Rumi said, “Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers”. What are the barriers to love? What are the barriers stopping us to experience love? What are the barriers to having meaningful relationships with ourselves, children, friends and spouse?
We each have erected different barriers that can prevent us from experiencing love. Most likely these barriers were erected at an early age to protect us against future hurt and harm. We typically have a belief system acting as a barrier. These barriers worked well for many of us and we are perhaps alive now due to those barriers. The difficulty is when we generalize these experiences as an absolute fact and belief. Our beliefs are one of the largest barriers to experience love.
“I am not lovable”, ‘I am worthless”, “It is my fault”, “ I am a burden”, “I have to earn love”, ”Love hurts”, “Love is painful”, “Love does not stick around”, and “Life is hopeless”, are some typical belief barriers in receiving love.
We may also expect that love should be expressed in a certain way! We may expect that we have to give first – always busy giving and rarely receiving. We may keep accomplishing things and become too busy to feel anything. We may believe that nobody understands us so we never open ourselves to receiving love. We may not want to be overwhelmed with feelings associated with receiving so we avoid it. We may not trust what we receive and question the intention. We may believe that receiving causes a loss of freedom or creates dependency. We may believe receiving makes us vulnerable and we need to be strong and independent. We may have an attitude of all or nothing in receiving.
Let us take the belief that “I am not lovable”. Will the holder of such a belief look for signs that he/she is not lovable, or proof of the opposite? Such beliefs are like a thick coat of armor wrapped around us; if we go outside and look for the direct sensation of sun (love) on our armor covered body we do not feel its presence directly. We do not need to seek the sun, we just need to take off the armor that is blocking the sun.
Why is it easier for children to experience love with ease? They have fewer barriers (beliefs) in their psyche to receive love and it is a natural feeling to them, like breathing.
Take inventory of the reasons why it may be difficult for you to make a connection with the Divine and others to receive love. Are your beliefs and thoughts loving toward yourself? Why not? What barriers to receiving love you are willing to remove?
Copyright @2013 by Shervin Hojat