When you give and receive equally, you experience the power of connection.
The fifth principle of Positive Money reminds us that when we give and receive equally, we tap into the power of connection to others, to ourselves, and to what matters most in living a rich life. A simple example is when you buy something from an artist whose work you admire and enjoy. You feel good about your purchase because it feels like an equal exchange. The benefit for the artist is that they can continue making art. The benefit to you is that you can appreciate their art whenever or wherever you choose.
I love this principle because most of us give far more easily than we receive. If someone offers us help or wants to give us a gift, we feel awkward, undeserving, or guilty. We worry that we should do or say something in return or that we’re being needy, greedy, or somehow broken.
For example, if you consider yourself a provider, my guess is that your loved ones find it hard to give you gifts. Why? You likely learned at an early age to fend for yourself. If you ever needed something, you figured out how to get it. Eventually, you became the provider for others because you’re good at it and find it rewarding. This can be healthy as long as you’re able to receive support in other ways. It can be unhealthy if you don’t accept nonmonetary support easily or think you’re responsible for everyone’s happiness. When this is the case, you can suffer from burnout or feel resentful if you aren’t appreciated.
My wife is a good example of this dynamic. She’s the primary provider in our family and loves to give. We call her “Mommy Make It Happen” because she’s on top of any need that arises and enjoys being effective. While we’re grateful for all she does, it can be challenging to give her gifts or to do things for her as she doesn’t ask for much. It can also be hard for her not to feel productive as this is how she feels worthy.
When you practice giving and receiving, you allow money to flow -- to honor its natural role of currency. You open yourself up to the magic and power of generosity as a means of connection and service and move from not thinking you have enough to wondering how you can be enough.