You Are Worthy of Receiving: 10 Things to Let into Your Life

Let Light In

“Happiness is really a deep inner satisfaction and approval” ~Francis Wiltshire

At the start of the year many of us make resolutions about what we want to give up, what we need to let go—from quitting smoking (did that 20+ years ago), to cutting back on alcohol (a work in progress), to cutting back on not-so-healthy foods (also in progress), to letting go of past “demons.”

There’s a lot to be gained by letting go of past pain, by breaking bad habits. But what if we thought more in terms of what we might welcome into our lives—what we might be open to receiving?

Even diet companies cash in on this positive psychology. Don’t talk of losing weight, but gaining health; think of eating a delicious salad rather than sacrificing that block of chocolate.

But how often do we convince ourselves that we must do all the hard work of letting go and giving up before we are worthy to receive?

I’ve always been better at giving than receiving, so when it comes to letting go and letting in, I’ve focused on what I needed to give up, to let go, the work I needed to do in order to be better.

I’ve put the pressure on myself to self-heal rather than asking for help. I haven’t always been open to receiving compassion and love, since I wasn’t sure I deserved them.

And conversely, I’ve given more and more of myself in the hopes I might thus be worthy of receiving, which is not genuine giving anyway.

I did this especially when I was going through infertility, but I still find myself doing it now—making deals with myself to let go of fear, pain, and jealousy and to give more love, understanding, effort, and then surely I’ll be deserving of what I want.

The letting go proves you are strong and the giving proves you are good—don’t they?

In wanting the ultimate gift of a baby, I felt I needed to do a lot of letting go and lots of giving in order to receive such a precious prize. In the process I depleted myself.

At first I wore the whole IVF pain and suffering thing as a badge of honor, of martyrdom; if I endured enough, then I’d be worthy.

Then I felt guilty—surely I must have done something wrong to deserve such pain. Then I felt like I had to let go of the shame, the bad stuff I carried inside me, if I was ever to be worthy of being a mother. But shame is hard to shake.

Now, as Mom to our two beautiful adopted children, I have to catch myself berating myself, feeling the need to let go and give constantly. After all, I’ve been given the gift of “someone else’s children,” so I must prove my indebtedness, to somehow atone for the grief and loss my children’s birthparents must surely have felt.

Even with something as simple as yoga breathing, I always find it difficult to breathe in and out in a balanced way. I usually feel the need to exhale loud and long, to release all of the bad stuff (which is great), but at the same time I find it hard to take in a big full breath, as though I’m undeserving of such a gift.

So in 2013, if you are already struggling in your resolve to give up or let go, why don’t you join me in a challenge to “let in”?  The change of focus may make all the difference.

1. Let in awareness.

Use your senses to really appreciate all that is around you. Nature has so much joy to give us on a daily basis if we will stop to watch, listen, touch, taste, and smell. The gift of this awareness is that we stop worrying so much about what’s going on inside ourselves. It is the gift of the present.

2. Let in love.

Love and accept yourself as you are so that you are open to receiving love. Sure, you might want to lose weight or be more positive or more confident, but you are still worthy. You don’t need to prove anything to approve of yourself. Letting in love makes you lovable.

3. Let in compassion.

Don’t be too busy feeling sorry for yourself (or judging yourself) to make room for others’ comfort. Don’t be too stoic to accept help. Don’t beat yourself up, thinking that you have to pull yourself out of your own mess or that you must do the hard yards alone.

4. Let in forgiveness.

Allow yourself to be forgiven by others, and most importantly, allow yourself to forgive your own mistakes. You are only human.

5. Let in laughter.

It will lighten the mood.

6. Let in joy.

Love and joy are gifts we all deserve.

7. Let in gratitude.

Allow people to be grateful for what you do. Don’t dismiss what you do as “nothing.” Count your kindness, and allow yourself to feel good about it.

