The path to love really begins inside. This Rumi quote describes it perfectly:
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~ Rumi
We’ve all had experiences and situations in our lives that have in effect, forced us to build protective barriers to guard our hearts. When built, they may have served in protection, but the trick is to know when to allow your walls to collapse and let the old stories go. Once this happens, love pours in.
Too often, the lack of deep love in our lives comes from a lack of self-love and self-compassion. Many of our love barriers were created to protect ourselves from our own inner critic. Most of us are incredibly hard on ourselves. When faced with our flaws the negative self chatter starts: “I’m not good enough. I’m worthless.”
And of course, the goalposts for what counts as “good enough” seem always to remain out of reach. No matter how well we do, someone else always seems to be doing it better. The result of this line of thinking is sobering: Millions of people suffer from insecurity, anxiety, and depression, and much of this is due to self-judgment, to beating ourselves up when we feel we aren’t measuring up.
So what’s the answer? To stop judging and evaluating ourselves altogether. To stop trying to label ourselves as “good” or “bad” and simply accept ourselves with an open heart. To treat ourselves with the same kindness, caring, love and compassion we would show to a good friend.
The secret to feeling more love is to practice staying open to love.
Develop a compassionate heart for yourself and others. Buddhists talk a lot about the importance of compassion and having compassion for yourself is just as important as having compassion for others. From the Buddhist point of view, you have to care about yourself before you can really care about other people.
When you feel safe with yourself – knowing you are your own best-friend; others will be drawn to you with an open heart. The opportunities to both give and receive love will be abundant.
Love is one of those things that it’s so expansive and infinite in nature; we will never have “too much” of it. We can only acquire more. Which is kind of the whole point isn’t it? When we heal ourselves more and more we can receive all of life’s blessings and love.
So get in there, work it out. Remove any and all things that may be getting in the way of you experiencing MORE LOVE in your everyday life. I hope and wish for you the healing and the experiences for your container to hold this magnificent gift to grow and grow, and grow with each new day.