Last week, I posted 5 things I know for sure about love. This week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I want to focus on how we can increase love in our lives.
As I said in my last post, one thing I know for sure is that we all want to love and be loved in return–it’s a core human need. I also said I know for sure that it’s up to us to receive love. What happens when we fail to let love in? We suffer. We begin to believe we’re all alone. We begin to believe we’re not worthy of love, after all.
The truth is, sometimes love is there–all around us–but we aren’t willing or able to let it in. It’s in our neighbor, a stranger, flowers blooming, a child. Sometimes, it isn’t that nobody cares. Sometimes we just don’t believe others care. Sometimes we prevent ourselves from feeling that care. Letting love in is a huge part of practicing self-love and feeling our true worth. We must let love in, or, as I said above, we will suffer.
So, what are we to do?
First, take a searching look into your life. Are there any ways in which you block love or simply fail to receive it? Do you ever doubt love? Do you actively push it away? Do you feel selfish practicing self-love? If, in any way, you’re lacking love, it’s time to let love in. When we seek love, we find it. Then, it’s up to us to open the door and let it in.
10 Ways to Let Love In
Here are ten suggestions to get you started receiving more love today. Add to this list whatever ideas help you open your heart. You’ll feel so much more loved if you will choose to let love in.
1) Smile and say a sincere, “Thank you,” when someone says something nice or loving about you. Take a moment and let their words sink in. Believe them.
2) Accept every hug that comes your way, and make sure to really hug back. Oh, and look for opportunities to give a warm hug, too. Creating opportunities to give and receive love opens us up even more.
3) Next time someone offers to do something thoughtful for you, let them. Say, “Thank you very much,” and mean it. Then, let yourself enjoy.
4) If you suddenly find yourself with a “break” take advantage of it. Sometimes life seems to mysteriously be saying, “I love you.” It may be unexpected time off, a moment to relax, or a problem suddenly resolved; whatever it is happily accept it. Say a prayer of gratitude in your heart, and focus on making the best of this love-filled gift.
5) If you’re in nature and feel struck with awe, savor it. Let it fill every part of your body. Receive the love God has put into this beautiful world for you.
6) If you’re a parent, look for the loving moments your children offer (if you’re not a parent, let in the love of a child). Children can offer up some of the purest, most fulfilling love. As parents, it may feel tough sometimes to feel that love, especially if you’re in the middle of parenting challenges, like postpartum depression, feeling like your kids are driving you crazy, or parenting teens (trust me–I’ve been there–still am!). However, as we look for the loving moments with our children and families, we will feel greater love, and joy. Maybe your daughter cleans her room without even being asked, or your toddler stops his playtime to hop in your lap and show you some love, or your teenager actually says, “Nite, Mom, love you.” Savor these moments of love. Soak them up and do not take them for granted. Express your gratitude for these beautiful moments—to your kids, to yourself, and to your Higher Power.
7) Cuddle. With your significant other, with your kids, with your pet—cuddle. Touch is an important way to receive love. It actually increases the chemicals in our body that make us happy, so cuddle away!
8) Next time you think, “I’m going to do something nice for myself,” do it. It could be a bath, a walk, a nap, or time away with friends—whatever it is, do it. It’s good practice to let love in from yourself.
9) When self-doubt faces you, choose instead to let love in. It may come through the words of another person, through a feeling or thought, or even through a message you see online or on TV, but when those little messages that whisper, “You’re more than you think you are. You are loved. You can do it,” come, pay attention. This is love from God. It’s the purest, most joyful love you can receive. Stop, listen, and take it in.
10) Practice opening your heart, so you’re ready to receive whatever love comes your way. If our hearts are open, we won’t be able to block love. Sit silently today, breathe deeply, and imagine your heart growing wider and wider. Imagine it is opening like beautiful, loving doors, welcoming love in greater and greater capacities. Imagine warm arms encircling you, reminding you that you’re made of love, making you feel how loved you truly are. Repeat often.
Do you ever struggle to let love in? In what ways? What helps you receive (and therefore give) more love? Leave a comment, below!
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s new book, Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow–
available now on Amazon.com!
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