Giving and Receiving

November 20, 2017 | By More

Gift giving is an art form.  For it to be meaningful it needs to be done with compassion, sensitivity and wisdom.  Some cultures actually delay the opening of the gift and make a ritual ceremony out of the transferring of the unopened gift to the receiver.

The surprise gleaned from receiving the contents of the gift is then a second chance to enjoy this giving and receiving event.

Many people give a receiver something that they themselves would like.  It is important that the gift be something that the receiver either needs, wants, or would welcome.  It is amazing how often people forget this very important principle.

There is a very harmful societal belief that is rampant throughout our culture: “Give, give, give…until it hurts.”  I have seen many people’s lives destroyed by this way of giving.  What I suggest to friends and partners in healing is to let your giving and receiving be roughly equal over time.  A person can give without limit as long as they can receive without limit. This means that a person is neither “selfish” nor “selfless”.  They are acting on the basis of “enlightened self-interest”.  They understand that a person can love another only to the level that they themselves are loved. They understand that love is an inter-active process.  It needs a sender, a receiver, and true empathy.   

One of the hypnotherapy techniques that I use in my practice and that I learned from a South American shaman is related to giving and receiving.  Essentially it is about keeping all the wonderful traits and “gold nuggets” that you have received from family, friends, teachers, etc. while simultaneously “composting” all the worthless, meaningless thoughts, feelings and traits that you have received from them.  They do not have to know that you are transforming the “garbage” into useful material.  In summary, you keep the good stuff and compost the bad stuff.

Most people believe that forgiveness is something you do towards another.  Every single book, thoughtful discussion, or presentation on forgiveness strongly indicates that it is only possible to forgive oneself.  Basically, it is about our own willingness to be “for giving up” something that we have been doing that is hurtful or bad for ourselves or others. You cannot forgive others.  You can only forgive yourself.      

“He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he/she himself/herself must pass”          – George Herbert

Richard M. Haney, M.Ed., Ph.D. (Counselling and Mediation)

Richard has been practising Wholistic Counselling, Coaching, Hypnotherapy and Mediation for the past 25 years in Ottawa.      

To contact Richard please call

(613) 234-5678 or send an e-mail to

Category: Articles, Counselling & Coaching

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