This is a question I often ask myself! Coming out of a long marriage I do try to protect myself from being hurt again, but in doing so I inadvertently close myself off to love. Falling in love with the person who fits you can be an amazing experience and something that is worth being open too.But how can you do this, here are eight easy steps that will help open your heart to love.
- Love yourself first and don’t expect to get everything you need from another person.
You can’t truly love someone until you love and accept yourself! If you don’t love yourself you will be continually looking for someone to make you feel okay, to fill up your blank spaces and validate you. Truly the start of co-dependence. Love should be amazing, exciting, fun and fill you with pure joy and happiness. Love is not about someone else giving you your self-value (self-worth/self-esteem). It is definitely not a replacement for loving yourself.
Get over your baggage and heal your wounds.
When you come out of a relationship that has gone wrong we ask yourself if we are okay, will anyone love us. A failed relationship can remind us of other difficult relationships with our family and even good friends. It is so important to get free of this baggage and heal your wounds. Do not let ‘the ghost of love gone wrong’ affect you now. It really is only when you resolve the pain of past relationships and believe you are worthy of love that you can be open to love. The belief that you are worthy of love allows love to grow.
Face your fears.
If you feel disillusioned about love, worry you will lose yourself and feel suffocated it may be harder than someone who fears they will repeat the past. You are actually worried you will lose yourself again like you have in the past. This usually happens if you have been criticized too much, controlled, watched over and felt trapped. What you need to do is release this memory and the person/situation that it came from. You are now able to have a different kind of love where two people are equal and make equal decisions. Love is not about control.
Live in the Now.
As much as you shouldn’t keep looking to the past and what has gone wrong you shouldn’t be so future minded that you don’t enjoy the here and now. Too many people are “marriage minded” and look at every relationship to see if they are the one or not, this puts too much pressure on things and doesn’t allow you to enjoy the dating experience. Truly enjoy the moment and don’t spend your time thinking about what happens if this relationship doesn’t work and that you have wasted your time and energy for nothing. Nothing is ever wasted and everything truly is a useful experience – it always serves to teach you about yourself and others.
Don’t have conditions.
If you loved me you would……If I had more love I could….. These ways of thinking set you up for disappointment in your relationships. To truly love someone is to accept them and not put conditions on them. Seriously if you don’t like the person as they are you shouldn’t be dating them and trying to make them into what you want them to be. To bring more love into your life, release your expectation about what it should be and actually open up to what it actually is.
When we give to others without expecting something back our hearts are open to love. So do something for others with absolutely no expectation of getting anything back. There are few things that can offer a greater sense of love – for yourself, for others than giving to people – especially those with greater needs than your own.
Think happy thoughts.
When you think happy thoughts, happy things show up in your life. When you remember sad things it brings you down and sad things are likely to show up in your life. Think the ‘Law of Attraction’ – like attracts like, love attracts love and hate attracts hate.
When you are okay with who you are and those other people (family, friends, potential partners) in our lives then our heart is truly open to a deeper understanding of what is, rather than a longing for what isn’t. So much easier to love the people in front of you than someone who doesn’t exist