“It doesn’t matter how much love others shower upon us,
if we don’t realize our innate worth and we’re unable to receive love,
we never feel loved.”
We all have a deep desire to be loved. Yet maybe you’ve ‘lost that loving feeling’… or you feel like you never had it. The truth is there’s infinite love around us, inside us, everywhere – all of the time. But often we don’t feel it because we’ve built so many barriers against.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers
within yourself that you have built against it.”
Until we realise that feeling loved and lovable is an inside job, we seek for it outside of ourselves. From such a place of lack or incompleteness, the love we find is illusory and temporary. Once the illusion fades, we’re again reminded of how unlovable we are.
And it doesn’t matter how much love others shower upon us, if we don’t realise our innate worth and we’re unable to receive love, we never feel loved.
An insidious belief that I was unlovable kept me single for many years. The very limited experience I had in relationships left me in so much pain that I chose to opt out. It also created illness and it stopped me from pursuing my dreams and making money through work I really loved.
I hadn’t realised that my belief was the source of my suffering – a form of resistance to love – and one that my ego, if left unchecked, would fight to re-enforce.
Our true nature is Love
Our early childhood shaped our relationship to love – what we think we must to do to get it… and now how we block it. In some way we’re all ‘wounded’ and we’ve built walls of self-protection to defend ourselves against being hurt, or experiencing the pain of that wound.
Yet as “The Course In Miracles” says, “what we defend against we create.” The beliefs we developed will continue to drive our thoughts, behaviour and experiences, keeping us separate from love, until we dissolve our inner barriers and come home to our true nature as love.
The challenge of receiving
Many people find it much easier to give than receive. The latter can make us feel out of control, weak, selfish or vulnerable. Or we feel in-debt to the giver, because historically love was given in exchange – perhaps for good behaviour or getting good grades. But to experience love fully, we have to learn to balance giving and receiving.
“It’s not your job to like me. It’s mine.”
8 ways to open up and receive love:
- Develop radical self-love: work on self-acceptance. You are lovable for WHO you are, not what you do or what you have. Discover and ‘witness’ your inner barriers (beliefs) to love. As you do, their ‘charge’ dissolves, enabling you to re-connect with your innate worth – the deeper truth that you ARE love. Transformation follows as you then begin to act in alignment with this truth. You will increase your sense of self-love if you are loving towards yourself with kind self-talk, exercise you enjoy, eating healthfully, engaging in a mindful practice, honouring your own needs, speaking your truth and doing the things you love.
- Heal past relationship hurts: take responsibility for how you contributed to the dynamic within past relationships by looking at common patterns, uncovering the beliefs you have about relationships, men/women and love and how these drove you to act. By owning it you will free yourself from feelings of victim-hood. Once you see the pattern, you can then choose new behaviours that are in alignment with what you would really love to experience in your relationship(s).
- Accept compliments, accept help and gifts graciously: become aware of any resistance you have to receiving by observing your thoughts, any sensations in your body and your behaviours when someone offers to help you, give you something or speaks kindly to you. Choose to soften and accept graciously. It can feel vulnerable, awkward or wrong at first but it will soon become natural if you keep doing it.
- Keep your heart open when you are triggered: when someone or something makes us feel angry or hurt, we constrict and become tense. Instead of reacting in the moment – breath, observe your thoughts and feelings and keep your heart (chest area) soft and open. See the situation from a space of detachment and with innocent eyes.
- Release expectations: the ‘gift’ of love may appear in a different form than how you think it should – from a romantic partner to a kind gesture, a rigid view of what someone or something should be like can cause us to miss out on the most amazing experiences that can bless and change our lives. I wouldn’t be with my boyfriend now if I hadn’t decided to drop my spiritual superiority and go and have fun. And boy has he enriched my life in so many amazing ways!
- Give unconditionally: sometimes, without knowing it, our ‘giving’ has conditions attached to it. Rather than being based in love, our gesture comes from a needy position to get love and approval. Give because you’d love to. Expect nothing in return.
- Stop judging and criticizing others: we naturally judge people based on our beliefs and experiences, however, the more we choose to see the perfection in others, the more self-accepting we’re likely to be and the more connection and love we’ll feel.
- Soften and let go: set the intention to BE and experience love. This really is the first step. And any time you feel your defenses go up, keep softening. Keep letting go. Say yes to love.
I’d love to hear how you get on trying out these tips to receive more deeply, or any of your own insights about ‘feeling lovable and learning to receive.’ and if you have any questions
Learn more at www.KirstyMacAndrew.com
Get in touch at Kirsty@kirstymacandrew.com