It's Easier to Not Receive Love Than to Receive Love.

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The world teaches us that if we don't have enough love, either because we are single, or we are with a partner who is not demonstrating love through the traditional ways we believe love is exhibited, it is because of something outside of ourself: our partner is wrong, or there's not enough "good men" or "nice women" in our age bracket, city, or state. The world trains us to believe that there's some reason why we're not receiving the love we "deserve," and of course, it's out of our hands. The universe is a random, chaotic thing, and people and circumstances just show up out of nowhere.

Well, that's just not true.

The truth is: it's easier to not receive love than it is to receive it.

How can that be? We all say we want love. We all believe that deep down, we're willing to be in a happy relationship. We're willing to have someone treat us nicely, exhibit appreciation for us, and receive so much adoration that we just wake up chirping a song of praise.

We're lying to ourselves. Receiving love can be hard. Much harder than we think. We're so accustomed to conditional love, or worse, fear disguised as love, that we have neural pathways in our mind that confuse fear with love.

Our parents fought all the time; maybe they screamed, lied, and even abused each other or the family, while claiming that they loved each other and the children.

We had to be good enough to earn love: we needed high grades; we needed to be skinny; we needed to act a certain way; we needed to fit in a box.

We were taught that love is hard. Love is pain. We have to be worthy of love.

Our partners criticized us, then said they loved us. Our partners expected us to behave a certain way, and when we acquiesced, they loved us. When we acted differently, they started a fight with us. 

We have been taught to believe that fear is love. We don't know what real love is; at least, most of us don't, and so, when someone wants to love us - our messiness, our jiggly bits, our insanity, it's hard for us to receive it.

We push them away. We withdraw. We believe the other shoe is going to drop, and this whole love thing is going to end abruptly.

We sit alone and we tell ourselves that it's the other person's fault: he's superficial, or she's not ready for a relationship.

But it's not. It's us. It's always us.

It's easier to not receive love because that's what we've become accustomed to, and receiving love can feel so unfamiliar that we actually reject it.

How can you call me beautiful? I gained 15 pounds?

How can you want to see me all of the time? Don't you need space?

This isn't going to last forever - how you feel about me. How can I trust this?

We must be willing to receive love, and the first step is recognizing when we are not. Oftentimes, we push away love under the guise of the other; we blame our partner, or an outside circumstance. We blame the fact that we have children, or we're chubby, or we don't have enough time, but those are lies. It's hard to receive love. It's hard to let someone look at you and tell you that your'e beautiful; it's hard to feel worthy - even on days when you wake up and hate yourself. It's hard to pick the kind person who will treat you well. It's so much easier to pick the asshole.

We can choose to be willing - to take baby steps, to recognize when we're pushing people away and pray for guidance on how to let them in. God, show me how to receive more love than I could ever imagine. Help me to shift any misperceptions that are blocking love from entering my life. I am willing to listen. Show me how to love myself and let others truly love me.

Prayer opens the door and is an invitation for a shift in perception, as well as the emergence of a new possibility. The thought system of the world is rooted in fear, which is why everyone is so unhappy; we must be willing to shift, to look inward, and to open ourselves up to the boundless love that is everywhere - to the love that we are. We must willing to answer the call to love that can feel  foreign because we've ignored it for so many years.