This seems like a silly topic, I know. “Of course I can accept love!” is what you’re probably thinking, but here’s what I know and have recently felt reinforced in an impactful way: there is a direct correlation between our ability to allow love in and our ability to allow ourselves to receive the happiness, abundance, and “stuff” we most want.
I love to love, but the truth is, I rarely allow myself to feel the love of others. I have become aware of how I, as well as those closest to me, can hear a compliment or expression of gratitude and let it bounce right off of the surface. A few months back a client asked me if I had any idea the impact I had had on her and others, and I was truly flabbergasted. I would like to say it’s just because I’m humble that I wasn’t aware, but in reality it’s because I have not been letting in the love people give to me. I sort of watch it travel right by me. I don’t know what I was waiting for to be honest. As I first pondered this statement I thought maybe my reaction was because I didn’t feel worthy of the compliment or was embarrassed by the attention, but I really believe it’s because I habitually blocked the love from coming in as a coping skill. You see, if you build a wall to keep yourself safe, you also keep yourself from allowing everything in. Recently a friend said to me, “If you don’t let in love, how can you expect yourself to be open to any of the other things you want in life that are good?”
Allowing is not conditional. In other words, you are either allowing or you are not, there’s not a lot of wiggle room in there. The art of allowing is habitual, so we either habitually allow or we habitually block that flow. Yes, there are exceptions (doesn’t every rule have them). For example, your grandmother who has never said a harsh word may be the one person whom you allow yourself to be open and vulnerable with. But I challenge you in that it’s most likely a habitual response. I doubt you consciously think to yourself, “I’ll let grandma’s love in but not my brother’s.” It just happens.
The good news is, habits can be changed. If as you read this you are thinking of all the things you want and have not been receiving, I encourage you to spend a few days consciously allowing yourself to be loved and see what else comes in to your life. What’s the worst thing that could happen? How might “allowing” look? This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a starting place:
- When someone gives you a hug allow yourself to receive it instead of feeling like you have to “hug back” with more energy.
- When someone says, “I love you,” let that feeling sink into your heart before you automatically say, “I love you too.”
- Find one thing about yourself that you love every day and acknowledge it. For example, you might love your smile – every time you smile think to yourself how much you love that feature.
- Wrap your arms around yourself and say, “I love myself” at least once a day and mean it.
How do you let love in?