On Valentine’s Day, everywhere you look there are red hearts, red roses, gifts for the one you love, all the symbols of romantic love. The emphasis is on giving love tokens to your loved one, but the question is “Are you open to receiving love?”.
Here’s a simple test…
When someone compliments you (an act of love), do you accept the compliment with gratitude or do you reject it and put yourself down in response?
If you can’t accept a compliment it’s a clear indication that you are not open to receiving love.
Love is the most powerful energy in the Universe and it’s the fuel that powers the manifestation of everything in your life, including relationships.
The ability to give and receive love is dependent on your level of self-love, so a truly loving relationship requires that each partner develops self-love.
What is Self-Love?
Let’s be clear about it…
Self-love is not to be mistaken for narcissism, egotism or self-absorption, which is an excessive preoccupation with self.
Self-love is a positive acceptance (love) of all aspects of yourself; an understanding and appreciation of both your strengths and weaknesses. It is linked to self-esteem and incorporates a positive self-image.
When you lack self-love your inner critic (the ego) is in charge which constantly criticizes you for not being good enough, pretty or handsome enough, slim enough, not (fill in the blanks) enough!
The ego lives in fear and the higher self lives in love – the ability to love yourself and others. The degree of self-love that you have is related to the level of control the ego has over your thoughts.
What Stops You Receiving Love?
When you lack self-love you criticize yourself and you assume that everyone else is criticizing you too! This makes it impossible to receive love because you don’t believe anyone could love someone with all the faults you imagine yourself to have.
You have a subconscious belief that you are unlovable!
Instead of being able to give love, you need to get love to fill the inner void where the self-love is missing; to convince yourself that you are worthy of love. But, paradoxically, you can’t accept the love you’re given because you don’t feel worthy of it.
How to Develop Self-Love
We all have an ego, and becoming ‘conscious’ involves becoming aware of the ego and overcoming it, so that you put your higher self in control of your beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. The more you grow in consciousness, the more the higher self is in charge and the more love you can give to yourself and your partner.
Listen to the voice in your head (your thoughts) and get tuned in to when your thoughts turn to self-judgment and criticism. At the same time you’ll notice that you feel uncomfortable too – that sinking feeling in your stomach, or a feeling of anxiety.
When it happens, don’t try to analyze your thoughts, and definitely don’t criticize yourself for having them! Just smile lovingly to yourself and silence the voice by immediately switching the critical thoughts to self-affirming thoughts instead.
Choose a mantra to say to yourself, such as “I am enough”, “I am beautiful”, “I am infinitely lovable”, or “I put my higher self in charge”. Your brain can only think one thought at a time, so doing this will automatically block out the critical thoughts of the ego.
Each time you shut down the voice of the ego you are weakening it and at the same time increasing the presence of your higher self and the love it represents.
You’ll find joy in your ability to give and receive love, and your self-love, self-esteem and the quality of the love in your relationships will grow and grow.