Do you allow yourself to be loved? I know that seems like a silly question, but you may be surprised that you don’t actually allow love in.
Saying YES to love means that you feel nurtured by the people around you, and by God and the Universe. When you allow love in you feel connected. You feel as if you belong. You feel enough.
There are many reasons we don’t allow love in. Here are the ones I’ve noticed the most from coaching people over the last 20 years. They are based in the following four core false beliefs:
1. It’s Better to Give than to Receive
Do you find yourself giving to everyone else at the expense of yourself? If so, you probably live by the belief that it is better to give than to receive. The problem with living by this belief is that you quickly come from an empty cup and then there is nothing to give at all.
Life is meant to be a flow of giving AND receiving. Receiving can look like many things. If you ask for what you want, you are taking a stand for receiving love. Getting a massage is also an act of receiving, and so is setting boundaries with your friends and loved ones. Following your passions is a big act of receiving love. There are too many to mention here. The key is to know that it is up to YOU to give yourself permission to receive love, knowing that as you do, you have more love to give to others.
2. Being Independent and Strong is an Act of Love
I can remember consciously making a decision as a child that I wanted to be strong like my dad. I didn’t realize at the time that I was shutting myself down to letting love in.
It’s wonderful to be independent and strong. But it depends on the definition you give these words. Society tells us that to be independent and strong we must not ask for help and that we have to do everything by ourselves. We are brought up to believe that this is an act of love. The truth, however, is that when we take this belief on and make it our own, pretty soon we build walls and shut out love.
I have a different definition of being independent and strong. First of all, being independent means that you stand in your truth. You don’t need others to approve of you. But, and this is a BIG BUT, you are still interdependent with others. That means you are strong enough and courageous enough to let pride go and ask for help, or to allow people to love and nurture you. You KNOW that we humans need each other to thrive.
The old definition of independence and strength creates feelings of aloneness. The new definition says you are enough and opens up your heart to let love in.
3. If I Open My Heart It Will Hurt Too Much
My late hubby died when my youngest Kolbi was in eighth grade. She expressed her pain with anger. I could see her little heart shutting down. As she slammed her bedroom door one day after a fit of screaming how much she hated her life, I walked to her room and gently knocked on it saying, “Please let me love you.”
Kolbi collapsed into my arms upon finding the courage to open the door. That day she made a decision to let love in. However, the outcome could have been different.
Most every person I have ever coached or taught has shut his or her heart down to receiving love, even if just a bit, out of fear of being hurt. Have you done this? Did you have some great loss as a kid and shut your heart down like Kolbi almost did? A loss could be something as simple as your dog passing away. Or maybe you felt your parents abandoned your needs when a sibling was born. Did you possibly shut your heart down when your best friend walked away, or when a boyfriend broke your heart? Only you know if you’re afraid of being hurt. If you are, it’s time to let that hurt go.
What I know for sure now is that it is our fear of opening our hearts that creates our suffering. It is only by having the courage to be open to love that the pain goes away.
4. I Am Bad
The belief that says “I am bad” is one of the biggest reasons we don’t let love in. And here’s the kicker: most of us don’t even realize we feel this way about ourselves!
We all have subconscious beliefs that tell us how we’re “supposed” to be. Whether you broke all the rules and got into trouble and now have a subconscious belief that says you are bad and deserve to be punished, or you were brought up to be good and often feel like you fail at meeting those standards, or you were brought up to believe that we are all sinners, the chances are that you have beliefs deep inside of your mind that say, “YOU are bad!” And if you’re bad, you are definitely not going to feel worthy of letting love in.
Here’s the truth: you’re not bad. You’re just human.
If you’ve done things in the past where you know you intentionally hurt others, you still might believe you have cause to judge yourself as bad. I beg to differ, unless of course you’re a psycho or sociopath. That’s a whole different conversation.
At the core of each of us is pure love. If you’ve hurt others in the past, it’s because you didn’t know this. You didn’t know that you are enough just being you. You didn’t know that you are worthy of all the Universe has to offer. You didn’t know that you have beautiful gifts inside of you just waiting to be shared with the world around you. You didn’t know. And because you didn’t know, you hurt. And in your hurt, you hurt others. It’s time to let it go. It’s time to forgive yourself and open up your heart to let love in.
These four core false beliefs I just covered create pain and separation within us individually and with each other. They are all based in lack. To heal this lack, we must be willing to let them go and let love in.
I invite you to think about each of these four points and see how they’re affecting your life. Is your heart shut down? Or are you letting love in?
This is my belief: If we all allowed love in, there would be no lack, pain and suffering. If we allowed love in, we would have more peace and joy. If we all allowed love in, there would be more love to give.