8. Let in silence.

Be prepared to sit with yourself and meditate on your own lovability rather than focusing on the things about yourself you’d like to change.

9. Let in serendipity.

Be alert for things that happen out of the blue, even if at first they appear negative. Serendipity is good fortune that can come disguised as a lesson. Receive it as a blessing.

10. Let in pain.

It sounds strange when you feel like you have enough pain inside you, or when you busy trying to get rid of it in order to be stronger and braver. But opening yourself up to the risk of being hurt allows you to realize that you are capable of handling the pain you already have.

And, the more pain you let yourself feel, the more you can alchemise into gain.

We Let Go When We Let In

The good stuff boots the bad stuff out of the way. Love expands and makes room for more abundance while conquering fear. Joy overcomes pain. The hard work of letting go becomes easier.

At the very least, it’s a yin yang balance equation—we need to allow ourselves to receive as much as we push ourselves to give up.

We don’t have to fully let go of our pasts, our mistakes, and our bad habits before we can receive the many gifts of the present. And in receiving freely, we open ourselves up to giving freely too.

After a lot of focus on letting go in 2012 (and for the last few years), the growth I want in 2013 will largely come from letting in. What will you let into your life this year?

Photo by mislav-m

About Kathy Kruger

Kathy Kruger is an adoptive mother of two beautiful kids from China. She blogs about going with the flow, finding yin yang balance, embracing change, and being grateful at A former journalist, Kathy shares insights from her long journey to motherhood.

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  • Ariana Reed

    Thank you for sharing this. Definitely needed to read this today.

  • What a beautiful message..thank you for posting this.

    “We Let Go When We Let In”

    “The good stuff boots the bad stuff out of the way. Love expands and makes room for more abundance while conquering fear. Joy overcomes pain. The hard work of letting go becomes easier.”

  • exactly what i needed to read! thank you so much!

  • A great way to flip the messages we send ourselves.

  • Wow, what a great message! My focus is usually on what I can do to fix things, rather than what I can do allow good things in….I guess it’s time for a paradigm shift. Thank you!

  • Monique Yeaton

    Thank you, Tiny Buddha, you are so very wise. Very much what I’ve been dealing with most recently: letting all life in, the good and the bad. Accepting and being a conductor of that experience. Allowing balance.

  • Kathy

    Thanks Stephen – I think it does help to flip our perspective sometimes and see how letting in is just as important as letting go…kathy

  • Kathy

    Hi Monique – great that you are working on acceptance – me too! And balance is what I bang on about all the time – and try to achieve…cheers..kathy

  • Kathy –

    Hey – it is a big shift isn’t it – but everything is about balance and sometimes too much focus on fixing up means you never think you’ll get it fixed, rather than just allowing things so that they fix themselves sometimes.

  • Kathy

    Thanks Tara.

  • Kathy

    It is funny how sometimes the message arrives just at the right time…thanks

  • Kathy

    Glad it helped Ariana..kathy

  • Pscason

    Thank you! I had never thought of reversing how I was looking at things! I’m joining you by “letting in”

  • I love this! Thank you so much for the share Kathy. Exactly what I needed today.

  • Kathy

    That’s great – I think it is liberating – hope you feel that way.

  • Kathy

    Thanks Austin. It’s great when posts really hit the mark…kathy

  • Tara Saunders

    Beautiful article Kathy! Points 2, 3, 7 & 8 are what I need to let into my life. I have started repeating affirmations to help with accepting & loving myself. As I have been given new responsibilities at work points 3, 7 & 8 are what I need to practice more of. As a leader I feel like I should be able to do everything that comes my way and I don’t accept help. This has lead to longer hours at work which I was a habit I was trying to break this year. However, once I fully practice the points mentioned the longer hours should be decreased. Wish me luck!

