You are rich when you love! And you will be richer.
Love provides you with greater riches than the world has power to bestow, the riches of inner joy, a sense of well being and the satisfaction of success-thinking. But it doesn’t stop there. It will provide all of the worldly wealth you can possibly use, and more, too!
The impact of love-power cannot be measured, but the results of it can be seen, touched, tasted and enjoyed.
Rightly directed, love will make life a continuing experience of true prosperity. Wrongly directed, love, with its attracting power, can cause a tremendous accumulation of things that will be a burden, rather than a joy.
Rightly directed, love does not seek things for their own sake. Rather, it enters into a free participation in life, and it handles things with a sense of appreciation and enjoyment. Wrongly related, the power of love may be used to hoard things, just for the sake of possessing them. Nobody really possesses anything, and one who loves things to the exclusion of people and worthwhile projects will find that, in the long run, he is possessed by the things he sought to possess.
This does not mean that you are not to have the worldly goods that will make your life happier or more comfortable. It does mean that love, rightly understood, will help you to choose wisely, to use rightly and to give generously of the things that pass through your hands. Genuine love will not try to possess a thing or a person just for the sake of ownership. It will include a real enjoyment of material wealth, because the wealth itself will be just a small part of a larger experience of life and living.
Clutter on the Hearth
One time I visited a house in the country which had all the potentiality of a comfortable home for relaxed, country living. It didn’t fulfill its potential, and it was not the fault of the house, but of its occupants.
The owner took great pride in taking visitors on a tour and pointing out all of his possessions. A spacious brick fireplace welcomed one to the den, but where one copper warming pan on the hearth would have been picturesque, three of them looked like too much. One or two brass pots might have looked at home on the hearth, but four of them simply added to the clutter. As a matter of fact, there were so many accessories in front of the fireplace that it would have been difficult to imagine getting to it to make a fire.
And this was only the beginning. Things were nailed to the ceiling beams. Other things were lined on top of the beams. Everywhere there was a clutter, and everywhere there was dust. (Cleaning would have been a near impossible undertaking.)
These were people who loved, but they loved things only. And where they might have had a home, they had, instead, a museum.
Instead of loving things for the sake of possessing them, if they had only loved the ideas of beauty and order and used things to fulfill these ideas, they would have had a totally different atmosphere — and a home, instead of a house.
Love makes you rich. It will surround you with beauty and joy and order and a welcoming atmosphere. Rightly directed, it will make sure that things serve the purposes for which they were created and do not become burdens and unnecessary responsibilities.
Things are only valuable as they represent ideas — ideas of comfort and beauty and enjoyment or usefulness. When one forgets the idea and worships the thing, he loses his perspective and also his ability to enjoy even those things which he loves.
“The Most Important Thing in the World”
A young man told me one time, “Money is the most important thing in the world!”
He was quite emphatic. He spoke the words as though he knew what he was talking about. But he was wrong. The most important thing in the world is not a thing at all. It is a Power, a Presence, an intangible Something that gives meaning to all the rest. It is God. It is Love.
To some people it may seem that money is the most important thing in the world. Certainly those who don’t have enough feel that a bountiful supply of currency or credit would be one of the most valuable assets they could acquire. And to many of these who hoard money for its own sake, it must have a tremendous attracting power.
But money is only valuable as it represents an idea, the ability of the government to pay. You can’t eat it, wear it, burn it to provide heat or use it to provide shelter. You can spend it to acquire the things that you need, but only when the seller is willing to accept bits of paper or coins of metal in exchange for what he has to offer.
Even if you do live in a society where you can spend the money that you have to purchase what you need, there are still many things that money won’t buy. Most people make this discovery at one time or another in life.
Money won’t buy health. It can’t purchase happiness. (One who thinks he has bought happiness will be sadly disappointed when he discovers the quality of it.) Money has no ability to pay for peace of mind, or love, or any of the other intangibles of life.
Money does have a place, and an important one, in the scheme of living in today’s world, but it should be a servant, never a master.
How, then, should you feel about money?
A New Freedom
Love will teach you the right attitude toward money and all of your material wealth, whether it is land, houses, automobiles, bonds or art treasures. Love will introduce you to true values in life and living, and things will fit naturally and easily into their rightful place in your experience.
You should not ignore the whole idea of money, not if you plan to continue living in a society which uses it for exchange. Neither should you disdain it or disregard it. Under no circumstances should you give it undue importance, but you do need to learn how to live with it happily and freely.
Love will teach you to approach money as a friend, but not a superior. It will help you to respect material blessings without giving them undue honor.
Love will help you to have a new freedom in handling money, but it will also remind you to follow the guidance of that little voice within in all of your financial transactions.
