Is It Better to Give or Receive

“The flow of life is the harmony of interaction between all elements and forces that make up the field of existence”, states Deepak Chopra. 

He concludes that in order to keep this vital chi force from stagnating we must learn to give and receive. So whatever you are wanting to manifest in life — be it good company, money, affluence, love, joy, etc — that is what we must first give out into the world.

The Power of Giving.  Giving, under the law of cause and effect, is one of the most powerful actions you can take.  It returns in multiples.  You cannot afford to leave out giving in your life plan. Develop giving into a habit. Make it a process you do naturally without having to think of it. This will turn you into a consistent and persistent giver and the Universe will work for you.

Work on the habit of giving until you get to the point where you enjoy giving. Enjoy it thoroughly.  It is ok to think and know that when you give you will get back something from the Universe. You do not have to pretend you are not interested in receiving a reward for giving. Expecting reward is good. In fact, expecting a reward is empowering and enables rewards to come to you.

Giving gifts other than money or material possessions, such as your time and your attention can also be invaluable—to children, to animals, to other people. The trick to giving is to not force it upon those you give to.  Offer your gift freely and cheerfully. If the receiver does not wish to take your gift, respect that cheerfully. Do not get offended if your gift is not accepted. Allow the other person their full freedom of choice. Do not make a person dependent on you. When a person becomes dependent on your gifts unnecessarily, you have not done them any good because you have reduced their belief and ability in themselves.

The Power of Receiving. Most people have no problem giving — it is the receiving part that makes us wobble.  We are born receivers, during our early years we need others to provide us with most of our needs.  When we are young it would seem to be a natural time for us to learn to receive graciously and happily. But what happens. Most of us do not feel comfortable receiving. 

However. You do deserve it.  You are in harmony with the law of giving and receiving. Perhaps you were taught that receiving was impolite and we should graciously decline offerings of any sort. Or, maybe some think that if someone is trying to give us something it appears that we are lacking in some way. Therefore we shun the gift so as not to look needy or ‘down and out’.  This is an ego trap. When you block someone from giving, you are stopping that vital energy exchange from occurring. Most of us experience great joy through by being able to give, so why stop others from experiencing that joy? By not receiving their offerings you may be hampering their and your ability to be in the universal flow.

How Do I Bring Universal Flow Into My Life?

According to the book, 7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Chopra, when you come into contact with anyone, you should give something. Not material things, it could be a blessing, a flower, a sincere compliment, etc. You will soon find that the most powerful gestures of giving are non-material. Think about it — giving the gift of your undivided attention or heart-felt affection and caring are often considered priceless gifts.

Imagine a person who does not have much in material possessions to give and share with others. But this person is very charming and kind. The person gives a thousand compliments to people he or she comes across without even getting one compliment back. This person uplifts their mood and confidence by finding ways to encourage and compliment them. But this person never gets a compliment back from anybody. Well, not to worry. The Universe keeps its accounts perfectly. This person’s giving builds credit in the universal system. One day, by the law of cause and effect, of giving and receiving, this person somehow gets the bicycle he or she has always wanted – just when the person needed it – in a way that looks like a miracle. That is how giving works. Sometime the Universe takes little things that you have, can give, and do give, and it puts them into one big thing that you do not have and require and it gives that to you at a perfect time.

Being able to receive graciously works in every area of your life, energetically speaking. Let’s look at a physical example of this: Tighten your left fist as hard as you can. Tighten it until you can see the whitening of your knuckles from lack of circulation. Hold for a count of 10. Now open your hand—palm up—and feel the circulation returning. Feels good, right? Your hand is now in the receiving mode. It is receiving oxygen, glucose, immune cells, electrolytes, and everything else that is carried in the blood. That is the power of receiving.  While this was a physical example, the same good feeling comes when you receive in any manner.

Do you remember being a kid and being so excited for Christmas morning or your birthday that you could barely sleep? That’s the joy of receiving. These experiences were so pure. You had not yet been talked out of feeling this joy so passionately. Chances are you were so young that you had not learned that receiving has to somehow be earned. 

Worse yet, many of us were taught that we do not deserve to receive without giving something in return. As in “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” This gives us the message that we are unworthy just as we are, which is completely untrue. We are taught that we have to earn it somehow. Through performing tasks that make us more worthy. Or through health problems or accidents. Studies show that even accidents are very often preceded by anger or sadness—emotions that let us know that we have a need that is not being met. And so, given that often deep and unconscious programming about receiving, how can we begin to receive?

Receiving 101.  Thank goodness learning to receive is a very attainable skill, which leads to a more fulfilling life with more delight and joy than you might imagine possible.  Getting started is super simple. All you have to do is accept all compliments. When someone says, “Oh, I love your dress,” your response should be “Thank you.” That’s it. Just thank you! Do not say, “I got it for five dollars at Goodwill.” That downgrades the compliment and devalues the gift you just received. Also, resist the urge to return the compliment by saying something like, “Oh! I like yours too.” You do not have to give something back when you are complimented. By saying simply thank you, you have graciously received a compliment. You are slowly but surely getting on the path to being comfortable receiving.

An interesting thing will happen when you start to simply accept compliments. At first, you may feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. You are out of practice. So when you notice that you are feeling uncomfortable, say to yourself, “I love you.” That uncomfortable part needs more love, not less.

Once you are more comfortable receiving compliments—you can move on to some more advanced receiving practices.  Keep in mind, the more you practice receiving, the better you will get at it. Stepping outside of yourself to give to others has a self-esteem raising effect. In turn, people will perceive you as more confident. 

So is it better to give or receive?  I believe you can not have one without the other, they are different sides of the same coin and to be a fully actualized person one MUST BE proficient in both.  


This is a reprint of my Capital City Hues article of March 2019

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Artist, Writer, Graphic Design, Jazz Radio Host here to Inform, Inspire & Ignite you to live the life you really want.

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