The Art of Receiving

Many people have learned how to give but a lot of people still have difficulty receiving. On some deep level, the saying “tis better to give than to receive” is still omnipresent in our bodies. Despite the inherent fallacy in that phrase, there is still guilt and discomfort for “taking” or for being “selfish”!

Yet we do need to receive for many reasons: to feel supported, to benefit from another’s wisdom, to experience inspiring kindness, to recharge our batteries, to accomplish greater tasks that cannot be done alone and even to allow the “giver” a chance to share their love…

Receiving completes the circuit of kindness!

It’s amazing how long it might take us to realize this. For me, I had a major realization in 2006 while I was producing the Healing Garden event.

In the weeks leading up to the big day, I had taken efforts to remind each practitioner to bring friends to help them. I really wanted them to be sufficiently supported.

At the festival, after coordinating the general setup of all the booths and it was time to finally setup my own booth, I saw I had completely forgotten to arrange some help for myself; I had excluded my own needs from the picture.

From that moment on, I realized that I should practice asking for and receiving support.

Since that day, I have learned so much from being willing to involve others at certain junctures. It’s humbling and it’s inspiring to see other people’s generosity in action. It’s empowering to receive support because we can accomplish a lot together.

We don’t have to feel overwhelmed if we are able to communicate our needs. With this practice, I was able to coordinate increasingly more volunteers for the Healing Garden project. In 2009, I engaged nearly 100 volunteers in the making of the event – with 12 people helping me with my own installation. I understand now that I can be of greater service when I’m willing to receive help.

There are some big things we can do only with the help of others.

You can see this meme moving through our collective consciousness right now – as we start to unite and collaborate in the transformation of the political, social and economic matrix.

We are learning to crowdsource the collective genius and goodwill to support each other through these challenging times. We are learning to ask each other for help and creating innovative platforms to receive it. Be it an online social networking platform like Facebook or a fundraising platform like Kickstarter or Indie Go Go, people are discovering that many hands make light work.

So from the macrocosmic realm of the global village to the microcosmic reality of our own communities, we are practicing more vulnerability and transparency. We are increasingly understanding how we are interdependent and interconnected.

When one country goes bankrupt, it affects everyone eventually. When one country goes to war, there is no true peace for anyone. When one person in our family is in pain, we all suffer in some way. So when we ask for help, we are not only helping ourselves – we are helping humanity.

Of course, some of us have been alone in our suffering for so long, that we block others from helping us. We may not trust any offers of help or we may subconsciously deny people entry into our tender hearts.

For many souls, the idea of being rejected when they most need help is so utterly painful that they would prefer to suffer in privacy.

How can we receive if we doubt that others will care enough to help us?  How can we receive if we fear that others will fail us? How can we receive if we fear there may be strings attached?

In our journeys, we may witness situations where we are doing it solo because we are unable to think of anyone to help us. It tends to be situations that involve our personal needs and the conscious concern may be that we are inconveniencing others.

Other subconscious fears lie underneath: being unsure that the help is unconditional, wondering if there will be an impossible price to pay later on or if someone will be resentful. Interestingly enough, when the situation involves a humanitarian cause or community service, people are more willing to ask for help.

Somehow, our personal needs are seen as selfish whereas the needs of the many are considered noble causes.

To receive, we must accept our inherent value and trust that it’s safe to be supported. To receive, we must let go of guilt and feelings of “selfishness” or “incompetency”. To receive, we must be willing to trust the goodness in others.

To receive, we must understand that Cosmic Reciprocity exists. 

This is a term I coined to describe a concept that is hard to accept in real practice yet feels true to me on the highest level of consciousness.  Using my own life to test this theory, it has already brought great rewards and teachings.

Cosmic Reciprocity means that there is a form of justice and fairness that is beyond our human perception. Ultimately, we exist within a spiritual ecosystem that is in perfect homeostasis, with a constant flow of energy being exchanged which cannot be measured in numbers, values or dollars.

While our body systems work ceaselessly for our well-being until they must return to the ether, our souls are evolving the life force for the gratification of this Universe. There is an unfathomable circuit of love in which we belong, even if we don’t always recognize it.

Cosmic Reciprocity also means that in giving, the person is also receiving on some level. In receiving, we are also giving on some level.

Therefore, whenever we give, we can do our best not to make anyone feel like they owe us.  And when we receive, we can do our best not to feel that we owe others.   Appreciation is beautiful, but debt is draining.

May we relax into the grace of this generous existence and stop counting, paying back or owing each other. All our debts are forgiven and our value appreciates indefinitely…

See related article:  Tips on Receiving

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