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Reciprocity

Reciprocity. Reciprocity. Reciprocity.

That is such a delightful word and I really love saying it.

Reciprocity. Reciprocity. Reciprocity.

What does it mean, though?

According to merriam-webster.com, reciprocity means: a mutual exchange of privileges The operative words in that definition are “mutual exchange.”

Reciprocity is on my mind lately because I recently participated in an event where the facilitator spoke about the cycle of giving and receiving, pointing out that many of us have been raised on the old adage, “It is better to give than to receive.” Often times, adhering to that teaching leads some to give more than they have to give, resulting in exhaustion, illness, and resentment.

One way to look at this is… if everyone is living by the cliché I addressed above, who, then, is receiving? And, if there are some that are receiving, are they less worthy than those who are giving because it says it is better to give? Do you see the conflict in this oft-repeated statement? It can be mind-bending to think about.

That motto has put a negative spin on an innately divine principle and I believe it is in the word “give.” If you are focused on proving your worthiness in any way – which that proverb was intended for, to prove that you’re worthy of being called “good” – then to “give” creates a martyr-like energy, which becomes abusive, forceful, and insidiously invasive. When you lead with this energy, it comes across to others as though you want to fix them and solve all their problems because you have all the answers. This “give” comes with a push. Additionally, it calls in those who are equally dysfunctional and focused on taking all that they can take as fast as they can take it.

Over the years of studying and working with clients and doing my own work, I have seen time and again that when the “give” is leading, there is always a “take” and there is never a “receive.” As this awareness began to develop, I felt very curious. First and foremost because I was very well acquainted with our fun axiom above. What had happened, I wondered, to the receiving part?

Then, I began reconstructing the mantra and having my clients do the same: It is divine to OFFER AND receive.” That is where the “mutual exchange” comes into play. By offering whatever it is that you have to offer, you step into the position of mutual exchange, sharing, being of service to the other. You are providing a space wherein the other person can open up to receiving whatever it is you are offering. Offering has an energy of openness, willingness, curiosity, and love. By changing the focus to offering and receiving, we became a strong cog in the wheel of reciprocity. We remembered our divine natures and began to be the embodiment of appreciation.

Last week, I wrote about nurturing, loving, and accepting yourself. The process of learning to love yourself is an excellent proving ground for understanding mutual exchange. You are the only person participating in the experiment so you must not only offer the love, but you must also receive the love.

Reciprocity. Reciprocity. Reciprocity.

Indeed, it is such a delicious word and a fabulous practice!

© Angie K. Millgate 08/08/13

photo credit: slack12 via photopincc

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I always welcome your thoughts, questions, and comments.
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