What is Your “Love” Story?
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
- How lovable do you believe you are?
- Do you believe that you are deserving of the love you dream about?
- Do you allow love in?
- Do you believe there is enough love to go around?
- Do you believe that there is a scarcity of love?
Because a loving heart is the very nature of every human being, to cultivate love does not mean to fabricate something that is not already present. Rather, it means to identify and gradually remove the many obstacles that block access to our loving heart.
—Beth Roth, “Family Dharma: A Bedtime Ritual”
Do you know that the quality and the amount of love, like everything else in our life, is dependent on what we feel worthy to receive? The level of love we have for ourselves is the litmus test for the love we bring into our lives; the degree that we can have a full, loving relationship. Even when we have someone in our lives who loves us desperately, we will somehow sabotage the relationship and not allow love in to fully warm our hearts if we don’t love ourselves enough to feel worthy.
There have been times over the years when clients have gotten annoyed with me…. This is more apt to happen after a relationship hurt or breakup and I enquire as to their beliefs about themselves. Usually in pain they do not want to pause and consider themselves at this point. It is too soon, and my timing is off. If annoyance occurs it is usually in the beginning of our time together until they are guided into loving themselves more. They have to come to grips with the fact that although they know about love and desire, it is their sense of worthiness which is the critical element for bringing love forth. Then and only then can they have love and what they truly desire.
Were you raised with a scarcity mindset in some area of life? Most of us were. It is a familial, religious and cultural way of thinking entrenched by beliefs that there is not enough to go around. It is based on the idea that everyone has to compete to grab his or her share of the pie… (of love, time, money, good health, youthful looks, you name it) … and of course that pie is too small to share. So we keep feeding scarcity or not enough to go around.
What does such a belief system do to our openness and willingness to love and be loved? First of all, it narrows down our ability to be open to receive. This scarcity mindset narrows our world view, putting what we believe into a safe little black and white frame. It is like putting blinders on a horse, keeping its vision on a narrow-predetermined path.
Do you know whether or not you have blinders on? Do you believe that love should come to you only through the “right” partner or friend?
Do you decrease your possibilities of having love by wanting it to arrive in a certain form and in a certain way by…. noon on Wednesday? At least, by staying small in one’s expectations, our familiar is not disturbed. I’ve had clients say to me… at least by not expecting so much; I won’t be so disappointed when it doesn’t turn out… So! What is the prognosis for love with a statement like that?
If we cannot see ourselves being surrounded by the warmth of love in all of its forms, we cannot have it. It’s not based on our story or expectations; it is based on beliefs.
This attitude or mindset occurs everywhere. One of my clients, new to the community, wanted to meet new people and hopefully make new friends. She joined a Women’s Book Club, and assumed they would probably be cliquish like the girls in her High School. She wasn’t really open to enjoy new experiences, she was still a victim of her old story. After exploring the situation, assumptions, and behaviors, she admitted to being rather stand-offish, making it difficult to be approached.
Sometimes after a loss of love that has being intense, we fear the pain of another loss so much so that we close down, get cynical or lose hope about having the love we want in our lives. Some of us actually limit our desires and do not fully engage to avoid future pain of loss or rejection.
This state actually has a name: it is called “adapted preferences” which means not allowing ourselves to dream big, while trying to some extent control the anguish that we might experience if things do not work out. Goes something like” you shouldn’t ask for so much.”
Do you betray yourself, by holding yourself back? Where do you practice “adapted preferences”? Love is everywhere. Will you let it in?
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu
Next time we’ll explore further how we complicate love and how to start the process of simplifying and being open to more love in our lives.