How To Let Love In
Why do we close off or shut down to receiving love, when it’s the very thing that we crave the most – even if we don’t admit it?
There are many situations that can cause us to create walls around our heart. We may have experienced hurt from disappointing dating encounters, we might have unhealthy past relationships, unfaithful partners, suffered various forms of abuse, or we may even have unresolved trauma and issues from childhood.
On a conscious (or sometimes subconscious level), we can feel that it would be easier to close our hearts off to love, to avoid being hurt again. We justify that we are ‘protecting’ ourselves, and think we can outsmart future pain, by just avoiding any chance of being hurt or rejected.
Some of us have reached the conclusion that we just won’t risk putting ourselves out there again, and we are better off with our pets, rather than partners.
Perhaps we tell ourselves that we are safe guarding our hearts with our high walls, keeping others at a distance, acting defensively and thinking that we won’t trust anyone until they prove themselves first.
All we are doing is hurting ourselves.
By closing our heart we might think that we can avoid feeling negative emotions like sadness, shame, rejection and disappointment, yet by doing this we also miss out on fully feeling good emotions like love, joy, passion, and true connection.
We all on some level, have had unfortunate past experiences, yet sometimes it is the very ones who have been hurt the most, that can turn around and love the deepest.
People become so afraid of having their heart broken, but what they don’t understand is that a broken heart is an open heart. When we are FEELING, our heart is open.
We can become empowered by our pain, we can over come it and heal it. But first we need to feel it. When we feel our hurts and fears, we are strengthening our capacity to love.
So where do we begin, to open a closed heart.
1. Start where we are
Start by looking at where we are right now, reflect on how we feel about our current or past situation. What comes up? Being able to really look deeply at ourselves… assessing our thoughts, feelings and emotions allows us the space to create self awareness. When we are self aware we can be mindful of our behaviour, actions, words and patterns. Self awareness allows us to make better future choices.
2. Recognising limiting beliefs
Exploring what beliefs we hold, that are keeping us from being open, is our first step to letting them go. When we become aware of the stories we tell ourselves, and where they originate from, we can start to break them down. We can see that they are just that… LIMITING beliefs. Examples like ‘Men don’t understand me’, ‘I’ll just get hurt again’, ‘I’m safer single’ are all just thoughts that are self limiting, and they are not true.
3. Feel feelings
When we push our feelings down, we create emotional blocks. If we are feeling sad, mad, frustrated, disappointed, rejected – we need to take time to really feel those emotions. Letting them out and breathing through them, releases them. Journaling our feelings is a tremendous release to getting them out and into the open, freeing us of unnecessary suffering.
4. Start with gratitude and appreciation.
Gratitude and appreciation are very simple practices, which can produce great shifts, towards opening our heart. Being thankful for what we have, who we have in our lives and for our experiences… creates a cycle of welcoming opportunities, and abundance into our lives. It warms our heart and uplifts us. Appreciating beauty in the simple things, like sunsets, nature, animals and each other – begins to soften our heart.
5. Practice kindness & compassion
Practicing kindness and compassion to ourselves and others… allows us to remember that we all go through the same emotions of hurt, sadness, insecurity, and fear. It’s important to realise that everybody is just doing the best that they can. By paying attention, listening, offering assistance in a genuine way, helps us focus less on our own stuff and moves us more into a open space of being of service to others. In helping others, we help ourselves.
Living with an open heart, is living vulnerably. Exposing our most inner self, our beliefs, desires, dreams, our flaws and weaknesses, allows others to really see us and we let them in. The right person won’t judge or reject us for our vulnerability, instead it will create the closeness and connection we crave.
It is important to understand that we don’t need to over share our inner most secrets to everyone we meet. When we have more self awareness, we can also create clear personal boundaries. Unlike walls that are rigid, boundaries are flexible, they are guidelines that allow others to understand how to treat us, and what is and isn’t acceptable for us. Some of the most open, loving people we meet, are also the ones that maintain and stand in their boundaries.
Having an open heart is having a belief, faith and trust, that authentic connected love can really be ours. It is an understanding that by putting ourselves out there again we may possibly be hurt, yet doing it anyway. It is a knowing that if it doesn’t work out, this experience is just part of our learning and growth as a human… being.
And it is available to us all.