3 Ways to Open Up and Receive More Love
Experiencing love is an important necessity in our lives. Quite honestly, early in my career my love energy was focused first on raising my son and then focused on business; on building this dream of touching others. I realized that I hadn’t opened up a space to find love, romantic love, and to prioritize it, because I was still learning how to forgive and fall in love with Lisa.
Finding love, discovering love, uncovering love. I think of love in a romantic way, whether you’re in a marriage that you’ve been in for years, uncovering the constant love in your life, recognizing that love is a verb, or noticing when love is moving and flowing through your life. I love that concept, that love flows through your life. When love is an action flowing through your life—from romantic love to familial love to friendship love to community love to agape love—all tides rise.
Love is a curator and a liberator of possibility. You stand bolder, you leap further, you fly further when there’s love energy flowing through your life. You know, when I look at it, the number one love is to fall madly in love with yourself. That was the number one thing for me, was that I had to learn how to fall madly in love with Lisa. Not in a way that dismissed anyone else, but in a way that honored my contribution. And it also gave me the space, the love space, to have grace with myself.
So I invite you to ask, What is that next level of falling madly in love with myself? Once you do that, then you’re ready for someone else to love you at that level as well. Because when you’re demonstrating a level of self-love, it ignites a level of self-care, which invites a level of self-acknowledgement. That, in turn, allows you to have and create time for restoration, for rejuvenation, for celebration of self. You begin to model for the people around you how you like to be loved.
So often we are looking, and expecting for, others to love us without giving them any insight, any awareness, any guidelines on what loving us looks like. Even in marriages and in long-term relationships, even in familiar relationships that you’ve had all your life. What does loving you look like? Yesterday I asked a question to a group of my students: Define what loving you looks like. What does love look like to you? What does it feel like to you?
On the journey of opening up for love, number one is the importance of self-love, of falling madly in love with yourself first. Number two is the act, the verb, of forgiveness. So many people have a relationship with forgiveness, but need to remember that forgiveness, forgiving others and forgiving yourself is not about pardoning a behavior.
Forgiveness is about opening up space for you to trust yourself again, in your future. Forgiveness is not about pardoning a behavior or aligning with a practice or a past behavior. Forgiveness is about saying there is freedom in releasing, in no longer holding myself or someone else hostage to a past thought, belief system or action.
It wasn’t until I could truly step into forgiveness of things that had happened, things that occurred with people and events in my life, that I could truly open up to new possibilities and run towards them with excitement.
When I say forgiveness, it’s not just forgiveness of something that was done to you. Forgiveness is also for when you have made a poor decision. I’ve made poor financial decisions, poor relationship decisions and poor self-care decisions in my past. And a part of me is still continuing to evolve and forgive myself for those decisions. So I think of forgiveness as a doorway; the access to future freedom. Because so often—I know I’ve been here—we’re holding ourselves hostage to old shame, old blame, quiet guilt, quiet regret and old anger.
We don’t talk about it. It’s not mentioned. And, especially so if you can be successful while you’re still dragging around that stuff, it’s really easy to act like it’s not there. But when you go into the crevices, into the old file cabinets, and you pull out old experiences and do the work to forgive yourself or others around that situation, more of your being and essence is available to make your future breathtaking. This is why I always say that your level of business success is going to reflect, to a degree, your personal awareness. If you want more business success, you must create more personal awareness and dive into personal development, to the evolution of self.
Number three is recognizing that every relationship evolves. There’s not one relationship in your life that will ever stay stagnant. As you grow, as you expand, relationships will do the same. I often hear people say, “I’d love to go back to the way we used to be.” That’s impossible, because the way you used to be depended on where you were. That was 1999. That was 2012. You were a different person.
So recognize that as you evolve, as the world evolves, as humanity evolves, as the individuals that you’re in relationships with evolve, the relationship must take a new course. We don’t like change, unless we’re adventurous and willing to step into the unknown. Very few people run into the unknown, because we like to have some assurance. We like to have security. And at times, relationships evolving—relationships with your children, with your siblings, with your significant others and with yourself—can feel like the unknown. So number three is to allow evolution inside every relationship that you’re in. It’s like shoes. You don’t try to fit a size 12 foot in a size 7 shoe. If you do, what do you get? Pain. And that’s what happens in relationships. Just understand that relationships move, relationships are organic. They’re not static.
In summary, there are three ways to open up and receive love, experience love, elevate love and feel the love. One is to fall in love with yourself first. Find ways to celebrate and honor you. Find ways to acknowledge you. Number two, allow forgiveness to be a standard practice. Forgiveness isn’t surrendering to something, releasing your morals or your goals. Forgiveness isn’t pardoning behaviors. Forgiveness is giving your future freedom so that all of you is available to love and to expand. And number three, honor, celebrate and encourage the evolution of your relationships. Encourage the evolution, the growth and the expansion, and all of that comes with embracing change and allowing yourself to be parked between fluid and flexible, between grace and ease.
Thank you for being here with me. Thank you for allowing me to have this time with you. Thank you for allowing me to pour into you. I hope there’s one thing I said that you can walk away with and say, “You know what? That can really help me, inside my really radically wonderful life, to experience and see more love.”
I’m your sister. I’m your sister in prosperity and in possibility. And when I say I believe in you, it’s because I do. I hope to see you again real soon.
This article was published in September 2017 and has been updated. Photo by @Olesyaklyots/Twenty20