The Art of Receiving

And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?

I did.

And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth”

Raymond Carver

Many of us were told as children, some of us relentlessly, about the primacy of giving.

Yes, it is very important to give of ourselves, our time and our money.

We also need to understand that in graciously receiving, we express the dignity of giving; they are both part of the same flow of energy.

In order to give from our hearts we must replenish our own emotional supplies by receiving from ourselves, others and the world.

When we give from a sense of having enough for ourselves, we feel expansive, full and nourished.

Giving because we “should”; from a place of fear, obligation or burden is not really giving; it is taking prisoners, with the secret desire of being repaid.

When we are doing and giving for/to others; if we start to build resentments, or feel victimized, we may be masking our own need/hope/wish to be taken care of.

Are we afraid we are less spiritual if we also have needs and we want them met?

It is not a crime if we put ourselves first. It is not selfish. It is neccessary.

Perhaps we are confused by the need to balance our vulnerability with that of the rest of humanity.

It is good spiritual practice to want time, space and pleasure for ourselves.

Maybe, for a few minutes each day, we might stop giving and doing for others and surrender our hands from the steering wheel of life and let ourselves be chauffeured through the day and experience the gifts that await us.