Do you want to feel more loved? You are not alone. Most people are feeling a deficit of something – not enough love, attention, appreciation, etc. But there are two things you can do to change that.
People are giving all the time – giving compliments, gifts, hugs, smiles, an ear to listen, a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a quote on Facebook, advice (whether we want it or not), food, a helping hand, a supportive comment, and much more.
Do we notice these acts of kindness?
“It is really important to be able to receive love and receive compassion. It is as important as being able to give it.” ~Pema Chodron
Even if we do notice, do we see them as they are – acts of kindness? Or do we attach other meaning to them? Perhaps we wonder why they smiled at us. We wonder what someone wants from us when they pay us a compliment. We turn down genuine offers of help because “we are fine.” Sometimes we just laugh, reject it with our body language, blow it off, or otherwise deflect that which has been given to us.
Too Hard to See, Too Hard to Feel
“Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.” ~Richard Bach
When people offer us anything, it’s really about them loving us. Even strangers. When a person sees someone who is hurt and helps them, it’s a gesture of love. Even when someone holds the door for you, it’s a gesture of love. But receiving love is super hard for most of us. We have spent many years building up walls to protect us from feeling love from others. We deeply desire to be loved, to feel worthy of love, but our experience is shaped by fears, past hurts, and doubts. That is the lens with which most of us view the world.
“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi
What I know, however, is that receiving love is a very critical part of connecting with others. In fact, I am quite sure that being able to receive the gifts that others give to us is paramount to connecting and is actually a gift to the other person.
Giving and receiving are just two sides of the same valuable coin.
What if love is all around us, but we are still waiting for it…still looking for something different? What if we are not paying close enough attention? What if our fear of being vulnerable is preventing us from fully receiving the love that is being given to us?
I had a client who was expressing that no one ever gave her compliments, that no one appreciated what she did. I asked, “what if people are, and you just aren’t noticing?” She was curious and left my office with a clear mission – to pay attention. The following week, she entered my office and could not believe how many people said kind, complimentary, appreciative, and loving things to her all week. She never noticed until she decided to pay attention. It is still hard for her to receive that love, but now, she notices.
It’s really the ordinary that we all want.
We search for the extraordinary because we aren’t able to see and feel the ordinary. See it. Feel it. Take in the ordinary.
Two Steps To Feel More Loved:
- Pay Attention. Over the next week, watch for the love that is being given to you. Think of everything as being a gift just for you – the sunrise, twinkly stars out on a clear night, the pencil someone shares with you in a meeting, a smile, the perfect advice at the perfect time, a phone call, your husband emptying the dishwasher, your wife reaching out to hold your hand…just become aware.
- Receive it. This is always easier said than done. So, first notice…then breathe and try to take it in. Don’t rush through it…slow down, allow your heart to open, and really take it in. Learn to receive, even if just a little bit at a time. Quiet your fears and just for one moment, allow yourself to be loved.
This begins to change the lens with which we view the world from fear and skepticism to love and gratitude.
How are you about receiving? Do you find it’s hard to have other people give to you, but perhaps you give a lot to others? Tell us more about it in the comments below.