I use iGoogle for my home page and one of the many gadgets I have is the "How to of the Day." I usually ignore most of the gadgets but today one "how to" jumped out at me: "How to Receive Love." Usually the "how to," provided by wikiHow, has instructions for more concrete things like "How to Use a Bench Top Bandsaw" or "How to Make Candy Airplanes," so "How to Receive Love" is an unexpected thing to find. It caught my eye because I've been becoming more and more aware of the difficulty I have in doing this.
How does someone receive love? Perhaps a better question to ask is, "Why do people have difficulty receiving love?" This wikiHow explains:
When it is hard to receive love for fear of the consequence of letting down your defenses, it might be that you are hiding behind cynicism, pride, or trying to remain too emotionally strong, so that you don't have to face the possible hurts that loving might bring or facing aspects about yourself that you don't like.No one could ever accuse me of being too emotionally strong, but proud? I don't think so, but that's something that's hard to determine about oneself in an objective manner. Cynical? Definitely. But how does one stop being cynical? I notice that wikiHow has instructions on how to be cynical, but not on how to stop. Perhaps in learning to receive love, one can lose their cynicism. What are the steps?
- "Trust people who tell you that they love you." Can one turn trust on on command? I'm not sure I can.
- "Stop fearing loss." This is referring to the loss of love from others, such as the loss of friendships, something I've experienced much of. How does one stop fear? Hmmm. By choosing to step into the place of fear despite all the chemicals in your body telling you to flee.
- "Love yourself." They say this is the hardest.
- "Let love in and don't block it." I do block it. I'm afraid to believe it is real.
- "Beware the voices of societal negativity." I feel uncomfortable when someone praises me or says something good about me to my face. I like hearing them, but I'm afraid of appearing proud. The authors say to embrace compliments and other indicators of love and caring.
- "Show love." A friend and I were discussing that recently. I always thought that I was good at this but I'm beginning to realize that I'm not at all. In some relationships I have built such thick, high walls of self-protection that the love I show is minimal. Not good.
- "Watch the experts at receiving love." Ah! I had an e-mail this morning about this. I subscribe to "The Generous Wife" tip of the day and today's tip was for couples to find one or more other couples who have obvious love for each other and spend time with them. It's an excellent way to watch the "experts."
God, I'm not so good at this receiving love thing as I used to think. In fact, I think I push it away. Help me loosen my grip on cynicism and be willing to take the love of others at face value. Help me to trust you, even if I have trouble trusting the person who claims to love. I can trust you to take care of my safety in relationships. Thank you. So be it.