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December 23, 2014

How To Receive More Love

# 1. Change up your hat

Allison Cohen

Independence and strength are vital qualities if we are to succeed in the work world. But what happens when we carry over too much of these qualities, into our lives with our partner? We disconnect, retreat and create barriers that can potentially destroy our relationships. As with all good things in life, we must learn to strike a balance. A strong dynamic requires a healthy dose of both independence AND unity.

Not sure how to reach this middle ground? Try the exercise below to create the necessary paradigm shift:

“The Work Hat vs The Home Hat” – Mentally, there must be a clear delineation between the end of your work day and the beginning of your home life. As you leave work, take those moments on the drive home to shift gears by reminding yourself of the qualities you need to exhibit when you walk in the door. Ask yourself what characteristics will strengthen your partnership and what will detract from it. Create a mental image of what your “hats” look like (both “work” and “home”) and what “putting on the home hat” means for you. Imagine yourself taking one off in order to put on the other. Make this a daily ritual and soon you will find more of an internal ease and ability to give and accept love.

Allison Cohen, M.A., MFT – www.lifeissuespsychotherapy.com

# 2. First ask yourself if you believe you deserve to be loved

Daniel Beaver

Some people believe they have to earn it or do something in order to be loved. They can’t just be loved for who they are in the moment, because they believe they aren’t good enough. They believe they need to have more money, lose twenty pounds, need to own a house or have that ultimate career already established. They may think they need certain life experiences before they will let someone love them. Once these goals have been obtained only then can they can let someone love them. They believe being loved is in conflict with their professional, material or life experience goals. They have trouble being in the moment with a lover. As soon as someone starts too get close, they put up the barriers to letting love into their life.

In order to let love in, the first change in attitude is to realize that love and future goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive. They need to understand that maybe these reasons to not allowing love in their life is a cognitive defense to forming a committed, intimate relationship. The real issue is a fear as it relates to intimacy and commitment. They project that they aren’t good enough and assume that a lover will reject them if they get too close. They are protecting themselves from the fear and pain of rejection. They do not love themselves so they assume someone else can’t love them either, and that will hurt. They are afraid to be vulnerable.

To let more love into your life, it starts with you. You need to be alert to if there is a negative, critical parent in your head. This voice is usually full of self-judgments and self-criticisms that are toxic to our sense of self-love. Instead, replace these thoughts with a more accepting, nurturing voice that gives you a break for being human and therefore, not perfect.

The last key to allowing more love into your life is to realize and accept that being loved is essential to healthy functioning. Without letting love into your life, you will run on emotional empty, which will have a negative impact on your health and creativity. When you look at love as being necessary for wellbeing, then the motivation to create the time and space for its development will be there. If there isn’t availability on your calendar for this development, you will get burned out and your life will start to lose its value and meaning. You may be very busy running here and there, but with no emotional fulfillment, you are just running to avoid the pain of loneliness and missing love in your life. To quote the Beatles, “All You Need Is Love”.

Daniel Beaver, MS, MFT – www.danielbeaver.com

# 3. If we are truly desiring a reciprocal loving relationship, we must first know, with every fiber of our being, that we are worthy of just that!

Kristen Brown

Let’s just call a thing a thing… Love is coming at us all day, every day in a plethora of ways. The only thing standing between us and love is ourselves. In order to receive love, we must remove the blocks we have to love’s presence.

Most often theses preconceived blocks can look something like or similar to this:

– People are jerks
– Life is too hard
– I’m not good enough, worthy enough, smart enough, skinny enough etc. etc.

When we have firm beliefs in place regarding ANY subject, we will attract that exact thing to ourselves because that is the energy we are resonating out into the Universe. Source Energy is in and through all things and we must not only be mindful of what we are resonating, we must be willing to shift our perspectives from low, dense, dark thoughts/beliefs to high, loving and abundant ones!

