It’s often very difficult for us to receive love. Perhaps our past has taught us that it’s never genuine – or love is not reliable, and won’t last in the end. If this is your experience, it’s understandable that trusting love is scary, and a step that’s hard to take. Below are some steps that can help you with this.
1. Believe people when they say they love you. Whether it be a partner, a good friend, or a family member, it is crucial that we accept those words as being true and genuine. For If you’re continually doubting and pushing them away, then you’ll hamper them proving that they truly do love you.
2. Stop being terrified of loss. It’s normal and common to hold back from trusting love if your heart has been broken, or your love has been betrayed. Why would you want to experience that again! However, if you don’t take a chance on a person who seems true, you’ll spend your whole life running, and be captive to your fears. And there are people who are safe, and who will genuinely care. So trust your intuition, and push past all that fear.
3. Love yourself. For some this is the hardest step to take. However, if you don’t love yourself then you cannot receive love – as deep down inside you don’t believe you deserve love. If this is true for you, take the time to figure out the reason why you feel you’re not worthy of being loved. Then, work on challenging and replacing this belief. (Perhaps with the help of a counsellor.)
4. Begin to take down the walls and to risk being vulnerable. Being authentic is scary as you feel so vulnerable. But you can take a few small steps, and can practice being real. Decide it’s not OK to be cynical and tough, and choose to be more open, and let others get close.
5. Learn from young children, and the way they receive love. They expect to be loved, to be treated with respect, and to have their needs met when they reach out for support. They don’t fear rejection, or think that they’ll be hurt. For them, love is natural, it’s healthy and innate. So try to believe that the same is true for you – and love is enriching, rewarding, safe, and good.