Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Are you blocking love?


I made a commitment to myself at the beginning of 2012 to open my heart to receiving and sharing love in all my relationships.  I've been doing this work of healing with family and friends, and I wanted to bring greater awareness to my romantic relationships.  In 2011, I took time away from dating to take stock of my relationship patterns.  I discovered that over the years I've built a wall around my heart with fear.  I had internalized a belief that people, and particularly men, would hurt me and that by trusting and becoming vulnerable, something would go wrong.  By dating men who I knew couldn't give me the partnership my heart truly desired, I would never have to risk too much of myself.  Connected to this was also an underlying belief that I somehow wasn't enough -- not worthy enough to have safe and loving relationships.  Staying in relationships that didn't honor me reinforced the belief that I wasn't worthy of the love I truly wanted.

Sound familiar? 

How do you break out of these patterns?

1) Figure out what your blocks are.  The first thing I had to do was recognize and acknowledge the beliefs I allowed for so many years to block me from embodying the love that is in me.  You see, fear and love cannot exist together.  I needed to drop my victim story.  Yes, in my past, I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop because it often did.  I'd tried my best to be "good" to lessen the blows.  I sought some sense of safety by trying to plan for and anticipate all possible outcomes.  But I am not in the past anymore.  I am here.  Rather than being victimized by my story, I can see it now as the experience which has allowed me to be everything I am today, in this moment.  I am accomplished, enough, beautiful, amazing, smart, safe, loved, worthy, valuable and whole.

2) Choose to love.  The essence of choice is to act.  So in choosing love I had to start acting in love -- opening my heart to others, being vulnerable, asking for help, not pretending to have it all together, being authentic, not taking everything personally, having fun, celebrating who I am as a child of God, forgiving myself and others, being courageous, expressing my needs . . .

3) Realize that rejection is an illusion.  Opening myself up required me to stop giving power to the illusion of rejection.  Many of us have given rejection significant power in our lives.  We allow the fear of rejection to limit our dreams and block us from trusting God, ourselves and others.  At the core of rejection is a belief that we are not good enough; that someone will not love us for who we are and honor the gifts we bring.  It is an identity issue.  We feel rejected when we base our identity on things/people/situations/activities that are outside of ourselves.  But who you are comes from within.  Do you not know that you are a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

The only person that can reject you is you.  Rejection says that we need approval, acceptance and validation from other people and things.  Rejection says that we are lacking.  Rejection says that we are not enough.  Rejection says we are starved for love.  Rejection is the very opposite of what God wants for us. When you believe these lies, you enable rejection to take hold of your life.  The truth is that we are blessed, chosen, holy, blameless, predestined, marked for an inheritance, lavished with grace, gifted, loved, saved, redeemed, forgiven...God created us just as we are.  Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I set you apart.

Though I have written much of this in terms of what I have learned or have done, the truth is that these are notes to myself even in this moment.  So let us pray that we know, deep within our souls, the love which God has permanently seeded in us; that we will forever know that love is who we are.

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