Excerpt from Breathing Love: Meditation in Action by Jennie Lee © 2018. Used by permission from Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Because our wellbeing depends on our ability to give and receive love completely, we must release any and all beliefs that limit love. Receiving is an acquired skill, just as giving is, and we need to become unconditionally receptive to love in all its forms.
Sometimes we block it as it comes to us from another because the way they choose to express it is not necessarily the way in which we most wish to receive it. For instance, someone may be capable of expressing love through a kind gesture but not through clear communication. If we can release judgment and allow ourselves to receive love as it is imparted then we will feel an expansion. If we limit love to the ways in which it feels most comfortable or familiar to us, then we may miss many opportunities to receive it.
Part of allowing ourselves to be loved is opening to receive in ways that we may not have experienced before, and also be willing to offer love to another in a way that may feel unnatural to us, but meaningful to them. Every time we expand our ability to receive love, we simultaneously expand our ability to give love, and vice versa.
If our intention is to know ourselves as love, then any relationship in which we act lovingly will be fulfilling, because intention creates meaning. If not, then it does not matter how much attractiveness or compatibility might be present at first, over time, love will fade. The happiest relationships are those we relate to from our highest Self and that foster our spiritual growth in this life.
Remember, we do not have to earn love. Love is always within us and around us, ours from our first breath. As we enlarge and clarify our consciousness, love emerges in new ways and shines through the barriers erected by our personal histories.
Anytime we are not aligned with love, we will notice tension, in the mind, in the body, or in the heart. Muscular relaxation and mental surrender go hand in hand, and love is the greatest catalyst. As we still the restless mind through relaxation techniques and meditation, we create a receptive field within our beings to fully receive love. This improves our health, energy, mental clarity, and relationships. It diminishes pain, reactivity, fatigue, and fear.
To speak of love intellectually is not enough. We have to drop into the quiet space of meditation, cultivate a relaxed stillness within our hearts, and allow ourselves to feel that loving and being loved are actually one in the same.
A Meditation on Receiving Love
Take a deep breath and release it fully. Allow your shoulders to relax and let tension drain from your face, your belly, and your neck. Scan the body for any other place of holding stress and gratefully notice any places that feel light and free. Simply witness yourself in this moment with kindness and compassion. Now, drop your awareness back a bit so the senses fade into the background and your view rests within. Imagine that you are a large container receiving love. See this container expanding more and more to take in more love. Visualize love expanding within you and around you until there are no boundaries left, just love.
Jennie Lee is the author of Breathing Love and the award-winning True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment. A certified yoga therapist as well, Jennie has spent two decades coaching people in the healing tradition of classical yoga and meditation. Using the practices she writes about, Jennie counsels clients worldwide via Skype, helping them to create lives of greater joy. For more information visit Jennie Lee Yoga Therapy.