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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Chen

how to give and receive love

I feel like we can all understand some concept of love, but how do we put it in practice? This week I really focused on the act of receiving love, and in that receiving I was able to give even more.

What does Love really mean? I have asked this to 100 men over the past year on the 100 Masked Men Series, and although I think we can define what love is, it is harder to put it into practice.

What does it really look like to give and receive love? I think we might have an idea of how to give love in a way we think is the way to give it - whether we learned it from society or family or friends, but is it really loving?

For the first time ever, a bunch of friends came to visit and stay with me in Oaxaca City. For the past year I have been avoiding coming back here because I was too busy visiting everyone everywhere else in Mexico.

I felt like I was just giving and giving and giving, and hoping that one day people would come here just to see me instead of me traveling all the way to wherever they are to be convenient for them. Why wont they return the favour? Why am I the one traveling? Then I would feel guilty because I have the freedom to travel, I'm the one that lives here with an open calendar. They're the ones that have a limited time here. But what is fair? This made me really think about why we even see people. How much is it to prove our own worthiness that we are wanted in society? How do we genuinely know when people truly just want to see you?

The problem is I convinced myself to feel like Oaxaca was a bad place to be, and as a result, since I was living there it meant that I wasn't a good enough reason for people to come and see me in the place I wanted to call Home. But I finally stuck it out and I am on my third month in Oaxaca City, the longest I have ever stayed in one place in my 1.5 years in Mexico.

My house is full, and my heart is fuller.

My 2-bedroom house was suddenly full of people, I didn't have a minute alone and there was zero privacy. We were sharing taxis, sharing food, sharing beds, sharing everything. And finally, I could show people around. I was the only one who was really living here and it felt so good to be the one to share this space.

One morning, my friend who is really into coffee said, what are we doing first, coffee or yoga? The group decided on coffee, and we all stood around in the kitchen watching my friend share his very personal coffee routine. I could see how much it meant to him to be able to share his passion with us and gladly received it. And then he returned the favour when we went upstairs to the rooftop and I guided a yoga flow. I haven't ever taught yoga to a friend that isn't a yogi yet. It meant so much to me to be able to share this and to see them happily receiving it.

I realized when living with all these people in my house, that there was a constant trading of giving and receiving all forms of love. And just as much as you give, you also receive, and vice versa. In fact, doing the receiving allows you to give.

When you are truly passionate about something and you want to share it, and someone is open to it and receives it, that is when you can give and receive love.

So actually, receiving and giving love to others extends to giving and receiving love to yourself. It takes a bit of a reframe to think of it differently, but ultimately it is about self respect. I respect myself too much to not be in an uncomfortable position to make others comfortable. And I respect others too much to make them uncomfortable.

Tune in to hear what happened and hopefully this might shift your perspective on how you think of love, and how you might give or receive love to both yourself and others. Make sure to subscribe for new episodes every Wednesday!

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