If we are truly desiring a reciprocal loving relationship, we must first know, with every fiber of our being, that we are worthy of just that! I went through a spell after a profound betrayal and serious life upset where I was convinced that, “no one was going to want me because… blah, blah, blah and blah”. When I walked through my life in this mindset, I can assure you, no one on the street looked me in the eye, smiled at me or tried to talk to me. I was blocking the presence of love.

When I awakened to my block, I asked Spirit to help me see a different, more loving perspective and soon enough, I began to understand it was I who was the issue. I decided to dedicate myself to the healing of my beliefs and almost all at once, my energy shifted and people began to respond to me as they always had in my past. I was fascinated and astounded!

It is absolutely imperative that we do the work to locate where we are deflecting love and then dedicate ourselves to whatever it takes to heal it or we will only perpetuate a dark cycle that will get us nowhere. There is no magic pill and no one can do this for us. Our life is our responsibility. In order to see a change in our lives, we must create that change and oftentimes, our healing begins with one healed thought at a time.

Kristen Brown, Certified Empowerment Coach/Mentor – www.facebook.com/SweetEmpowermentLifeCoaching

# 4. To be loved, be loving. This may sound over simplistic, but at heart, it is the truth

Carri Nash

You want to know how to attract more love into your life? To be loved, be loving. This may sound over simplistic, but at heart, it is the truth. It is easy, but not particularly simple.

“All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” – Buddha.

First, we must learn to love ourselves. We can’t attract loving people into our lives unless we love who we are. This means practicing healthy self-love, which includes healthy inner dialogue, healthy self-esteem and healthy boundaries. We must learn to say no to things which do not promote our highest good, and to say yes to the things that allow us to maximize our potential. We must talk to ourselves as if we are an invaluable friend. Many people have an internal critic that sounds like a scorned lover. Stop that. Replace the hyper-critical internal dialogue with words that are nurturing and supportive.

Second, have a vision for the type of relationships you would like to attract to you. Be as specific as possible. Creating a vision board can help. Years ago I was single and wanted a partner. I created a vision board which contained several positive, affirming statements. One of them was, “I am now attracting my perfect life partner to me.” Another was a picture of the Eiffel Tower with the statement, “Any destination is easily within reach.” Without effort, I met the man who was to become my husband. We met and fell in love against seemingly impossible odds. He is my perfect partner in that we complement each other intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. We have been together for four years now and we have had very little conflict during that time, and we thoroughly love and enjoy one another. Oh, and we went to Paris on our honeymoon, and ate street crepes under the Eiffel Tower.

Third, focus on being happy in the here and now. Don’t wait until your perfect loving partner arrives on the scene to be happy. Do what you can to be happy in the present. If you are happy, you are more likely to attract happy and functional people into your life. “Happiness is not a destination, it is a method of life.” – Burton Hills. While no one is always happy, you can and should make the choice to deal with your negative emotions with love and kindness, and then put your attention on things that bring you genuine joy.

“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein

Carri Nash, RN, MFT – www.cnashmft.com

# 5. Follow the 3 tips below

Alisa Ruby Bash

All human beings develop a unique concept of love very early in life. Usually our parents or primary caregivers create a blueprint of how to express love when we are infants. Most of us take this knowledge into the world and live our lives that way. Some children learn that it is safe to be vulnerable and affectionate. Others learn that the world is dangerous, or only the strong survive. Messages about love, kindness, and generosity are conveyed to us, and we absorb them deeply.

Our society values success, competition, hard work and independence. Often in families where there have been struggles such as divorce, loss, illness, or other challenges, independence and success are especially emphasized. Good parenting means trying to create a better life for your children, and helping them avoid the same hardships that you went through. However, healthy role models for successful marriages, unconditional love, and authenticity are not always present for many children.

In order to thrive in all areas of our lives, we need to first become clear about what subconscious internalized beliefs we have taken from our parents about love, and what negative patterns we may be repeating in our romantic relationships. We can change our inner voice and attract more love into our lives. Here are some tips to help attract more love.

