“If you wish for light, be ready to receive light.” -Rumi
Years ago, when I had just begun this journey of creating the life I had longed for, a teacher gave me this affirmation, which I have been holding ever since- “I am a joyful, grateful, excellent receiver.” At the beginning, I remember how awkward the words felt in my throat, how foreign the idea of being an active receiver was to me. Since then, I have come to treasure this thought and, thankfully, even in times of deep stress, this has become a default space in my heart.
When you get good at receiving, it alters your capacity to give. All of the quotes that generally talk about how it is in giving that we receive can only become true to the extent that you have a capacity to receive. Otherwise, giving inadvertently becomes a strain, a way to feel a part of the exchange of love moving through you, but it never really settles in you. Giving without receiving leaves us feeling empty. I gave like this for years… Sadly, I raised my kids on this kind of giving. Ultimately, it often lead me down a path of feeling used up and unappreciated. It wasn’t until I focused on my own capacity to receive that the love I gave began to fill me up as well.
I recently read that joy is the essence of success. I think it is also a good barometer in measuring our capacity for both giving and receiving. Learning how to let things come to you with a joyful and expectant heart happens when you feel deserving and worthy. Likewise, feeling worthy and deserving creates more joyful exchanges of giving and receiving. Figuring out how to break into this cycle is a trick when you have not practiced it before.
For what its worth, where I broke into this joyful circuit was by practicing gratitude at every chance I could. Even for the smallest of things, a fresh hot cup of tea, the sun breaking through the clouds on a rainy day, a brief text from one of my kids wondering when I would get there, even too much work… Each time I said thank you out loud for this moment, this chance to receive the beauty and goodness around me, I learned a little bit more about what it felt like to be a joyful receiver.
It’s not like you are ever done with this practice. I still say it all the time, especially when things seem like they are not working, because it primes my brain and my soul to look for what is working- which is always the best place to begin. Most excellent of all is that now my acts of giving love, actually feel like receiving. I feel so grateful, joyful and blessed to be in the exchange on both sides.
Try this one on- it’s a keeper…. Repeat after me “ I am a joyful, grateful, excellent receiver.”
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