What do you love is one of my favourite questions. It brings a smile to a face and kinda forces you to evaluate and anyone that knows me knows how I love a good HOT evaluation! So as the season of love begins, Self - love, friendship - love, parental - love and general - who we love is catapulted to the forefront of our minds.
The question I ask is HOW EASY ARE YOU TO LOVE? Are you open to it, do you embrace it, do you shun it? Shut it out? Keep it at bay? Admire it from a distance? Do you accept a mini love? A part-time love? A love on demand? Or have you accepted that you are fine without certain types of love?
How we love is one of the most self-care things we can learn. How we love ourselves, how we love others and how we allow them to love us. Being loved is not always easy. Often we don't like how we are loved as this is reflected in how we are treated but do we always articulate explicitly how we prefer it. WARNING BOUNDARIES ALERT!!! Now yes everyone has their love language, but I believe you should also be loved in a way that resonates with you. And allowing people to help and care for you should be one of them.
This is really hard if you are used to taking care of others and it can feel weird or even uncomfortable being taken care of. But it's an important part of looking after you. It's mentally and emotionally nourishing to be cared for regularly. We know this!!!
A few years ago I was in a well known high street coffee shop, and what happened was not only brilliant but got me thinking. The friend I was meeting already had a drink and so I went to the queue and got chatting with the lady in front of me. (Always chatting to randoms). We giggled as we shared a joke, so much so that the barista thought we were together. We were talking about how certain words made people appear less classy, like the word toilet! Apparently, classy people say loo.
We laughed and then the friend she was meeting, arrived. She said her friend could confirm whether posh people say napkin or serviette. They hugged and she asked if her friend could jump in, so to pay for their coffees together. Mmm, that makes sense. So there we are all 3 of us in deep chats. The poor barista waited as the 3 of us were chatting. The friendly stranger felt bad for pushing her friend in the queue and offered to buy my hot chocolate. How sweet, I thought.
This is the strange thing. In a split second, I had an internal dialogue so fast I could feel those neuro pathways firing up like sparklers. My thought process was "Ah that’s nice, but no need". I could feel my auto-response of 'no that's fine' at the tip of my lips. Then I caught myself and was asking, well why not? I could hear the questions forming, why would she want to do that? What did I do to warrant this? Then a voice just said 'accept it it's a gift. its a £2.79 drink, Chill.' And this all happened in about a 10th of a second, just before answering ‘ahh thank you’. The barista now super confused …."You together, you not together?", we all laughed again. I still felt slightly uncomfortable as I ordered a coconut hot chocolate. She paid for all 3 drinks and we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
It really got me thinking how kind it was to gift a stranger and when I shared it with hubby, he seemed less, surprised and even less excited. I was telling everyone...a stranger bought me a drink today! Then this got me thinking even more as hubby, asked well why wouldn't you have accepted it? Why did you even question it?
And it dawned on me it was the first time that this had ever happened to me. In all my years no one had ever bought me something after a brief encounter with no strings attached. I wasn’t used to being gifted by strangers. I always love the feeling of gifting and have been very comfortable gifting others, but wasn’t familiar with the feeling of receiving, without feeling I'd earned it. Very weird. I could hear 'nothing in this world is free', which is a limiting way to experience life. To love oneself is to be open to receiving from the universe.
If we are closed to receiving them we will never experience true love, because when the universe tries to give it to us we will unconsciously reject it. It's a skill you should practice if we want to be easier to love. The ability to receive is the ability to be loved, without it we cannot. Could have been said in a few words....Don't kick a gift horse in the mouth, or a coffee buyer in the face!
5 TIPS TO BEING EASIER TO LOVE
Sit with that feeling, when you feel tempted to go 'No its fine, don't worry'. It will pass as you say thank you.
Discover your love laugage and commitcate that clearly with specific examples, that others can use as a guide.
Allow others to pay for stuff for you even when you CAN afford it. Because it's removes that feeling of deserving it or needing it. It just is.
Let others know the kinds of things that make you feel loved, what you appreciate and express that fully. Others will experience a reward for their efforts.
Ask yourself how easily do I love myself? If the answer is not very, then this is an area you may need to prioritise.