"I give a great deal but I've closed off my ability to receive, to show my needs"
I have always been told that I am a giving person. This has become a large part of my personal identity. I know there is a hole inside of me that I have closed off from being filled by others (receiving). I sometimes feel that if I let out how much I really NEED to receive, if I let people see how big that hole is, it would be overwhelming. What is your advice as to my next step in working this through?
The issue of finding balance in one's life can often feel overwhelming, especially when we've leaned in one direction for a long time. You said you have always been told that you are a giving person. When we are told, whether it's verbally or through the heavy expectations others put on us, that we are to be a certain way, we take on that image of ourselves in a deep way. To change that can be frightening, as that is how we think we must be to continue to survive. We think that is the only way to get the approval of others, or the love we need.
I think that you are already taking the right steps - as the first step is recognizing what you need in order to be balanced. You already know what you need - to be able to receive. The question is, how to tackle the need to receive bit by bit so that it isn't overwhelming. What seems to be holding you back is the fear of really diving into this issue to get it moving. What if you wrote down all your fears about what you think might happen if you showed others that you have needs too, such as, "I will be abandoned" or "I won't have the role of caretaker anymore" or "I won't know who I am" or "my neediness will be so awful people won't like me." Take each fear, one at a time, and face it to see if it is really true. Let yourself release whatever emotions come up for you as you write down and face these thought forms.
Usually when we face a fear head on, it will dissipate like smoke. I invite you to visualize the color yellow, for joy, at your 2nd chakra, the sacral area, and affirm that you deserve to receive pleasure; that you trust that what you will receive will be warmth, healing, and receptivity in all your interactions. Allow yourself to release any disappointment that may come up for you from the past when you did not receive the love you needed. Breathe through the emotional charge, and then fill yourself with golden light.
There may also be the issue present here of feeling you need to compete for affection - take a look and see if you felt that way as a child. If there is, you can understand that the strategy you devised to get the love you needed was to take care of others. You can speak to your inner child and reassure her that she no longer needs to compete for love - you can let her know that she deserves and can and will receive love just for being her. See yourself holding her and tell her she doesn't have to take care of others, or do something in the way of work, to get that love. A good affirmation would be "I now easily open to receive all the love I need." Another would be to hold your hands on your heart and say "My heart is enough," when you feel that you are taking care of others from the place of needing to be loved.
I would invite you to continue the inner child work, and as you feel safe and open to receive love, you will begin to understand, from a deep level, and to know that you deserve love just for being you. This issue needs your love and attention - it will be good to shine that love you give to others on yourself. Take the time to do it, make yourself a priority, and this issue will begin to fall into place for you.
With Blessings, Ayal