Research shows that as human beings, it’s our primal nature to need 3 things: love, food, and shelter. Naturally, we can provide food and shelter for ourselves, but what about love — an exchange that happens between 2 people? The good news is that people want to love you. The hard part however, is that you have to let them. Are you letting the love in your life through? Ask yourself these three simple questions. You may be surprised at what you discover!
How do you feel inside around your partner, friends, and loved ones?
Does being around your inner circle make you feel warm inside – or do you feel tense and uncertain? A proven indicator that you are allowing yourself to be loved is a feeling of warmth in your body. A sense of coziness, if you will, and an overall feeling of freedom are internal signs that you’re in the right company, doing the right things. If you feel uncomfortable, cold, shut off or worse, physically ill around someone, it’s possible you shouldn’t be around them. On the other hand, you may also be putting up the walls yourself out of fear. In other words, your energy could be signaling that you’re not open to being loved. Closeness, trust and true intimacy then, will be nearly impossible.
What’s your reaction to physical contact?
If a close friend or relative tries to give you a hug, what happens? Do you accept the embrace, or are you one of those people who recoils, saying you don’t like to be touched? Human beings are animals, and on a primal level we express our love and affection with physical contact. An arm around the shoulder, a warm pat on the back or even the unconscious hand graze that comes when you make someone laugh or share a meaningful moment, are all ways to connect, person to person. Naturally, if you don’t actually like the person who wants to touch you, it’s appropriate to set boundaries. It’s ok to not want love from someone, even if they want to give it to you. But if you’re stepping away from the people who mean the most, what signals are you sending? Here’s a hint, they’re certainly not the open and loving kind.
Can you take a compliment?
When someone offers you kind words, are you able to actually feel the sentiment behind their words and simply say “thank you,” or do you engage in a debate about whether or not the compliment is actually true? For example, your partner tells you “You look amazing in that!” You reply, “Ugh. I need to lose weight.” What if your partner tells you that they missed you that day. Can you actually FEEL what they’re trying to tell you? (That you’re an important part of their life and they like having you around). If you can, you’re accepting love. If you’re deflecting or rejecting the comment however (say by responding with something like “Well, you didn’t call me,” or playing it off like it’s a joke), you’re literally pushing away the love that’s being offered to you as it’s presenting itself. Just like swatting a fly.
By shrugging off kind words expressed, hugs being given and time in each other’s presence, not only are you preventing yourself from experiencing a deeper connection, you’re devaluing the care that someone else is trying to give you. You have to be able to accept love in order to receive it. And make no mistake, even the most loving people get tired of trying when what they’re offering isn’t accepted.
If you want more love in your life, it needs to start with you and your willingness to make room for it. The question is, will you reject and deflect, or can you be openly willing to love and accept?
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