Money is given to us to be used, not hoarded. It is to fulfill this purpose without filling our minds with greed and acquisitive seeking. It is to provide those material things which can add to our comfort and well being, without making us lazy and dependent.
Money is to be used and enjoyed. But when we allow ourselves to be used by it, then we have lost sight of its value and its right place in our lives.
Money carries with it responsibility. One who has it is responsible for its right use. If he misuses or abuses it, he must pay the penalty required by universal law.
If you would gain the greatest benefit of enjoyment from the money that passes through your hands, recognize it as a symbol of God’s abundance. Let love in you give thanks for all the good that God has provided. Know there will always be plenty.
Strangely enough, when you stop striving so hard to make money and start living richly by rearranging your inner values, you will find that you never lack for any material benefit. It will always be provided in the right way at the right time. Love has attracting power, and it works!
Remember the law of service:
When love concentrates on service and lets the law provide its own reward, success and prosperity follow.
The law of return is similar:
When you seek to express the real values of love in your life and trust the law to provide the return, the things you need will come to you.
“Seek Ye First. .
This law isn’t new. A very wise Man put it this way nearly 2,000 years ago:
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33 KJV).
Love, the light and power of the new age, the intangible quality that expresses as universal oneness and good will toward all people, is the greatest expression of the ideas of God on earth. Seek first to express these ideas, trust in the return, and nothing on earth can keep you from having the money or things that you need. But when they come, they will fit into their proper place, as you continue to spread peace and good will in your daily life and to grow in your ability not only to know about love, but to feel and express what it really is.
A part of learning to apply this law lies in establishing a new set of values in respect to your possessions.
Make sure that you are not possessed by them!
Are your closets full, you hearths cluttered? Are you afraid to move, lest you have to give something away? Do you hold on to old clothes, wide or narrow ties, short or long dresses, in the hope that they will come back in style?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then your possessions have established a hold over you that is unhealthy.
As part of applying the law of return, learn to let things go when they no longer serve a useful purpose in your life. Let them go, and something better will come to replace them. Hold on to them, and they become a burden which you can’t afford.
Love lives with open hands. This doesn’t mean that it does foolish things. It does mean that it handles all material things as representatives of ideas. When the thing no longer fulfills the idea, love lets go to prepare the way for something better. And that something better always comes!
Would you like to have something better? Then take time to clean house. Do it with love. Take all of the things that no longer serve a useful purpose in your life and give them to someone who can use and enjoy these things. Give them in love. Give them with joy. Be glad that you have so much to share. Give them without any fear of lack or thought of deprivation. And when you have given them, forget it!
Go on to your next project in loving God, loving good and loving your fellow man. The return will take care of itself as the right things come to fulfill your present ideas. Remember that things are only valuable as they serve a useful purpose and fulfill a good idea.
Take care of your possessions while you have them, but don’t be in bondage to them. Release them at the right time in the right way, and more will always come to replace them. This is the law, and it works! Love does pay dividends.
Increased understanding and love awaken within you the urge to give. You no longer have the desire to hold on to the things that you cannot use. You find a new sense of enjoyment in sharing with others, giving of yourself and your possessions.
Of course, the urge to give is that same little voice within you, helping you to learn and obey love’s laws of prosperity. Its urging can become so strong that you simply have to break old habits of hoarding or hiding. You have to give from a heart that is full to overflowing with love and appreciation and the pure joy of being alive. This is the way of love, and this is the way of giving that is most effective in attracting even greater good.
Don’t just give because that is the way to prepare for newer, better, nicer things. Give because there is an urge in you to share with others, an urge that is rooted in a deep awareness of all your many blessings. Give, and let the return take care of itself. It will. That is the law.
The Other Side of Giving
Giving is one way in which you express the real value of love in your life, and it is easy to see that giving is important. It has been emphasized in all great teachings on love. But there is another side to giving that is less well known. It, too, is a part of applying the law of return.
Both sides of giving are necessary to completion of the gift. Both are a part of love. The two sides are these: One must give, and another must be willing to accept the gift.
What joy would there be in giving if all your gifts were rejected? How would you like to shop for a present, lovingly wrap it in gay paper and ribbon, and then have it thrown back into your face when you tried to give it in love? The joy of giving would be marred, wouldn’t it?
And yet do you always, in love, accept the gift that is offered?
Love not only knows how to give generously. It also knows how to accept graciously. Receiving is a part of your cooperation with the law of return. It is also necessary to helping others complete their giving.
Certainly you wouldn’t simply reject a gift in anger or offense. But have you ever refused to accept something someone wanted to give, because you thought he couldn’t afford it? If you did, you did him an injustice by your refusal, not a favor.
