What if delays are not denials?

mk_treesI remember the first time I heard someone say, “A delay is not a denial.” I was kind of blown away.

It was Michael Beckwith at an Agape service here in Los Angeles.

At the time I was going through some major questioning and also experiencing a lot of pain because I was reinventing myself from a music manager to what I do today.

There was that “in between” phase. The phase between where I was at the time and where I was going. It’s a grey zone if you will. A cocoon phase.

And for a long time I thought that because my new dreams hadn’t happened yet, that they were not going to happen. (This is a common limiting belief from the instant gratification generation.)

But when Michael said this, it penetrated all the way down to my Soul. And I knew he was right.

As I started to contemplate this idea, I started to realize that my heart was not running the show. It was my ego. Now I am not anti-ego. I just believe that our ego must be in the right place, as a servant of our heart. If the ego serves the heart, then everything is in the right order.

If the heart is the servant of the ego, then the tail is wagging the dog.

And at this point in my life, my ego was REALLY out front.

And I realized that it was pure arrogance thinking that things should go my way. My prayer at that time was certainly not “thy will be done”. It was more like “my will be done”.

And anyone who’s walked a spiritual path for any amount of time knows that “my will be done” is a painful prayer.

I was so focused on ME that I was in hell. In fact, I don’t think, “hell is other people” – I think that hell is when you only focus on YOURSELF.

I was missing all of the opportunities to serve. I was missing what I could give to the world. I was only focusing on what I couldn’t control and what I didn’t have, instead of what I could control and what I could do.

I was living in a totally different Uni-verse.

So, I finally experienced enough pain and had some great teachers who helped me get my mind and my heart right.

And after that, my focus went from ME to SERVING OTHERS.

And when I made that change, everything changed.

Tony Robbins said something SUPER powerful in his UPW event last weekend. He said, “Power flows to those that truly serve.”

And I believe this now more than ever.

Service is the name of the game and if life isn’t flowing the way that you want it to, are you perhaps too focused on you and not focused on serving?

And if you are serving and things aren’t working out, is there a “hook” in your service? Are you doing it only so that you benefit?

Can you see that delays are not denials; they are simply an opportunity for you to learn how to serve at a deeper level and prepare to give your gift even more?

As always, the action happens in the comments below. Leave a comment and join the conversation! The TDL Community thrives in the comments and it’s a GREAT place to get support!




Mastin Kipp is the founder and CEO of The Daily Love. Follow him on Twitter here.

Take what resonates with you in this blog and leave the rest.

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  • michellesears

    I believe it’s a fine line between serving ourselves and truly serving others. I know for me, that I feel either or most of the time. And as soon as I realize that I am doing something to serve myself I go to work on my inner self. I know that that is where all lack comes from and I don’t need to serve myself to get the things I think I need in this life. I could have it all if I’d just stay in that space of truly serving others. Tony is a wonderful teacher about the benefit of serving others.

    I attended UPW a couple years ago and he really drives that point home. He’s a great service provider and his life reflects that. So I will never give up. I will live my life serving others the best way I know how.

    Thanks Mastin for reminding me to be of service to others.

  • Yes, I can see that now. I was so focused on the changes I wanted to happen and I was so upset that they were not happening. Then I realized that I had to look around and see the things I was missing, things that needed my attention. Little things I needed to change so the big things could happen.

  • Andrea

    Excellent post. Thanks for sharing, Patience IS the name of the game. We always think that when things don’t happen, they are not real, they won’t happen. And I believe that they are not happening because we are not ready yet for them to happen. When the time is right, the right time will come. So everyone that doubts, keep that in mind.

  • This is me right now only slight difference is that I know that a delay is just another step along the path and that it is for a higher purpose. My heart is fully committed to my path of service but I’m still rugby tackling those ego gremlins ~ at the same time all the tools and information and people that are to help are appearing as the time and circumstances and my spirit becomes right for each to appear.

    I had an amazing experience a few days ago, or I should qualify and say *another* amazing experience. I was thinking about a candelabra (a very specific type of candelabra that is no longer available new in the stores) and thinking how wonderful it would be if I could find one in a thrift shop.

    I went out and took care of a few errands and several hours later I decided to pop into a thrift shop that I usually avoid because it’s a little pricey as far as thrift shops go….. there it was! The ***exact*** candelabra that I had been thinking about and visualising a few hours earlier ~ the Divine source reminding me to keep the faith. Miracles really DO happen. 🙂

    Thanks again Mastin ~ keep the faith everyone ~ with much love and brightest blessings.

    • Anita,
      I love your candelabra story! 🙂 I think when stuff like that happens it’s just the coolest thing ever. A definite confirmation that you’re on the right track. 🙂
      I also liked your image of “rugby tackling those ego gremlins.” 🙂 Great visual.

