“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door shall be opened.” -The Bible
The more that I pursue projects that I love, the more that life says yes. I feel like I have discovered a basic precept of success. That really we are moved by what we love and that the more positivity and gratitude that we bring to what we love, the more that life showers us with the same. It seems so simple, really; it is hard to believe that I have missed this for so long. And even more incredible that such an important part of knowing how to live is left out of most of our childhood educations.
As I have focused on becoming a receiver, I am stunned at how much is coming to me so easily. It is hard to explain the shift because I spent so many years giving and trying to make things happen. It was like I never really trusted the good I wanted to come to me. I always felt compelled to push the river. My focus seemed always to be stuck on where it wasn’t working. Studying gratefulness made me conscious for the first time about the skills involved in receiving. You can’t be grateful if you don’t know what it feels like to receive. Most of us are so busy trying to make the world around us conform to our stubborn images of how we think it should look. We never ever see the good that is coming towards us.
One of the primary keys to unlocking this elusive yet simple space of receiving is learning how to listen. All real communication that changes us comes not from what we say- but rather from what we hear. Leaving the people we love the room to discover what is in them and what they are trying to hear in themselves communicates volumes of love and acceptance. The truth is that most of us don’t want to be told anything- we crave the loving attention of someone’s gaze. We need to be witnessed the way a plant needs light. With listening as my new compass to show me the way to receive, I am suddenly abundant in good ideas coming from inside and all around me.
Receiving is how to discover the ease that comes from letting life show you the way instead of insisting on having it your way. The other skill to receiving is the other simple yet elusive skill of letting go. This is in fact the only way you can be truly grateful for things as they are. It is actually another form of listening in the world. When we let things be, we can hear what life is telling us. Surprisingly, life is usually trying to love us, if we would only let it.
Mostly this life is beyond our control- gratitude seems to me the one place where we have the chance to steer the ship.