The universe cannot respond to you until you learn its language. What is the universe saying to us?

It is saying that there is plenty of everything for everybody. If you don’t embrace that message, you cannot receive.

There is a joke that illustrates that idea beautifully. A man dies, and he goes to heaven, where he meets St. Peter at the gate. Peter looks over the list for the man’s name, and he says, “I don’t see your name here. Let me just go in and check with the boss. Go to that room over there and take a seat.” When the man opens the door to the room, he finds a massive space filled with yachts, houses, cars, swimming pools, people—everything you could ever think of. The man shuts the door then goes to a chair and sits down. Peter calls the man over and says, “Well, there, yep, you’re on my list; come on in. Do you have you any questions?” The man asks, “Why are there all kinds of things in that room over there? What is that about?” Peter replies, “Oh, that’s all the stuff that people asked for and were given, but they were not able to receive them.”

How do you learn to receive?

Start by answering this question: Do you believe you are worthy of everything that life has to offer? On the surface, this may seem like a simple question, but you may be surprised by your answers. Most of us have installed varying degrees of negative psychological programming that we received as children. As adults, we experience situations and relationships that can reinforce a false self-image. We can’t erase all of our negative programming and beliefs with the snap of a finger, but we can surrender. I don’t mean surrender as in giving up or becoming lazy. Surrender in this context means saying to yourself, “I am doing the best that I can with the resources that I have available to me.”

It is by surrendering, letting go of blame, and focusing on what you can do in this moment that will open you to new perspectives and give you access to those hidden programs that tend to run your life.

You may not be aware of how you hinder your own ability to receive, since that block can lie deep in your subconscious. So start by assuming new, more positive belief systems. Speak well of yourself. Thank yourself for not being perfect. And remind yourself daily that you are completely and utterly worthy of all the wonderful and fulfilling things that life offers. Receive them and enjoy.

Derek O’Neill is an internationally acclaimed psychotherapist, motivational speaker, author, martial arts sensei, and humanitarian. He is the author of More Truth Will Set You Free, the “Get a Grip” series of pocket-sized books, several children’s books, and an upcoming book on parenting (Fall 2013 release). Inspired by his worldly travels, he formed SQ Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on helping solve global issues facing humanity today. With charitable projects in twelve countries, the Foundation brings food, medicine, education, shelter, and other basic needs to children, families, and communities in need. In 2012, he was honored as Humanitarian of the Year and named International Celebrity Ambassador for Variety International the Children’s Charity.

*Photo Credit: Patricia Mellin via Compfight cc