Stepping on the Gifts

I was once admonished by a teacher who (accurately so) considered me ungrateful. After listening to my complaints about not having what I want, she pointed out, “You get everything you ask for; you simply forgot that you asked.”

How true. If you look at your current circumstances, you’ll recognize that much of what you now have you asked for long ago through your dreaming: your home, your car, your relationship, your job…the list goes on. We are a greedy bunch, though, and once we receive something, we are impatient for more.

Newcomers to stand-up comedy often receive the following piece of sage advice from experienced professionals: “Whatever you do, don’t step on the laughter.”

When a comic says something that makes the audience laugh and keeps talking, he or she is stepping on the laughter. The audience quickly becomes trained not to laugh. After all, we were taught that it is impolite to interrupt someone when they are talking. The smart thing to do is to completely stop talking or even moving and allow the audience to have their laugh (after all, that’s what you’re there for).

The same is true of gifts received. When something good happens, it is important to stop talking or even moving and simply bask in the experience of having received something wonderful.

Many of you know that I have two daughters that I adopted from foster care when they were 12 and 15. At Christmas, my youngest (now 31) gave me an amazing gift; I nearly stepped on it. We were discussing fairy tales and she said, “My life has been a fairy tale.” She went on to explain that the premise of all fairy tales is that someone is in trouble and gets rescued. “That’s what you did for me, Mom.”

She said it in front of a good friend of mine and, for some reason it embarrassed me so I initially made light of it. Then, realizing the magical moment that had just occurred, I walked over and put my arms around her and said, “Honey, thank you so much. I’m stunned and happy that you feel that way.”

Imagine the ramifications if I had stepped on that gift. Chances are, she would have been embarrassed at exposing herself and could easily have decided never to take such a risk again.

The Law of Attraction dictates that you attract more of what you focus on. When you focus on basking in the experience of having received a gift, more gifts come to you. It can be no other way.

When you step on the gifts; quickly dismissing them and looking for what’s next, you train the universe to stop sending them. You are focused on what’s next and by its very definition, what’s next is always out of reach.

What gifts have you been stepping on? Make a list of what you are grateful for and ask yourself, “Am I thoroughly enjoying this gift or have I allowed it to become old hat?”

Are you still thankful for your job or have you turned it into, well, a job? What about your family? Do you still consider them gifts and would anyone know this by observing your interaction with them? What about transportation—do you enjoy being mobile or do you have a litany of complaints about the mode? And your health, what about that?

It’s amazing how much we take for granted until it’s gone. The way to keep the gifts you have (and get wonderful new ones, as well) is to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate them. They way to lose these gifts is to step on them. After all, isn’t that how we break things?

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