Freely Accepting Gifts

IMG_0103In working through another layer of worthiness issues, I came across the realization that I have a deep-seated belief that I have to work hard at everything.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it is important to know how to work hard and to be willing to do it when the need arises. My issue is that I was feeling this about everything, and that’s a big problem. That means that I’m setting myself up to have to work hard across the board in my life, from relationships to jobs to learning a new language to alleviating the pain in my neck.

I know where part of this came from. Good ol’ Protestant Work Ethic, mixed with some immigrant mentality—hard work is the key! You need it to survive. You need it to succeed.

BUT, when we believe that we always have to work hard, then we always have to work hard! We attract what we expect, what we focus on. So, if I’m expecting things to be difficult and that I’ll have to work hard, guess what? It’s going to be true. Smack the forehead!

I was driving to go vote the other morning and a radio station was giving money away. Awesome! Once I stopped, I texted the keyword to their number.

When I thought about winning the $500, I could feel this big boulder on my heart. It felt immovable. So, I thought, what is this boulder?

What was my answer? Guilt! Guilt at not having worked hard for the money.

Here’s the junk I’m feeding myself: When I work hard, I am a good, respectable, and worthy person. You survive through hard work. When someone works hard, they become a success. And, I should feel guilty if someone freely gives me something. (Ugh!)

So basically it boils down to me having to earn anything good in life. This flies in the face of my belief that this is an abundant, generous, loving, bountiful universe.

I don’t have to earn
The blue sky
The warm sun
The taste of a ripe strawberry
The comfort and joy of dark chocolate
The sunflowers outside my window
The coyote allowing me to follow her
The beauty of the jay
The gold of my egg yolks
A restorative, good night’s sleep

These were all just given to me. One gift after another. I didn’t have to work hard. I didn’t have to earn the love of this bountiful universe.

Plus, I know how much joy I get from giving to others. So why am I taking that joy away?!

So, why can’t it be easy some of the time?

If I step away from my you’ve-got-to-earn-it mindset and think about gifts, I realize that, for example, I’m really good at remembering people and names. I don’t have to do any of those tricks to remember a name. It just locks in the vast majority of the time. When people ask how I do it, I tell them, “It’s just a gift. I don’t have to work hard for it at all.”

I know some people are great with numbers, others have been bestowed with musical talents. Spirit blessed you. Sometimes we have to uncover it, finesse it, grow it, but the big part of the gift was just given to you.

Money can be this way too. Money can be given to me, to you, as a gift. You don’t have to earn it all the time. Sometimes, it’s just like a clear blue sky. You didn’t have to do anything to deserve it. It was just freely given.

I guess it’s a part of gratitude. I can just acknowledge this bountiful universe and stay open to its gifts.

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