We accept the love we think we deserve. – Stephen Chbosky, Author. From “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
This short sentence says so much to me.
We are bombarded from all sides with the “ideas” of what love should be, should look like, should feel like, or how it should be projected to another. We don’t get quite so much about how to receive and accept that love though. I find that normally we get a lot of “what NOT” to accept and a reactionary view in relation to negative circumstances.
I think it’s important to look at the preparation, not just reaction to accepting ANYthing good in our life. Yes, we hear it all the time that “love starts from within” but how does that manifest in your life? Just thinking “I love me” over and over may or may not do it for you, and that’s ok.
We have to prepare ourselves, mentally, emotionally, physically to receive good. Let me break that down a little with some examples:
1. Mentally – This means doing some serious examining of ourselves and our lives. Where in our past have we not been shown the love we wanted? How did that affect us? What people have influenced our interpretation of love (or any goodness) and how has that translated over time into our OWN ways of being loving, affectionate or otherwise? There are a multitude of questions and observations that need to be looked at and digested in relation to why we do (or do not) mentally believe we are worthy of receiving good from others.
2. Emotionally – How does love, affection, admiration, and such make you FEEL? What are your emotions telling you? As tiny guides for us, we have to recognize our feelings AND be willing to sit with them. Address them and scrutinize them. If you feel (perhaps) repulsed or uncomfortable by others affection or love then there’s more digging to do, in order to try and see WHY. Perhaps it was a person or instance in the past which scarred you, or maybe it’s a future/present fear that is debilitating you. Whatever the case may be, you must be emotionally ready to receive love/good or the cycle/patterns will just repeat.
3. Physically – How are you preparing yourself for the (possible) integration of another? This is both your physical body/being AND your physical environment. If you don’t feel loving and good toward yourself, you will likely be very suspicious of someone else’s appraisal. Maybe you aren’t the ideal in your own mind, but you have someone saying you’re gorgeous, those conflicting ideas will battle and you will likely reject the words coming from another. Our internal dialogue is so strong that no matter how much someone else tells you something, if you aren’t willing or ready to “hear” it, then you won’t.
Your physical environment; is it still and serene? Is it chaotic and loud? How you feel in the space and energy around you can have a huge impact on your relationships, if you care to believe it or not. For example, if you have a home but it is cluttered and makes you feel stressed then you might have a shorter temper toward EVERY person, but especially your partner or lover. If your work/job leaves you drained at the end of the day and grumpy, perhaps that could bleed into your relationship, making you act out toward others who are trying to give you goodness.
Taking control of you can only be done by you, and only when you’re ready; however, preparing yourself allows YOU to be the guide, rather than just reacting to things out of stress, anger, confusion or any other situation that could arise. Not everything can be prepared for, but in doing the work ahead of time, you can go into a scenario as a willing and ready participant who CAN receive the good coming to them and in turn give good back.