1. First, start with loving yourself. Treat yourself the way you want to be treated. Be gentle with yourself. Talk to yourself kindly. In our busy worlds, it can seem almost impossible to find the time to slow down, meditate, take care of our health, or even develop new friendships. But, taking a deep breath, becoming comfortable in our own skin, and loving ourselves, is the best way to attract more love into our lives. Only after we feel lovable, can we be open to receiving love.

2. Smile at strangers walking down the street. Make small talk with your coffee barrista. Put loving kindness and compassion out there, and you will be amazed at how quickly it comes back to you. Initiate conversations with coworkers, or invite acquaintances over for dinner. Everyone wants to be loved.

3. Learn to be more vulnerable and take emotional risks. Ask for help from friends or family when you need it. Confide your fears, dreams, past mistakes, and lessons learned to your friends. Developing emotional intimacy in all relationships helps you learn to share yourself authentically in romantic relationships as well. Just remember the world will always reflect back to the love that you put out. If you want more love, give more love.

Alisa Ruby Bash, LMFT – www.alisarubybash.com

# 6. Your ability to receive love is hugely impacted by three variables: perception, priority and presence

Brett McDonald

Perception: Remember that every person has a different ‘love language’. Is it possible that there is love being given to you that is not received as such because you label it as something else? Maybe when he changes the oil in your car, he is really trying to say “you mean the world to me”. It may be a good idea to have a conversation with your partner about the best way you can each receive the ‘love message’, so well-intended efforts are not wasted and resentments are not generated.

Priority: Not only are our lives fast-paced, our relationships are fast-paced too. In our society we are very task-driven and practically-focused. Without realizing it, often our relationships are really more like partnerships. Our bonds are often defined by the division of chores. We forget to cultivate the ‘relationship’ part, which is built by the exchange of understanding and nurturing between two people who love each other. The feeling of being loved requires both you and your partner to slow down, put the ‘to-do list’ aside, and really connect.

Presence: There’s another really big drain on love in our society, and that is the proliferation of non-human relating. TV, computers, Facebook, cel phones, video games, etc. can hijack the valuable free time and free energy that is left over from the hectic work day. So often couples, even when they are having ‘down time’, are not really connecting because they are relating to technology and not each other. It is essential, if you want to be more loved, that you turn off the electronics and really interact with your loved one.

Brett McDonald, M.S., LMHC – www.thedragonflyretreat.com

# 7. First learn to accept yourself and love your whole self

Dr.-Christa-Suerken

These days finding time for our personal lives is becoming a real challenge and especially when it comes to our love life. The world is fast-paced, competitive and often we cater to the mantra of being responsible, working hard to get ahead, and being self-reliant versus inter-dependent and attending to the process going on around us. It is hard enough on some days to enjoy a healthy meal and find time for some exercise, let alone focus on closeness, joy and love in our relationships. The demands of the workplace are often times incompatible to the demands of relationships. For love to enfold in a relationship, we need to be relaxed, mindful to our perceptions and those of others, and focused on emotions like joy or interest.

For love to develop more, we need to first realize that how we spend our time each day involves choice, whether active or passive, in the past or in the present. We need to realize that what we can influence is the future. But how can we do this? First of all, stop and take a moment to get a perspective. While being achievement-oriented is not a bad thing, sometimes being active and checking off the “to-do” list causes us to miss interpersonal signals that are in plain sight, if only we would stop a moment to look and notice. If we take time to breath, let something go undone, notice emotions, notice emotional cues from others, do something pleasant each day, then we can create an aura of joy and creativity around us. As we relax and drop the seriousness, we can become more playful and in this spirit give joy to others. Sometimes we need to identify what we fear about love or relationships and address this fear.

Sometimes we need to identify something that we are not accepting about ourselves and learn to love our whole self. How can we be available for love with others when we are rejecting a part of ourselves? Finally, spiritual faith can also be a source of strength. Attracting more love into our lives means focusing on existing relationships or fostering new relationships. Smiling at someone, extending an invitation, lending a helping hand, or complimenting someone are all things we can do to consciously attract more love into our lives.

