Give What You Want to Receive

hand holding heart in front of city scene“Generosity brings happiness at every stage of its expression.
We experience joy in forming the intention to be generous.
We experience joy in the actual act of giving something.
And we experience joy in remembering the fact that we have given.”

—The Buddha

The universe works in mysterious ways, often paradoxically. When you give compassion, you open to receive it. When you give love, love comes to you. When you give money or material possessions, your wealth increases. Whatever the focus of your generosity, the underlying assumption is abundance: there is plenty for everyone.

What keeps you from giving freely? Fear. Fear that you won’t have enough, that there is a limited amount of what you want or need in the universe, and you will be short-changed.

I am not suggesting you give everything away, as that shows a lack of basic self-care. But when you let go of possessions and money, when you bravely open your heart to love, when you bestow a kind word or smile on someone, you open unseen portals for goodness, compassion, and prosperity to flow to you.

Of course, when you feel unloved, financially stressed, or beset with personal demons, it is hard to do the opposite of how you might reflexively want to act. It is natural to want to conserve your energy and funds and close your heart when life is particularly stressful. But by taking a leap and having faith that the universe will provide, you change your energy. This allows you to see new opportunities and let life bestow what you need.

It is crucial to remember that you may not get what you asked for in the exact form you desired or envisioned. Perhaps you asked for a loving relationship, and the man or woman of your dreams didn’t come knocking at your door. But maybe while waiting, you developed self-compassion, self-love, and self-acceptance. Weren’t those exactly what you were hoping to find in a relationship: someone who would show you compassion, love, and accept you as you are?

When you can really let go and assume the universe provides, you can deeply relax. This doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a big leap of faith and a lot of practice.

One way to enhance your abilities in the leap-of-faith department is to meditate on the concept of plenty. It is not that the universe will change and just send you everything you want: it’s that you change and, as a result, things appear.

Sometimes, when you feel most afraid financially, the best thing you can do is donate some money to charity. It doesn’t have to be your rent check, just something to symbolically teach you that what you need will come back to you. Another technique is to buy yourself a treat when you feel as if you can’t afford it. This shows your faith in yourself and the universe. I am not suggesting going into debt, just a small item to help you escape a poverty mentality.

Similarly, when you feel lonely, go out into the world and smile at someone, call a friend who may also be flying solo, or write a loving note, text, or email. Again, by giving what you seek you change your energy.

Letting your love show when you feel vulnerable takes great courage. Giving money, time, and kindness when you acutely feel their lack is deeply generous and openhearted. By letting go and giving freely, you enhance your connection with others and imbue life with more meaning.

Remember: a radical shift in consciousness and behavior takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself as you gradually change your behaviors. Your worldview will shift accordingly, leaving you more positive, peaceful, and empowered.

Some suggestions:

  • A quick and easy way to give is through websites like The Hunger Site, which cost you nothing and benefit those in need.
  • Check out books, like Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.
  • Be aware of opportunities to be generous, whether it is leaving a coupon on the grocery store shelf, tipping well at a restaurant, or putting furniture out on the street. Even if you have nothing material to donate and no time to volunteer, you can always give a heartfelt compliment.

© Copyright 2010 by By Nicole Urdang, MS, NCC, DHM, LMHC, therapist in Buffalo, New York. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • 4 comments
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  • Ashley

    Ashley

    May 24th, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Giving something to a person has its own innate satisfaction in doing the act.Whether it is giving in charity,helping a stranger,guiding a friend or just anything at all,giving or helping someone feels great and I always try and help people whenever I can.It may not always be money,but any form of help is very satisfying.

  • dominic

    dominic

    May 25th, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    I have always been someone who my friends can lean on in times of difficulty and have been a big morale-booster for everyone around me.my friends tell me that they see me as someone they would want to take support from in times of difficulty.

    but when I lost my brother three years ago,I was just shattered and felt like it was the end of the world.I loved my brother a lot.but my friends didn’t,for a moment,let me sink into depression or negative thoughts and always tried their best to make me happy and eventually helped me get over it.I am very thankful to them and I just think what you give to others,others give the same to you!

  • dottie

    dottie

    May 26th, 2010 at 4:46 AM

    adhering to the golden Rule always works

  • Nicole S. Urdang

    Nicole S. Urdang

    May 26th, 2010 at 5:11 AM

    Hi Ashley and Dominic,
    Thank you for your comments.
    I’m always happy to hear of others who share my delight in giving.
    Isn’t it great, Dominic, how the universe responds when we need it to?
    Wishing you both a peaceful and beautiful day.
    Nicole

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