  • Aaron

    I couldn’t agree more with you Mastin. I used to be so focused on what I could get out of every situation. Self pleasure and self gratification were my main areas of focus. This coupled with the greed of getting ahead in life created a situation that I could not ignore and eventually had to face the harsh reality of life. This experience allowed me to focus on what was going on inside and start a shift in consciousness. As soon as I began to give and not expect to get my life has turned around in ways that are unimaginable. Just recently in a very short time the universe has responded to my intentions that I have set years ago. Now this didn’t happen over night and it has taken me over 2 and a half years of diligently staying with my spiritual practice and doing the work of letting go of my mind blockages that my life has completely started to turn around in a positive way. Helping others and getting out of my own head always helps me feel like I am on purpose and moves me through negative energy that sucks me dry.

    By taking care of myself and serving from a place of love I feel that I now see and feel my future more clearly. I know that being of service in a healthy and genuine way is something I was born to do. Thank you for sharing this and helping me to see myself in a brighter light. Let’s all have a blessed day living the dreams of our higher selves!


  • Kelly

    Yes! Thank you, Mastin. I am starting a doula business (www.thedancingdoula.com) and it is ALL about serving. IN fact, doula means “servant” in Greek. The road has been anything but easy and makes me want to throw in the towel many days. So many difficult situations have come up, incredibly heartbreaking ones too. They have taken weeks to process emotionally.

    “Service is the name of the game and if life isn’t flowing the way that you want it to, are you perhaps too focused on you and not focused on serving?

    Perhaps I am to focused on me? I need to meditate on what you’ve said today. Especially this…

    “And if you are serving and things aren’t working out, is there a “hook” in your service? Are you doing it only so that you benefit?”

    I am expecting my second child any day now, and going through so many of the pregnancy ups and downs that my clients face/will face. This is DEFINITELY another opportunity to learn how to serve at a deeper level and prepare. It’s just… never did I expect this level of preparation from the Universe!!!

    “Can you see that delays are not denials; they are simply an opportunity for you to learn how to serve at a deeper level and prepare to give your gift even more?

    I hope this is my opportunity to give my gift! xo

    • Kelly,

      I love your comment and can relate! I’m also struggling with my own business of being a writer. I just posted my own story as a comment on here too (so I won’t retell it here). But anyway, it does make you think, doesn’t it? If we haven’t achieved the success we desire, WHAT needs to change? I, too, and looking at if I’m not serving others enough, and HOW to serve others more… while still taking CARE of myself. You know?

      I wish you the BEST with your new business!!! May we both be open and receive all the love and success the Universe has to offer! 🙂


  • Osage Dior

    Thank you for this article…

  • Jody

    Thank you!!! Those were the EXACT words I needed to hear today!! Thank you Mastin and Universe for providing my answers.

  • Yay to new beginnings, patience and being of service!

  • i love how we are all so connected and utlimately mirrors of each other. i am in my “cocoon” phase, as you call it. ive started to learn that when things get chaotic and stressful for me, it’s because i have steered off the path and made this journey about myself and not others. it inspired me to right this post on abundance vs. scarcity: http://lionoflove.com/abundance-vs-scarcity/

    and by the way Mastin- you really taught me about the ego on that interview you did with Marie on “purpose”- and here too. it’s what makes us human and we are meant to love and use it (the right way) not reject it! ahhh much love!!

  • Emmag

    This post brought to mind the Serenity Prayer.

    Dear God
    Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
    The courage to change the things I can;
    And the wisdom to know the difference.

    Thank you, as always, Mastin.

    Love Emma x

  • Very true. Very true indeed. I hope that is the case, and I get to see one of my blogs posted soon on TDL.
    The Daily Commenter,

  • Vicki

    Beautiful Mastin! Thank you! This is exactly what I am discovering about my self and my service today. Perfect timing. Much gratitude for all you do and the LOVE that flows through you to me and into all of LIFE.

  • MA

    Mastin thank you! I want to quit something that I haven’t started yet because its not happening because I haven’t started it yet but that stops me from starting it! It’s a false believe catch 22!

  • Joe

    Great post Mastin. You’re words truly resonated w/my core b/c you have wonderfully described where I am. I am clearly seeing the “errors of my ways” and how important it is to focus on service & live from my heart.

  • Milly

    I have a question for anyone willing to respond? What exactly does Mastin and everyone else mean by “serve”?? I take it literally to mean doing volunteer service, but that doesn’t seem to be it. For example, I am an up and coming musician–how could I serve the world? Just by singing for others? I already do that but still feel stuck. Can someone clarify? Sorry for my frankness.

    • ley

      i don’t think it’s necessary that you use your career. in doing service you bring YOURself. think of a moment in your life when you did something just because you knew it was the right thing to do and it didn’t matter if you got recognized or not. that’s service. i hope my words help you, but hang in there, somehow you will find what it means to serve and to love.