Dr. Christa Suerken – www.christasuerkenpsyd.com

# 8. Receiving love starts with loving yourself

Cynthia Pickett

It is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind!! It is so easy to live a life of “got to’s” and “have to’s”, “I’ve got to do this” or “I’ve got to do that”, “I have to work 12+ hours per day or else.” It is so easy to start to define success in terms of money, possessions, and status. If you find yourself in the rat race revolving around deadlines, money and “success”, then you are already off track to receiving love.

Receiving love starts with loving yourself! Receiving love from yourself! If you are pushing yourself and not living a balanced live complete with fun, having relaxed time (and knowing how to relax), a solid eight hours of sleep per night, daily exercise (not at a gym but outdoors), and eating healthy organic food, then it would be very hard to attract and receive love. I know that list seems long and impossible but it is not! Without all of these things in your life on a pretty consistent basis (75%-80% of the time) you are not loving yourself.

I know a young lady who is in an Ivey League graduate program. The culture in the school and her chosen profession is to work, work, work, go, go, go. Sometimes 16-24 hours per day depending on the deadline. The expectations are “this is what you have to do in order to achieve.” This young lady has been totally plugged in to the rat race. She quickly drove herself in to an emotional and physical mess! Ask yourself, is driving yourself to the point of exhaustion an act of self-love? When this young lady began to find balance and back away from the culture of “got to’s”, the quality of her work improved! She found that the work she produced while living in a balanced state received accolades and the work she labored over, with little sleep and no balance was good but not outstanding.

We all function better when living in a balanced state! Balance is receiving love, care and kindness from ourselves. If you cannot receive love from yourself, how are you going to receive it from others?

Cynthia Pickett, LCSW, LADC – www.cynthiapickett.com

# 9. Understand that the source of more love begins with you

Sally Leboy

There are two major forces that drive us. One force is the drive for independence; the other is the drive for connection. To lead a healthy life, these two drives must balance and co-exist. Finding this balance can be a major challenge.

I have always found it ironic that throughout our childhoods we are pulling away from relationship. Healthy families support their children’s need for independence. It could be said that the hallmark of a healthy family is one that creates an environment in which each individual member can flourish and grow. Part of that growth is to become self-sufficient. By and large that means leaving the nest at a reasonably young age having cultivated the skills to live on one’s own. Then (here’s the irony) we turn around and put a tremendous amount of energy into finding a life partner.

I think that people who have a positive sense of self are more open to love. Also people who felt valued as children tend to feel safer about opening up to others. Their family of origin experience was positive, so they enter relationships with more trust. These lucky people like and care for themselves and they feel deserving of love. They are in contrast to people who think they are the only ones who deserve love. Those people are narcissists. Steer clear.

In functional families, the parent (s) instill love and self-respect in their children. They treat their children with love and the result is people who feel entitled to be happy. For most people, part of being happy is to connect with a loving partner. I have never seen a person with a strong, positive sense of self in a relationship with a partner who treats them badly. If you love yourself, you will expect to be loved (and to give love).

So, as with most things, the source of more love begins with you. If you struggle with self-esteem do something about it. Examine the roots of your insecurity and work to replace the negative messages with positive and affirming messages. Therapy is very helpful in this process. If you choose a partner based on a negative self-image, you will likely be in a relationship where you aren’t valued. You will recreate your childhood experience. It is worth the work and investment to give yourself (and your children) more.

Sally Leboy, MS, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com

# 10. Start thinking about how to become available and open

Dr. Annie Ready Coffey

Are things rocky in your relationship? Do you wonder what makes it so hard to be on the same page about what you and your partner choose to prioritize, let alone what makes it so difficult to be in the same (amorous) mood at the same time?