  • Kathy

    Hi Tara – glad you liked the article and have some practical inspiration to work on the different points in your life. I think the big thing is ‘practice’ rather than ‘perfect’ – its hard to always be open to letting in, we all just need to keep trying. I hope you can make your job work for you by learning to rely on team members, hopefully with fewer hours and overload. Good luck…kathy

  • mtrothlpc

    I just love this! It absolutely strikes home with infertility and adoption, but it’s so appropriate for many many people…passing it around. 🙂

  • lv2terp

    This is a WONDERFUL post!! Thank you so much for sharing your store, awareness/perspective, and beautiful advice!!! 🙂

  • DannySCR

    Hi Kathy, I really appreciated the fact that you posted this. I really needed it today. sometimes I catch my stuff trying to do things for others just to feel appreciated, and it hurts when I don’t get that. I’m just a person trying to better myself. Thank you

  • I’m so glad it resonated and I also believe that the lessons learned from going through infertility and the long adoption process are really relevant for lots of people – a lot of it boils down to being able to surrender control and go with the flow and that certainly involves opening ourselves up let things in rather than resisting (even pain). Thanks so much for sharing.

  • I’m really happy the message arrived at the right time for you. It is great to do things for people – we just need to try not to derive our sense of worth out of what we do for others, but out of who we are. I’m like you and most people, trying to be better, and just BE who I am.

  • Thanks for the compliment.

  • Deanna phan

    I have a hardtime with this! everytime i get the momentum, i feel like all the negativity comes back.

  • Kathy

    Hi Deanna – I think that is yin and yang – we move in a positive direction but we also can’t disallow negativity when it creeps back in – sit with it, let it be, but still let in all the good stuff.

  • HelloGoodbye

    I am at a low point about myself which adds to all the fear and doubts I have about people. Maybe my head is too clouded but I just don’t understand this article.

  • peacelove

    I’ve had a few months of trying times… it’s so difficult to change that mindset from negativity/defeated to happy/deserving.

  • Kathy

    I wish you well with changing attitudes – and remember it is a process and a balancing act between positive and negative, so don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t shake the defeated feeling for a while.

  • Jumbo

    So good. Thank you so much. The parts that struck me the most are that its easier to let go of the bad when we receive love. I had always seen it as I wasn’t worthy of receiving love until I had given up all the bad first–that the letting go was prerequisite to experiencing goodness and happiness.

    Also, I loved what you said about taking time to meditate and enjoy who you are, and don’t only spend time thinking about what you want to change. It seems so simple and obvious, but for the first time in my life it struck me that I spend almost all my time and thoughts thinking about what I want to change about myself, and I almost never spend time or thoughts (or energy) celebrating the things I love about myself. I almost always think about what I need to do or haven’t done, and almost never enjoy celebrating what I have accomplished. It’s draining, depressing, discouraging, and not sustainable. All my life I thought that doing so would motivate me to get more done and to be better. Because it has worked to some degree so far, I’ve kept using it as my modus operandi. But as Craig Valentine says, “What got you here won’t take you there.” If we want to always be where we are and where we’ve always been, we can always keep doing what we’ve done. If we want to go somewhere new, we’ve got to use a different technique, use a different vehicle. A car can take me around the island, but if I want to go across the world I need an airplane.
    Although that attitude of not celebrating my past and focusing on what needs to be done in the future helped me accomplish a lot in my life and a degree of success, it also led to depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, feeling overwhelmed, feeling low self-esteem and unworthy of love, and not having as much fun! We’re not robots just here to accomplish and get things done. We are people, humans, who need to be connected to others, who need relaxation, fun, and play, who need to love and be loved. (Sigh). Funny it has taken until my 30s to start to realize this.
    I just realized if we were to focus on only what is lacking in another person, and what they need to change, and not spend much time celebrating who they are, it would not be good for the relationship. It would become bitter, unhappy, unloving, cold, and it would probably eventually fall apart. It’s the same with ourselves. We can’t maintain a healthy, happy, loving relationship with ourselves if we are always criticizing and berating ourselves. Love.
    Thank you so much for this beautiful, moving post.