Ask yourself this, how do you receive gifts in your life? A gift is anything from a compliment to an actual physical item. It could also be something which seems less positive, at least in the moment, but as time passes one realizes that even in this perceived negative gift, there was a blessing. You know the saying “Someone once gave a box filled with darkness, and it took me years to realize that also this was a gift”
However, beware of giving and receiving gifts that have ulterior motives or expectations attached to them. If you give expecting nothing in return; and if someone is offering you a gift, be discerning about their motives. Always give and receive with a heart filled with innocence, a heart free of entanglements. Many seem to be stuck in the “I scratch your back you scratch mine” philosophy, which can only get you so far. But are you an easy person to give gifts to?
I see many well-meaning people, good, hard-working people, giving and generous people that have very little and everything in their lives is a struggle. They work hard for their small salaries and oftentimes seem to be “unlucky”. This could boil down to an inability to receive. It could be for various reasons, but very often there is some pride issue in there. They feel that it is below their dignity to receive from others, often seeing it as some sort of charity which in some way can make them lose face; a mind-construct having little to do with the actual reality. They are too proud to receive the person/money/thing/situation offered to them and so turns the help away, effectively blocking the last step of the LoA.
I ask people around me, when you pray to God to help you with your issues, how do you expect God to help you? By some freak miracle with a golden goose or the money tree? Or the more likely option that you receive help through other people? You see, to become humbled in front of another when they offer you help, is nothing more than being humbled in front of God. And humility is a better quality than pride, because humility allows for you to receive, and it allows for you to receive with gratitude. Pride is in this context oftentimes a misplaced and wasted emotion, and in fact, is one of the 7 deadly sins of christianity. Humility on the other hand, is divine.
So accept that gift, receive what others give to you with open hands and with gratitude. Muslims pray with open hands exactly for this purpose, to easier receive the blessings they are asking for. Remember that your ability to receive blessings is based on your ability to give them; and both receiving and giving blessings work infinitely better from a place of humility rather than a place of pride. So clear your mind of resentment, pride, jealousy and envy. Harbouring these emotions effectively block your ability to receive blessings. Give and receive with joy, with the innocent heart of a child.
If someone offers you advice, it could cause some resistance, but that does not mean the gift has no value. If a child gives you a stone because that is all they can give, accept it gratefully. The universe knows no difference between this stone and other, seemingly more important gifts. And ask yourself this: if you gave a gift to someone and they seemed indifferent; they didn’t like it; they seemed ungrateful; or they were just hard-pressed to accept the gift, how did that make you feel? Some of the most important aspects of receiving a gift lies not so much in whether or not you like it, but more that your gratitude will make the giver happy. I think we all give gifts most of the time because giving to someone else makes us feel good about ourselves. Let us not take that way from the giver.
This does not mean we get to be somebody else’s physical, emotional or spiritual trash can, we can still retain the ability to be discerning about any hidden strings attached to the gift. But don’t be hasty in dismissing something which right off the bat might seem insignificant. The universe truly works in mysterious ways, and if we pay more attention to the workings of our minds than the energy in the present moment, we might just miss that opportunity offered to us by the universe.