There is an art to the process of receiving the things we truly want in life. It's a process to follow, and there are guidelines for giving and receiving that you can start practicing today to bring more good into your life and to help you get anything you desire.
In this short 4 minute video, I have a great analogy for how to think about giving and receiving.
Focus on giving
If you want to get anything you truly desire, the first place to start is with giving.
This might seem counterintuitive, so here are a few examples. Let's say you have a fireplace and you want a nice, warm fire (that's the receiving). What do you have to start with? Putting on the wood (that's the giving). Or perhaps you want a strong, sculpted body (that's the receiving). What do you have to start with? Getting yourself to the gym and working out (that's the giving).
Think about what you want, and then start to give accordingly.
There are three specific principles to follow in your giving.
What to give
When thinking of what to give, most people immediately think of money. In fact, one of the best ways to get what you desire is to tithe. Tithing is giving 10% of your income, traditionally to your church. Even if you don't belong to a religious organization, you can still follow the practice of tithing. Pick a church or other organization you'd like to support, and tithe monthly.
The possibilities of what to give, besides money, are endless. Here are some suggestions:
- time (listen to someone, visit a friend, take your daughter to the park)
- talents (bake cookies, cut someone's hair, help remodel a bathroom)
- appreciation (tell someone what you appreciate about them!)
- a smile or a hug
- thoughts (think positively of others)
Whatever you are asked to give, do so with a cheerful heart. Remove all expectations of getting something in return for your giving. If you're not giving freely, you won't receive freely.
To whom to give
You might think that giving to anyone and everyone is a good thing, but it's not. Perhaps you've had the experience of giving to someone who always expects things. Or giving to someone who wants things but doesn't want to do any work himself to have the things he desires.
We must only give to people or organizations who will do good with what we give. If we give to those who won't help themselves, we're not giving wisely and we won't receive in return. This is what is meant in Matthew 7:6, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."
When we give, we're helping someone who can't do for themselves, or who will be blessed from what we give, but we're not enabling them and keeping them from becoming better.
In getting anything you desire, it's also important to think of how you give when you're expecting something in return. Do you pay a fair price for the things you receive? Or are you always trying to pay as little as possible? Being a wise steward of our money is good, but cheating others out of what they rightly deserve for the time, effort and talent they have put into something will limit what you can receive and what others will be willing to give to you. This is true when dealing with organizations as well as with individuals.
Allow yourself to receive
Receiving the things we truly desire is by far more difficult for most people than giving.
Most people will give at the expense of their own good, and yet will still not receive. They block the good that is trying to come to them, thinking that they're "self-sufficient" and that they don't need to receive because they can "do it all themselves." This is faulty and prideful thinking.
How well do you receive?
Take an honest look at how well you receive. Start with simple things. What is your response when someone gives you a birthday present? Or if someone gives you a gift, just because? How do you reply when someone gives you a compliment?
If you have trouble receiving these small things with thankfulness, you will most definitely have trouble receiving larger things.
Those who receive things with thanks usually have a different problem - allowing themselves to receive. Most of us tend to hold on and to want to control things. We have beliefs of lack. This all leads to constriction, which slows or completely stops the good we desire from coming to us.
How to allow yourself to receive
You must decide what you want, and then put that desire out to the universe (prayer). Then, let it go! If you find yourself worrying or doubting or questioning or restricting how you'll receive, then you're not allowing yourself to receive.
Let me share an example from my own life of this principle at work. I wanted a used Subaru Forester, a manual. I didn't really care about the color. I knew what I wanted to pay for it. I thought about it and expressed that desire, and then I let it go. What this means is that I checked online a few times over the course of the next few weeks. But I did not worry about it, or wonder why I hadn't found one already!
One day, I was getting ready to leave the house, and a little voice said, "check Craigslist." At first I resisted. I had just checked Craigslist the day before and hadn't found anything. Plus, I was ready to go somewhere. But then I chose to listen to that voice. I got online, and sure enough, there was exactly the car I was looking for, at exactly the price I wanted to pay. It had been listed a few weeks ago, but I hadn't seen it for some reason.
I contacted the seller, and within a week I had the car I wanted.
As you think, so will you receive
To receive anything you desire, you have to think about what you want.
This sounds so simple, but most people don't follow this practice! Instead of putting out their desire and letting it go (like my Subaru example), they tend to worry and doubt and wonder where the heck their desired gift is coming from.
Once you've created the image and the idea of what you want, continue to focus on that good thing. Think about it and imagine it. But do not allow yourself to think thoughts or lack or to doubt. The process requires faith. You must trust and know that it will come to you. But you cannot control the timing or even exactly how it will come. And it might even look a bit different from what you've imagined.
Practice continually being open to receiving, to allowing goodness in all forms to come into your life, and being grateful for all that comes. Strengthen your faith, and know that your desire will come.
How to get what you truly desire
- Decide what you want, as specifically as possible
- Give first. Give of whatever you have, freely and without expecting something in return.
- Allow what you want to come to you. Release fear, worry and doubt, and trust that it is already yours.
What's the hardest part for you in receiving what you desire? How have you learned to allow?