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
Love is so intoxicating, yet so complex. We struggle with receiving it, giving it, and allowing ourselves to luxuriate in it!
We are such sensitive beings.
We crave love from the deepest part of who we are, yet we do so many things to stop ourselves from getting it and feeling it fully.
How do you shut down, shield your heart, and block yourself from the tender tendrils of love?
For each person, the barriers are different. For many, the walls began being built long before you were verbal – as babies and young toddlers you unknowingly began laying the bricks.
…you experienced a negative glance from a primary caregiver and your body absorbed the glance as a threat to your open heart.
…you were hungry and someone didn’t feed you right away. Your body yearned for nourishment that it didn’t get. Your body then sent signals to your brain that you weren’t important, you weren’t seen, you weren’t loved.
…you weren’t held much as a baby. Your body felt that absence of human touch. Your body learned to protect you from getting close or allowing yourself to be “held” as an adult.
Even if these examples don’t resonate for you, in some way you have spent decades building unconscious body, mind and heart barriers against love — as a loving act of self-protection. Unfortunately, you may still be protecting yourself from false threats.
Ok, so you may be wondering how you now come back to love, how to express emotion in a relationship and remove those barriers? Great question ;-)!
Breaking down the barriers to love begins with self-awareness and self-care.
Start with your body.
The key is that you are taking steps to honor being in your body, without trying to change what you feel or force the feelings to be different than what they are.
- This may mean doing a simple body scan a few times per day to begin the process of self-awareness.
- Maybe you take a conscious bubble bath 1x/week, where you have no distractions and you feel what it’s like to inhabit your body.
- Maybe you get a regular massage or you step up your exercise regimen, but make these conscious, compassionate steps toward understanding your connection to loving yourself (not a checklist of “To-Do’s” to improve the shape of your body).
Then, check in with your mind.
- Noticing how you speak to yourself. Is it loving, compassionate and accepting? If it’s not, notice how your negative self-talk feels in your body. Notice if what you’re saying sounds like the voice of someone from your past (a teacher you once had, mother/father, friend from the past, sibling, a past romantic partner…or other). Consider reading this post to work on your self-criticism.
- What are your core beliefs when you are in relationship with others? For example, do you tell yourself that you are annoying, a burden, or unlovable…? Do you make lists of reasons why people won’t want to be close to you or wouldn’t like and accept you as you are? Again, notice how you feel in your body.
Next, check in with your heart.
- Right now, as you breathe, does your heart feel open or closed? Is it tight and constricted or light and easy? Trust whatever you sense to be true in this moment. Notice if you don’t trust it and allow that to be information about a barrier you have toward love and trust within yourself.
With all of this information, you can begin to do what Rumi’s poem suggests: “seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against love” and then you can begin to work through those barriers, gently.
Finally, overdose on self-care.
If you don’t treat yourself with care and love, you won’t be able to give or receive it.
Here are some self-care ideas to get you started…
- Make quiet, alone time a priority – schedule it into your calendar (even if it’s only 5 minutes per day).
- Eat a healthy meal, sitting down at a table, without multi-tasking.
- Take walks, in nature if possible. If not, skip nature and take a walk anyway. Movement helps to remove the crinks.
- Stretch, at least 1x/hour, even if it’s while sitting down in your desk chair.
- Listen to your favorite music.
- Make a list of the things that you know you are good at. Revisit this list often.
- Do something creative.
- Meditate or try a this moving meditation.
- Write down whatever comes to your mind/body/heart. Consider infusing something you are grateful for.
- Take a yoga class.
- Call someone you love and tell them how much they mean to you.
- Rest. Take naps and get a good night sleep as much as you can.
What else would you add to the self-care list?
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. I hope you enjoy the journey toward unblocking love and allowing it to flow in.
P.S. Join other like-spirited, MindBodyWise personal growth junkies in the free MindBodyWise Living Room on Facebook. I hope to see you there!
P.P.S. If you want support with unblocking love in your mind, body and life – I’m here to support you! If you’ve been waiting to book a MindBodyWise session, consider starting with a free consultation first, to see how I might be able to help you.