Open to Receive

rabindranathtagore385179I can do nothing for you but work on myself…
You can do nothing for me but work on yourself!
                                            ~ Ram Dass, Be Here Now

In my years of writing blogs I think this is the first time I could not find a quote that fit the topic. Everything I found about giving and receiving talked about being worthy of receiving, or it was more blessed to give, or that you received from your giving. What I want to talk about is receiving.

I have learned from the many e-mails I receive from you that most of you are fairly good at giving. You give your time, your energy, your thoughts, and more to others. Many of your put others before yourself and have a hard time giving to yourselves; so hard in fact that you often must learn how to give to yourself. What I have also learned is that you are not so good at receiving.

You fend off compliments, ignore offers of help, want never to be beholding, so never ask, and never receive even the help you need. You drag through life never experiencing the joy of fully giving your gifts because you attempt to pour them out of an empty pitcher; never taking the time to renew and refill by receiving. Some of you go seeking love, joy, acceptance, accomplishments in the outer world even when it’s growing in your own back yard because to accept it was there you would have to receive and you only know how to give – so you spend your precious life seeking, but not finding. Sometimes this is because of beliefs you formed in childhood; those that were given to you: “It is more blessed to give than receive.” And those you may have learned through pain: “Gifts have strings – don’t owe anybody.”

The problem is that all of nature, human and otherwise, was set up to receive and give. The trees receive light and warmth and produce leaves and fruit. The rivers receive the melting snow and give it back to the air which produces rain. The moon receives the light of the sun which is the only reason we can see it. In our own bodies we breathe in first and then breathe out. Receive and give. In most cultures we speak of give and receive, but in most situations including the one that brought us into this world creation and life are based on opening first to receive in order to produce life.

My own belief is that it is not that we do not know how to give; it is that we do not know how to receive. I find graceful receivers give naturally from their abundance because they have taken in enough to have more than they need. They never think about giving. It comes naturally. While poor receivers are always struggling to dole out stingily from their meager store; stretching their little thinly as it becomes less and less.

Are you open to receive? Can you allow the gifts of others to penetrate your protective armor? Do you feel vulnerable or beholding when you receive? Can you be a graceful receiver?

Receiving is known as a feminine or yin energy; and in our world often not honored. Yet there is no giving without first receiving. The joy of receiving fully, openly, and without reservation has been vastly under rated. How can you begin being open to receive? Look at this day and receive it’s gifts joyfully. It may be warm or cold, sunny or dreary; but each day is a gift and is yours to receive. Stop pushing offers of help away. Notice all the gifts life gives you every day. Stop limiting what you receive to only that which is packaged the way your perceptions want it to be. Gifts in brown paper bags or no wrappings at all are as valuable as those wrapped in fancy paper and ribbons. Say yes; refill your pitcher. Ask for assistance, from coworkers, clients, bosses, family, loved ones, God. And then gratefully accept the gift they offer without judging whether or not it was exactly what you thought you should get. Open your heart and mind and start saying “yes” to life – by receiving all the gifts it has to offer.

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