The law of return works. It works for others as well as for you. And unless you want to deprive others of the good that they can attract by working with the law, you must learn to accept lovingly the good they offer. Accept it with the thought of prosperity for them, and the understanding that through their own giving they are preparing the way to receive even more of the universal abundance into their own lives.
You can’t really give anything away—not if you are willing to trust the law. The more you give, in love, releasing it freely and knowing that the return will take care of itself, the more you are bound to receive.
This is the law for you. It is also the law for others.
The next time someone proffers his gift of love, accept it in the spirit in which it is offered. Recognizing the working of universal law, accept your own blessing, and know that the giver receives an even greater one in return. He needs to give, too! Don’t deny him his opportunity.
Learn how to accept, in love, the gifts of others, the material gift, a gesture of friendship, or the compliment that is sincerely offered.
Be a giver first, but help others complete their gifts by being willing to receive, too.
“How Much Should I Give?”
Many times people want someone else to tell them just how much they should give under certain circumstances.
A solicitor for a certain charity calls, and they ask, “How much should I give?” or maybe they want to know, “How much are the others contributing?”
Many times we, as ministers, are asked this question, when we render ministerial services, such as conducting a funeral service, performing a wedding or counselling someone in need of help. “How much should I give?” they ask.
Sometimes people are determined to make their gift match exactly a particular need, and so they want to have it defined for them. “How much is needed?” is their question.
There is only one right and accurate answer to what and how much you should give, and that is the answer that comes to you from the little voice within, the voice of love that always knows.
Don’t judge your gift by what others are giving. Don’t depend on someone else to define the need.
No one can tell you exactly what you should give in any particular situation —or whether you should give at all, in that case. Even as you ask, only you know the answer that is right for you. Only you know how much you should give. The voice of love will tell you clearly, when you stop listening to other people and start listening to the guide within you.
The amount that is right may depend on the circumstances, the situation or the service rendered. It also is determined by your attitude of mind, your desire to share, and your concept of lack or abundance. The amount that is right for another may be too little for you to give — or it may be too much, based on your present attitude and understanding. Only you can decide. Only you know.
If the answer doesn’t come clearly from within as you ask, let love guide you in considering these questions.
How much can you give joyously? Love gives in joy, not from outside pressure. If you can’t give anything joyously, then you might as well forget the gift entirely. A gift given grudgingly, with resentment or anger, blesses neither the giver nor the recipient. But perhaps you feel that you can give a certain amount and be happy about it — more than that would be a burden. Then give what you can enjoy giving. Give it in love.
How much can you give richly? Consider this question seriously. How much can you give from your own awareness of abundance for all? How much can you give without feeling that you are depriving yourself or your family? Never give with the thought of deprivation. Give what you can with all the riches of love.
How much can you give freely? To obey love’s law, you must learn to give, and then release the gift. So, from the understanding you have, determine what you can contribute with a sense of freedom, with no strings attached, and then give that!
Love dictates that you give what you can give joyously, richly and freely, and then release it as you go on to your next experience in collecting love’s dividends.
But remember, if you do want to enjoy abundance, you must give — yourself, your love and your material possessions. It is one of the laws of love.
The Carpenter and the Photographer
Love gives more than material gifts. It also gives of itself. It gives understanding, joy, enthusiasm and peace. It gives the gift of believing in others and encouraging them. It never withholds from fear, but it shares what it has and thus opens the way for greater blessings to come.
Love knows that sharing is a part of applying the law of return. It shares —not because it seeks the return, but because it is the nature of love to let others participate in the good that is there.
Love even shares what others may hoard, in the realization that the more ideas are used, the more they are increased.
Love does not hang on to professional secrets. It gives freely and increases the know-how of all.
I know a carpenter who told a friend, “I’ve spent all my life learning how do this, and I’m not going to tell you how to do it.”
He clutches his knacks for fitting corners and determining angles tightly to himself, and he lives in a fear-filled atmosphere of lack and limitation.
On the other hand, a veteran photographer told a novice, just starting out, “I might as well tell you all I know. You’ll find out, anyhow.”
He shares freely, and his business prospers. No one can take anything away from him by learning from him. He shares ideas, and as others learn and progress, they also share ideas with him. It is the working of the law of love. And all benefit.
So it is with all of the abundance love has to give. The more it is used, the greater it becomes, and the more it attracts. This is the nature of love. It grows and expands as it is used, given and shared.
Love does pay dividends, and the greatest dividends are not the material ones, though these are plentiful. The greatest dividends are the assets of joy and well being that come from expressing love in your life — freely, joyously and richly!
© 1986, Winifred Wilkinson Hausmann
All rights reserved by the author.
Reprinted with permission.