These opposites exist as the two ends to a continuum. But in fact, both are different perspectives of the same thing: two sides of the same coin. For example, hot and cold are both temperatures. As we move along the continuum of temperature, hot contains a lesser degree of heat until the temperature is neutral in the middle and then continues into cold. Over centuries humanity has decided to label each end of the continuum as “good” or “bad”. A judgement is made about the two sides. That label or judgement may be different depending on your environment or circumstances. For example, a farmer may welcome the heat as “good” because it helps his crops grow but fears the cold of winter arriving too early and killing his crops before harvest. Conversely, the ski hill owner can hardly wait for the start of cold weather and the first snow but dreads an early spring where warm weather melts the snow on the hill before the projected end of the ski season.

Now, back to the saying “it is better to give than to receive”. The word “better” makes it appear that giving is “good” and receiving is “bad”. We see examples of this everywhere. How many of you find it difficult to accept\receive a compliment? What is your response when

someone complements your hair? Do you respond with a genuine “thank you” and allow yourself to feel good about the compliment? Or is it difficult to receive a compliment and your response is something like a nervous, “Thanks, but I really need to get a haircut. This length makes me look too old.” On the flip side how do you feel when you give someone a compliment? I bet you are genuine and looking forward to brightening their day just a little. It is a “good” thing to help someone else feel good.

As we go through life, our experiences occur along the continuum of duality. The goal is actually not to “stay on the good side” but rather to be in balance between the two ends of the continuum; to have both types of experiences balance each other. This is called being in harmony as we move closer to the centre of the continuum. With each experience we have an opportunity to learn and once we get through one experience, the Universe pushes us to the other side of the spectrum/continuum to learn there so we can eventually get closer to our centre or that balance. That push can be gentle or a cosmic whacking. Have you ever experienced a sudden crisis just when you thought you were doing everything “right”? Have you ever experienced a “cosmic whacking”? If you have, that was the Universe pushing you to the other side of the continuum so you can learn and move forward in your journey. Where are you on the continuum? Are you an “over giver” or are you in balance on this continuum?

Now, back to my example, of learning to receive… There may be things here that you can relate to. As I mentioned, I have always been very comfortable with giving. Receiving…not so much…. For many years friends and family have been so patient with me, pointing out my “over giving” and encouraging me to receive in terms of spending some time and energy on myself, or allowing them to give me assistance, a break, or just take some of the load. My mantra was always, “No worries. I’m fine. I can handle it. I can do it myself.” Does that sound familiar?

Occasionally, my body would make me stop and take time for myself by getting injured or ill

so I was forced to stay home in bed or at least slow down. The last several months my body has been again trying to convince me to pay attention, to work on receiving. I have been plagued by small but very distracting health issues that no matter what I did to try to “treat” them, they did not resolve. Friends and family have offered support and healing which I have accepted self-consciously. Looking back now, I did not accept their help wholeheartedly as I did not always follow through fully on their helpful suggestions or offers. As my frustration at my inability to heal myself grew, symptoms would change in intensity and just when I thought things were on the mend, new symptoms would appear. Interestingly as well, all the issues involve the left side of my body which, energetically, is the receiving side!

Then, this last week, the Universe stepped it up with the frequency and intensity of messages to help me learn my lesson in receiving. Honestly, I really was at the point of needing something extremely obvious. I had been asking Spirit for months for help in healing and, looking back, opportunities and messages were sent my way but I did not recognize them because I was so focused on “doing it myself”. I realize now that even when I asked Spirit for help with healing, I was trying to be in control rather than just “allowing” healing to come in.

According to my Naturopath on my most recent visit to him, even my pineal gland, our gateway to our communication with Spirit, had shut down since my last appointment. Subconsciously, I had even cut myself off from receiving from Spirit. I was disappointed with this realization but not surprised. I left the appointment grateful for his skill and gifts that helped things open back up for me. I was determined to refocus on my connection with Spirit and to stop focusing on what was “wrong” with me. I needed to take my own advice and not focus on something I didn’t want to manifest more of! Little did I know that Spirit was going to give we a week of intense lessons in receiving and I wouldn’t truly recognize them as such until the back end of the week.

The next day gave me the first of the many coming opportunities to receive. Our family gathered at my father-in-law’s gravesite to pay tribute to him and other soldiers on Remembrance Day. It was a beautiful sunny day. The wind was fairly calm compared to the

icy gale that chilled us to the bone on the day he was buried. As my entire family gathered along with their aunt, uncle, and cousins, I was so proud of all of them attending on short notice. As we had our two minutes of silence at exactly 11:00, I could clearly “see” in my mind’s eye and feel my father-in-law with us. He was very happy to have the family there. He was joined by my own grandfather who had also served in WWII, as well as a massive crowd of uniformed veterans. All of them were extremely happy to be paid tribute to on that special day. Their joy brought tears to my eyes. Being more open to Spirit again and feeling their happiness was such a gift for me to receive.

Opportunity #2 occurred later that afternoon. After the gathering at the cemetery, our family enjoyed a lunch out - I can never pass up an opportunity to be with my kids and beautiful grandchildren. Hence, I was late to log onto a free online class I had signed up for on Angel Tarot and Mediumship. I joined the class just as one of the presenters was telling a story about connecting with his dog who had passed away. The connection occurred while he was dealing with a worker who had arrived to put up his Christmas lights. My ears perked up when he talked about using the number 0512 as the code on his gate to get into his yard and the worker saying that 0512 (May 12) was his mother's birthday. You see, May 12 is my birthday and I use those exact numbers as a code as well! This felt like a huge sign from Spirit but I didn’t know what it could be referring to. As the presenter was ending his story, I suddenly started to hear bells ringing in my headset. I could not figure out where the ringing was coming from and it was so extremely loud that I had to log off the call even though it appeared that the presenter did not hear them. When I logged back on, the bells were gone – weird, another very loud sign! I still wasn't sure what the signs were about. Then the presenter introduced an upcoming class on connecting with loved ones who have passed. I remembered the soldiers and I knew. All the signs I was receiving from Spirit told me I had to take the class. The confirming sign was that the presenter had really lowered the cost as a gift to everyone as he recognized that money was tight for many people these days. I was so grateful to receive this gift of the lower cost that made it possible for me to sign up for the course.