      • Ley,

        I love your response. I also wondered the same thing about Milly… what does to “serve” REALLY mean? Serve WHO? Do WHAT? I do volunteer at an animal shelter once a week, but like Milly said, I didn’t feel like Mastin meant to do more volunteer hours necessarily.
        I love what you said about bringing yourself, in whatever you’re doing. And doing the right thing, without worrying about recognition or what you’ll “get” out of it.
        Anyway, thanks for your insight. 🙂


    • Milly,

      Thank you for posing the question. I’ve also wondered the same thing. I’m a writer, and in a bit of a struggle at the moment with bringing in enough money through my writing (I’m not right now) and working a traditional job (I just took on a part-time job). I feel somewhat conflicted about serving others and going for my dream to be a writer and taking care of myself.

      I, too, think volunteer service when I see the word “serve.” I do volunteer at an animal shelter one day a week, so I’ve thought… maybe I should be doing MORE of THAT? Then that brings up the obvious next question of, how will I ever bring in enough money if I spend so much time volunteering? Lol… sounds silly, and honestly, selfish, but I hope you get what I mean. I think you do.
      I like the response Jey left for you though.
      Anyway, just wanted to thank you for your comment/question.

      Do you have a FB page for your music career? Is there somewhere I could listen to your songs?
      My FB page is here, in case you want to check me out first. 😉

      Wish you well and LOADS of success! 🙂


  • ley

    thanks Mastin for reminding me about true love, somehow i got lost as i tried to put myself out there. all along, i thought i was doing service, turns out i went back to my old selfish self. It is a new day indeed, a new day to get my act together, stop thinking of ME, and do the right thing. Thank you so much.

  • Mastin this article was so on time! Thank you ..Thank you …Thank you!!!

  • BottomLineEmmaJ

    Once again, I received a confirmation about my delay. While visiting the Vanderbilt campus in Nashville, I was saddened (just for a moment). I received two rejection letters on the same day from Emory and GSU. My dream was to go to Emory, so needless to say it was painful to read. I believe God interjected my negative thoughts and put on my on heart, “I can get you to where I need you faster than Emory can, and with a lot less money.” I couldn’t help but smile, and like you said before, what we really want is much different than the things we are asking for.

    You inspire me Mastin Kipp, I will keep serving, keep loving, and keep writing. PhD or not. Check out my blog and tweet me! @talktoemmaj
    Much love,
    Emma j.

    • Emma J.,

      That’s awesome! 🙂 Sometimes NOT getting what we *think* we want really is a blessing. The Universe truly does have our backs and knows how to get us where we want to be the quickest and best way… if only we’d get out of the way more often! 🙂 I’ve been there myself, and am a bit there now with my writing career. I’m working on being open and accepting ALL gifts from the Universe… along with serving more (others, not myself) 😉 and knowing that it WILL work out. Delay isn’t denial. 🙂 I love it!


  • Oh wow… I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one! It really hits home for me right now. First of all, I love the saying, “Delays are not denials.” I, too, want what I want RIGHT NOW.

    I also found it really refreshing to read that you, too, had major ego issues when you were starting out this new path. Sometimes I feel that I must not be centered “enough” or whatever… b/c of my ego taking over when it does.

    I quit a full-time, well-paying job going on two years ago to be a full-time writer. I had a novel that was over half finished when I quit my job. And while I didn’t expect to have instant success and be topping the best seller’s chart the first week my book was released, I DID expect success to come to me quicker than it has. (I’m still waiting.) I thought a year, maybe a year and a half, and I’d at least have a *decent* amount of steady sales.

    While I DO have relatively “steady” sales, they’re quite low (one to two books at times), and hardly enough to live off of. So I took a part-time job a couple months ago. I still have money in savings (which is what’s allowed me to NOT work a traditional, paycheck-paying job this long), but I didn’t like seeing my savings dwindle more and more each month. All I could see was THAT pattern continuing, and eventually my savings running out. I was starting to get scared.

    Well now here I am with this part-time job. I like it, for the most part, but I KNOW it’s pulling me from my heart’s desire. To write (and work with animals). B/c of my time spent at this job, I have fewer hours to spend writing or promoting the books I already have out, or to spend at the shelter. I had been going twice a week before taking on the job and now I”ve cut my volunteer time down to one day a week. I also haven’t written much at all since starting this job. You’d think, it’s only part-time, I should have plenty of time. I don’t know, I just feel the pull. The knowing that this job isn’t my “calling,” yet I feel bad to quit since I’ve only been there two months… and I don’t WANT to quit entirely, I do like it generally speaking…. I just want to work less. I’m going to approach the manager next month (she already made the schedule for April) and ask to work fewer days and hours. I know for my spirit that’s what I need to do. Financially speaking, that’s a whole other story, and part of the conflict. *sigh*

    But BACK on topic… I know I have been living by the “my will be done” mantra for a while myself. I expected things to happen my way, in my time, give or take. Well, it’s not. I agree that I need to put more focus on serving others than just serving myself.

    I honestly am not entirely sure how to do this when what I want to do is write novels. It’s not like I’m writing self-help books. Though I do have a blog that’s been pretty successful. I don’t know… I’m still working it all out.

    Balancing “serving others” and following my heart and passion, with making money to pay the bills and do what you want to do is where I feel stuck. Any suggestions?