Whether you are in the position of your partner being eager to show you more love or you are the one who wants your partner to receive more love, I want to risk saying that you have a “good problem.” But, it is also a problem that you both need to take seriously.

You don’t want to end up like two ships passing in the night. Or, worse still, in this increasingly over-scheduled world, you don’t want to become the hotel clerk for each other where all you do is glibly check-in at the counter and move up to your separate hotel rooms to re-engage with your Wi-Fi lovers.

It takes two attentive and mindful people to change things. Love is about reciprocating. If you’re in a relationship where you are always giving love, take heed. There is a danger of being perceived of as smothering, intrusive, or dependent. If you’re having trouble receiving love, be careful you don’t dry up the attraction juices, dissipate the pheromones, or block the natural physical flow.

The primal need to hunt and be hunted is in the Love Dance. (Check out mating rituals on The Nature Channel if you need reminding.) So, if one of you needs to receive more love, start thinking about how to become available and open. You and your partner might appreciate the now classic Five Love Languages book by Gary Chapman on exploring how each of you most likes to show love and receive love. It’s full of practical advice and ideas.

Chapman suggests things like: If you prefer to show love through physical acts ranging from hugs and kisses to making love, but your partner prefers to show love by engaging in acts of service (by, let’s say, repairing the car windshield on his or her “light” work day), then (effectively) use this knowledge about one another!

Why not establish a mutual goal by playfully setting up a token economy to make sure each of you “gets credit” for expressing your love language? I bet, once you change the way you do things, by becoming more attentive and mindful, figuring out how to spend those earned points will be a piece of (room service) cake!

Dr. Annie Ready Coffey – www.replenishmentandchange.com

# 11. Just ask

Sharon Huey

Two not-so-simple words: just ask.

If it were that easy, we’d all be asking and we’d all be feeling loved, right?

Practically, it’s not as easy at it sounds. Receiving and therefore “feeling” love can be tricky because we give and receive love in different ways (5 Love Languages, anyone?) and even in asking we’re not guaranteed that someone will respond to our request.

And then, there are tons upon tons of barriers we’ve put up for ourselves as a result of all the times we have asked for help and been rejected. Here’s an example: Harry feels the most loved when he’s physically connected to Sally, be it a hand on his arm, a back rub, or sexual intimacy with her.

In those moments her love helps him feel needed, wanted and loved. But whenever she says she’s too tired or not in the mood, PLUNK – another rock is added to Harry’s barrier wall. The higher Harry’s walls, the more resistant he is to asking her again. And if he doesn’t ask, she’ll never know how much he really wants to connect and feel loved by her.

In these moments, the best thing Harry can do is turn towards Sally and share his experience and hurt feelings with her, not blaming her, but striving to be honest with her. It might sound something like this: “Sally, I had such a hard day at work today. I feel so sad/hurt/afraid because I wasn’t able to finish my project. I really need you. Will you help reassure me that I’m still competent because I’m not feeling that right now.”

If Sally were to respond positively to Harry’s request, he would feel loved, understood, and heard by the woman who cares about him the most. She, in turn, would feel valuable, worthy, and sought-after by the man who trusted her with his vulnerability.

Building to a moment like this requires the courage to be vulnerable and perseverance to push through times of feeling like you “didn’t do it right.” In the end, if we want to receive more love we must be humble and open to actually receiving it once it gets there. Practicing asking from others in a honest and humble way places us in that posture and helps us regardless of whether we receive from others or not.

Sharon Huey, M.S. MFTi – www.sharonhuey.com

# 12. Start by acknowledging definitions or expectations of what love looks like

Laura-M.L.-Rinset

Many people who thrive in their professional lives can sometimes feel baffled at why they’re not having the same success within their romantic relationship. The question then becomes how does one get the love they want? It starts with redefining what success in one’s love life looks like. This means using different definitions of success than what one might use to measure the success of his or her professional life.

