So Wednesday was my 29th birthday and boy did I feel special. I found myself continuously thinking “what did I do to deserve this?”, Sometimes even thinking “I don’t deserve this”. Isn’t that crazy? On my birthday of all days, I would think I didn’t deserve the love or gift that someone is offering me.
How do you react when people give you compliments? Instead of saying thank you and receiving the positive energy, many of us tend to dismiss the compliment in some way. We will minimize it or counter it. You may even say thank you but really aren’t taking it in at all. I never noticed I used to do that until someone had to blatantly point it out to me. Conversation went something like this “I love your hair, its beautiful” “Omg I hate it, it’s so thin and damaged, but thanks”. Boom a three in one!
Throughout the day on my birthday I had to consciously think sometimes “you are getting this recognition because people love you and want to express that”. I’m sure I can’t be the only one that has a hard time receiving love. Why do you think it’s so hard for us to receive love? It could be a multitude of reasons I guess but some that come to mind are because 1. We aren’t used to it 2. We fear the vulnerability 3. We don’t receive enough love from ourselves.
We Aren’t Used To It
One reason it could be hard to receive love is because you did not have a lot of positive experiences when you were younger. This lack now leads to a pain surrounding love. Maybe your parents didn’t encourage you as much as you would have liked. Not only that, maybe you saw your friends parents encourage them therefore you built this pain around the fact that you weren’t getting the same thing. In order for us to fully take in love, we have to be able to open our hearts. When you open your heart you have to touch on that bottled up pain that is there. Sadly, our human nature has been to try to avoid pain so we choose to keep our hearts closed making it hard to let the positive energy in. Paradoxically this avoidance will actually lead us to more pain down the road.
I think a good way to try to heal this part of you is to go back to the memory of that little boy or girl and give them the love you wanted. It’s even better if you have specific memories in which you clearly did not receive what you needed. If you felt your parent did not show you the love you wanted, know that it does not mean they didn’t love you. Maybe they didn’t get the loved they needed when they were younger therefore have a hard time expressing it just the same. Tell yourself “Even though I did not receive the love and encouragement I wanted, I choose to love and encourage myself”
The Fear Of Being Vulnerable
As mentioned above, to fully receive positive energy we have to be open to it. Being open can feel totally exposing. When someone would give me a compliment, it felt awkward to sit there and just accept it and say thank you. I felt naked. Someone was “seeing” me so I had to cover up by counteracting the compliment. Whats wrong with being seen? I can’t help but hear the voice of the crocodile hunter… there’s me mate right ova there. so here’s what we do, we gotta give ye a mighty compliment aye, when ye accepts it that means ye trust us now right…well now that we have that trust there we have the opportunity to pounce on that mate there when they aren’t looking at us and eat em right up…oh yea and then spit er right out because ye taste bloody horrible! (ps: dont know if Australians say “ye” i just made it up haha)
Oh yea, people can then sense your weakness then pounce when you’re not ready, and then when they can really see you they will reject you… so you MUST stay guarded at all times right? We’re not zebras in a field of hungry lions. We are humans and deep down we seek love but again we want to avoid pain. Being open means being vulnerable which means being susceptible to pain. Well the great thing about pain is that it is a function of your own perspective. Practice being vulnerable. The fear of vulnerability often feels like you have something to hide, so start sharing stuff. Even if it’s just to yourself in the mirror for now. Let it all out…the good, bad, and ugly…and then guess what… LOVE YOURSELF!
We Don’t Love Ourselves Enough
I would say one of the number one reasons it’s hard for us to receive love is because deep down we don’t feel worthy of it. Of course we all like to think we love ourselves but think about how you show love to yourself. Is saying “ugh my hair is so thin and damaged” loving yourself? Is talking negatively about your body loving yourself? Is telling yourself you’re damaged loving yourself? If we can not receive enough love from ourselves, when someone else is giving us love we tend to have an inner conflict. What they are saying or doing is not matching up to out internal beliefs. In this case, one of two things will happen… we will either let our own negative belief win, OR we will exchange the negative belief for the positive one. Being that we’ve been wired to take the easy route, keeping whats already there is usually what happens. So time to practice the latter fo the two. Exchanging the negative belies for positive ones. We can start by the beliefs we have about ourselves. Each morning try to say something positive about yourself. Then list reasons why this is true. Smile at yourself. Hug yourself. Dance, Sing, LOVE YOURSELF. Love yourself as if you were a friend, because in reality you should be your own friend.
I can admit, I had to remain pretty aware throughout the day on my birthday in order to fully receive all that was coming my way. And guess what, IT FELT GOOD!!! Could you imagine that. Receiving Love FEEL GOOD! So this barrier we’ve built around our heart to avoid pain actually has blocked love in the process. Silly us!!! My birthday present to myself was letting love in!
Try it!!! Be vulnerable, Love yourself, and Get used to it and I promise you, it will feel great!!! Happy Birthday to me.