Receiving greater pleasure begins with YOU. Where are you at with regard to opening to your self and allowing love to flow?
I think that we can often get caught up in what we are giving (or not giving) to other people that we forget that our being is the conduit for that which we wish to give. In other words, if we desire to give (or not give) love to another, then we must realize that we must give love to ourselves. And, secondly, that not giving means that we ultimately are not giving to ourselves. In reality, we only have one option – give. Give love. Give love to yourself.
In my own practice of giving and being love, barriers to love rise when I begin to judge who is deserving of love and who is not. I can then feel my body contract as though I’m trying to control the love that flows through me – as if it were mine to control in the first place. It’s a process and cycle I have been through time and time again. I end up in the same place – tight, constricted, unloving and unhappy.
How do we get around this? How can we learn to openly share love, or “not,” while remaining open and loving to ourselves? Well, I’ve discovered that it’s not about giving to or receiving love from others. In fact, the first step in the process is to completely forget about other people for a while. Some might call this selfish. And yes… it is. But it’s a different kind of selfish. It’s the kind of selfish that benefits humanity.
In our philanthropic society, we value individuals who give of themselves to others. We love to see when others give their time, belongings, or money. We deem them as good citizens and worthy of praise and admiration. And while this may be true on one hand, on the other hand I’m curious as to how much of that is simply a physical show and demonstration of a greater love that has yet to be expressed and therefore experienced first and foremost by the giver.
In giving we must realize that we are the starting point. Drop the vision of the recipient, unless you envision yourself alone as the recipient. It is you that must first give and receive YOUR OWN love before that love is able to emanate out into the ether for others to enjoy. There is no love to share if you are not first allowing yourself to receive that love.
We like to skip over ourselves some times. Thinking that it’s admirable to move, give and be on behalf of another individual, while we play the martyr – laying down our lives for the life of another individual. We are all one whole entire part of the whole. Therefore, what we deny ourselves we are ultimately denying the other – the individual we think we are giving to.
So, let’s bypass this entire process and give to ourselves first. Let’s open to ourselves in a deep and intimate way. Let’s get to know the core of who we are before we make too many drastic moves and extensions out into the world, spreading ourselves too thin with commitments and obligations that can only be done half-hearted and with an air of illusion.
And in the process of loving ourselves, we may forget that simply loving ourselves does not mean that we have to judge another person before we share our love. In fact, let’s not even bother with the idea of sharing love. Let’s focus on simply being love for ourselves. The sharing comes naturally and we don’t have to worry about whether it’s accepted or rejected by another because it’s our love and love for ourselves. We don’t have to put up a shield and protect ourselves. We only need to rest in love – be love.
In the resting in love we will open to a deeper, more pleasurable experience of life that lays no demand on ourselves or another. We allow life to simply be, to naturally flow into and out of us, as we are the conduit of love.
Do not concern yourself with the process of giving and receiving. Simply show up for life and be open to yourself – first. This is a practice that can take place in the intimate spaces of your inner world or in your bedroom, morning practice, or out in nature. Take the practice of opening with you into each moment. Feel into each moment with your senses and be present with yourself. Treat yourself tenderly, no matter what other individuals are doing. Release the need to be any other way than the way in which you heart guides you to be. And know, that this has nothing to do with anyone else. This only has everything to do with honoring you.
You have permission to let go of caring, nurturing, looking after, stepping up, praising, being or doing or anyone other than yourself. I understand that we have our obligations to people in our lives (children, etc.), but this process is not one that neglects our responsibilities. It’s an energetic experience. One in which we dive into our own being to understand and explore what it means to be open, loving, and gentle with ourselves without worrying about if it’s wrong or right for another individual. It’s about whether it feels right or wrong for you. Find what feels right and keep doing it.
Play with this and see where it takes you…