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  • Fe Robinson

The fear of receiving

“The fear of receiving resonates

in the deepest levels of the psyche.

To receive is

to let life happen,

to open to grief and loss,

to open to love and delight.

Marion Woodman

Many moons ago, a clinical supervisor challenged me not to grab at things, and to open my hands and let life come to me. It was a profound moment. I sat there, hands open in front of me, mimicking the gesture he had made, and felt something stir inside.

It can be frightening to let go, to stop chasing after completing the next task, acquiring the next possession, contacting the next friend, doing the next exercise class. We all have our own particular ways of keeping busy, of grasping after life, insisting on the next experience, the next activity, the next, the next…

Receiving has a very different quality to it. It calls for stillness. It asks us to rest. Woodman talks of opening, and letting. Receiving is about leaving go control, and surrendering to being part of life. It’s about welcoming what is here, and what might come, with a curious and perhaps even playful spirit, wondering what will unfold if we let it.

Receiving takes trust. Trust in ourselves. Trust in others. Trust in life. This can be profoundly frightening if past experience has led you to close down, draw away and protect yourself. It can also be deeply liberating and healing, transcending those patterns of the past.

Where in your life can you receive? What are the contexts in which you can soften and open, wonder and wander? And where would you like to be more this way?

If trust and receiving are themes you’d like to explore more deeply, psychotherapy may be a helpful setting in which to explore.


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