Receiving Impromptu Family Love Time (Family/Selfie Photo by AT)

We all want and need things. Oh, so very many things! Love, attention, money, status, intimacy, sex, health, marriage, family, success, travel, a kitten, to be heard, understood, provided for, care, peace, safety, and an endless supply of items we could Mad Lib through eternity. But, how often do you whittle your thoughts to the other side? There sits receiving. I bundle it all up in a little delicacy I like to call the ‘art of receiving’.

We’re taught so very well how to want. Modern media and ads practically preach want to us. There are banquets and buckets of money spent to make sure we all want things. Even in remote underprivileged reaches of the planet I’ve found signs marketing a travel destination, a food item, a mobile phone. Places where no single human has means, time or energy to care about a phone for goodness sake! We create expectations around our wants with an upcoming birthday, anniversary, and holiday gift wish lists. We’ve been raised to desire, but I do not see that we’ve been raised to receive.

There’s absolutely nothing innately wrong with our wants. We are creatures who have minimum basic needs (sustenance, shelter) and wants may widen from that base. I do think many of us are so busy wanting and adding to our neediness that we often fail to receive well. There is no practice built into the system for us. While the wants and needs might vegetate, we usually forget to water the receptive aspect.

The ‘art of receiving’ is one of the finest forms of humankind. Often we are so good at giving, yet we fail to be as strong with receiving. This is an opportunity to be savvy with your acceptance of support, being provided for, results, happiness, and actions. When you allow others to contribute to your life you also learn if they’re a good fit for you lifelong. When you’re grateful you attract more your way, which I find is motive. The better I am with receiving, the more my wants and needs seem to be met without as much effort from me.

A frenzy may germinate from your excitement at ‘finally’ having that thing or person. However, if you forget to appreciate its arrival, its mere existence within your life, drama may creep in. Those which surround us define us. If we’re lacking or unhappy, we really shouldn’t be looking outward. An inward search will produce the answers. And I ambitiously prophesy your happiness with the more energy you place into receiving. Look at the ‘art of receiving’ as the ‘why’ you ever deserve or have what you do in the first place.

Indeed, we all may cite plenty of examples of seemingly misplaced wants and needs with those we clearly witness have no concept of the ‘art of receiving’. That’s not a show stopper, so much as comparison is the thief of joy. I’m weighted on the side of you being a more thoughtful human than to care about someone else’s joys more than your own. Focus! Besides, I evangelize karma. It will sort out others on its own good time.

Impartially, receiving may show up when we haven’t asked for it. This, too, is another good time to practice the ‘art of receiving’ by still being pleased with whatever turned up. You got a phone call in the middle of a busy day from a favorite family member who lives in Hawaii and just happens to be in Los Angeles for a few hours. Why, of course, you’re over the moon excited to forego all the plans for your laptop work, writing, and packing to gather other family close by to create space, swap stories of catching up about life, and share dinner! Every single specimen of the ‘art of receiving’ is made robust by how present you are. We cannot pretend to enjoy life if we aren’t actually doing so. It’s all too common for humans to feign excuses like busy, stressed, blaming another and overwhelmed as to why they cannot partake in something more pleasant or positive or life-changing. It’s what I hear at deli counters, on friends phone calls, in movie moments, or even from my own silly mouth as to why anyone forgot to acknowledge someone or something that happened in their favor, or why they are staying in the miserable patterns in which they place themselves.

This ‘art of receiving’ is an infinite process. There is no filling a quota or reaching a market cap, nor competitively having thought you received well enough times and need a break. Receiving is a baby who wants love always, be it human or panda, whale or eaglet. The wings receiving well may add to your gate is how well it crushes mania and has a hankering for supplying your hunger with more nourishment if you keep the goodwill flowing.

Since high school, I’d often leave little thank you notes in friends or family homes tucked for them to find after I’d gone, as a tribute for the time shared. Sometimes it was a heart on a bandage stuck to the bathroom mirror, or a letter or drawing on paper towels or toilet tissue. Infrequently, I would sneak a note inside a book on a coffee table or bookshelf, knowing it may be years before someone finds it. Always I seemed to add hearts and “xoxox” to my tidbits of thanks. I enjoy yielding to the actual name of the wait staff or stewards on planes or wherever I go. If someone wears a name tag, I make a point of using their name when gracefully praising their help, whether it was to bring a glass of ice water to the table, let me borrow a pen for my Customs form, or all else. And for the last few years most nights before I fall asleep, I talk to the universe to compliment all that I did receive in my day. From sunshine to fill my joy cup runneth over, or rain to allow me to hunker in doing laptop work more easily, to clean sheets and a place to do laundry easily, people to trade hugs with, a pet to cuddle, a car to get me to places I want to go, my relative health, my bustling brain, all my family, and much much more.

Go forth in thanks, appreciation, gratitude, and with loads of love. Artistically and artfully create your own stamp of significance for the ‘art of receiving’. Forge a mode of being that will allow you to receive more of what you wish.

Watch your world brighten with your signature ‘art of receiving’!

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