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How to Receive Love

Good morning, friends!

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?
  1. "Trust people who tell you that they love you." Can one turn trust on on command? I'm not sure I can.
  2. "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.
  3. "Love yourself." They say this is the hardest.
  4. "Let love in and don't block it." I do block it. I'm afraid to believe it is real.
  5. "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.
  6. "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.
  7. "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."
Perhaps you have the same difficulty as I do. With God, all things are possible, even learning to receive love.

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.

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In My Prayer Room

Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.












You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.























You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.


















You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
song
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…