Opportunity #3 to receive came later that same day. One of our friends texted me asking that I call him. When I did, I was overwhelmed with his kindness. You see, earlier that week I gave him my ticket to attend a concert with my husband as my irritating health issues were acting up and I didn’t want to be the cause of us having to potentially leave the concert early. As a thank you, our friend had arranged and paid for me to receive a series of treatments from an

amazing healer. Initially, my old self kicked in and I protested that he did not have to do that, but he was firm and insisted that there would be “no more missed concerts” for me. When I finally allowed myself to receive and thanked him, I started to cry. I cried again when I told my husband and daughter about the gift. His genuine caring truly touched my heart.

A couple of days later, I had opportunity #4 to receive. This time I was knocked flat. About midmorning I suddenly felt very odd, not well, and extremely exhausted. I crawled into bed and stayed there for the rest of the day. I had no choice. I literally could not function. I briefly recalled my good friend reminding me so often to just “allow” when something is coming in from Spirit. Not seeing a clear cause for what was happening, I thought to myself, “If this is from Spirit, I allow anything that is for my higher good” and then crawled under the covers and went to sleep. When my husband came home for lunch, he was surprised to find me in bed. He asked if I needed anything and of course I replied “no” and that I would be fine. So,

he had his lunch and went back to work. When he returned at the end of the day, he brought me a beautiful single rose. I barely woke to notice him putting it on my bedside table. Later, when I fully woke to its wonderful fragrance, my heart was touched and my eyes brimmed with tears again. Unlike other times, I did not respond with “Oh you didn’t have to do that.” I allowed myself to receive and gave him a hug and a simple “thank you”.

The next day I was fully recovered. I discovered that the previous day’s experience was actually a Spiritual download or another shift in my Spiritual gifts – something else I received from Spirit. Since then, Spirit has been waking me very early in the morning and providing so much material for my writing (receiving opportunity # 5) that I have a hard time keeping up entering it all in my phone at 3AM! In fact, yesterday I gave up and headed upstairs to my computer at 5AM and just kept writing. It also gave me a whole new perspective on working with and communicating with crystals!

Opportunity #6 came with my first of the three treatments our friend had arranged for me to receive. I arrived for my lymphatic massage treatment not really sure what it would entail and a bit nervous about meeting a new practitioner. An hour later I was close to tears again. The practitioner was so gentle and gifted, I could not help but benefit from it. Interestingly she commented on my energy field feeling hesitant to receive! A reminder that despite all the week’s opportunities I was still not totally open to receiving. After the treatment, I met up with a dear friend for coffee. During our conversation she also gave me a reminder to continue to work on receiving when she made a comment about my characteristic over giving.

Throughout the week I have had additional opportunities to receive – texts from a best friend

offering help after hearing I was “knocked flat”, offers from a gifted healer to assist me in helping family members, insightful technical support from my daughter for my intuitive counselling business, and many hugs from my family. Some things I did receive gratefully but for others I behaved like my energy field - hands up, backing away from the offer saying “I’m ok…”

Yesterday, reflecting on the week, I suddenly clearly saw all the opportunities to receive that I have just described to you that the Universe had put in my path. I am so grateful for all of them but seeing my response to some, I know I still have a way to go to fully release that belief of “it’s better to give than receive”. I asked Spirit how I could do that; how could I release such a deeply entrenched lifelong belief? Surely it would take me much longer than a week. As with all things connected to Spirit, the answer was simple - “allow”. It came in loud and clear to just allow myself to receive. No judgement about whether that is a good or bad thing or whether I am worthy of receiving. No trying to “even the score” by “giving back”. Just allow myself to receive with no strings attached. It might take some effort but I think I can do that. What about you?

I also happened upon a random message on Facebook that served as additional motivation to become more in balance along the giving/receiving continuum. It was a reminder that “You cannot give from an empty vessel.” As “givers” we need that balance of receiving so we can continue to give. Also, if we cannot receive, we are denying someone else the joy of giving. They may give up on giving and then someone else will miss out on what they might have received from that person. There is a ripple effect to where we are on the continuum.

So, as we move into the “season of giving” next month, remember to open your heart and

mind to receiving. If we can approach receiving with the same genuine joy that children have when they gleefully accept their gifts at Christmas, then we will be closer to that harmony that we seek. We will need to put aside any worry about whether we gave enough, or whether our gift to someone was of the same value as theirs to us. Rather, we need to focus on receiving to allow others to feel the joy of giving. Let’s relabel the season as a time of giving and receiving. Let’s find our balance on the continuum. Are you with me?

Lots of love and hugs,



If you would like to learn more about duality and the continuum of giving and receiving, here are a few resources I have found helpful:


Gregg Braden – The Spontaneous Healing of Belief

Suze Casey – Belief Re-patterning

Intuitive Counselling and Angel Card Readings

If you have the need a helping hand to work through a life lesson in receiving, I am offering intuitive counselling and angel card readings online or in person (in Calgary).

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