Becoming stuck on a particular definition of what it must look like for a person to really care or love them limits their capacity to receive love. For example, I have heard women commonly complain, “If he really loved me then he would buy me flowers.” My response is often, “Does he know you like flowers, have you ever asked him to buy you flowers, and what other things do you think he does to show that he loves you?”

Instead of measuring and defining the success of one’s relationship by how many times your partner buys you flowers one could notice how many times your partner responds to a request in a kind loving way or has adjusted to your busy schedule without complaining. In a fast-paced and competitive workplace generally once a person is fully trained there is the expectation that the person knows what is expected and if he or she fails to deliver or continually makes mistakes they are either demoted or fired. However, holding that same standard for your partner is not helpful or conducive to a long-term loving partnership.

A successful healthy partnership requires more communication about needs, how those needs can be met, and includes each person accepting how the other person meets those needs. For example, the partner may not have had a chance to buy flowers, but he or she may have brought in the person’s favorite take-out food. In the workplace, it’s unambiguous: the person either completes the deliverable or service correctly or they don’t. In a relationship everyone brings their own concepts of how to love. People often deprive themselves moments of receiving love because of being stuck on how it “should” look. To receive more love includes acknowledging definitions or expectations of what love looks like, expanding or redefining those definitions, and being open to accepting others’ acts of love even if they don’t resemble how you would show them love.

Laura Rinset, MS, LMFT – www.laurarinsetlmft.com

# 13. Relax and receive

Dr. Tammi Baliszewski

The bottom line is we can only manifest what we believe we deserve. In order to attract and receive more love, we have to expand our “love container” and our ability to hold it.

All of us have a subconscious barrier, glass ceiling or “upper limit” to how good we can stand it to get. The upper limit problem is the human tendency to put the brakes on when we exceed our unconscious thermostat setting for how good we can feel, how much happiness we can handle, and how much love we can let in. The essential lesson we need to master is to relax and receive more and more positive energy.

When I realized this, I started a meditation practice. I inwardly focused on expanding my love container by repeating this mantra: “Relax and receive.” When I felt I could really appreciate and receive love from a great man, I set my intention to attract him. I created a list of all of the wonderful qualities this man would possess: He is generous, thoughtful, considerate, and loving. He adores me, appreciates me, and dotes on me. About a week later I met this incredible man.

Though I got what I asked for, I was uncomfortable sitting in the presence of his adoration, kindness, and love. It was so different than my past relationships, and extremely unfamiliar. I was not sure what to do with it. I felt like a dog who had chased the tire, and now that I caught it, I was not sure what to do with it!

As my heart pounded and my head spun, I recited my mantra “relax and receive, relax and receive.” As I did this, I felt my energy shift, I calmed down, and I starting relaxing and receiving.
Pushing, ambition and DOING, may serve us in our career endeavors, but they do not serve us in manifesting and sustaining a healthy relationship. That comes from relaxing, graciously receiving, and BEING.

I have since married this amazing man, and am comfortable basking in his love. I continue to expand my love container to this day with my mantra, and it continues to improve my life in every way. Law of attraction dictates as we relax and receive, it is guaranteed we will attract more love, greater peace, and deeper fulfillment.

Dr. Tammi Baliszewski, www.tammibphd.com

# 14. Follow the 4 tips below

Dr. Giselle Leon Jimenez

Giving and receiving love is a learned behavior. We learn how to love and get it as we come into the world. “Love maps and patterns” are learned in the first five years of life. This is a very Froidian concept, however, it’s proven generation after generation. First of , ask yourself a series of processing questions that will make you think about the issue in an objective manner:

1- What does love mean to me ?
2- Who do I want to love and be loved by ?
3- When will I know I love and I am loved ?
4- Why Love? Do I feel love or do I think love ?

Prioritize your love time. Careers , money and success must be balanced while in the pursuit of love. This is easier said than done, but, if you do not balance it out it might become stressful to juggle all items at once. Keeping up with romantic love, family love even the love for your friends is an important and healthy lifestyle choice. Loving , being in love and receiving love makes us feel good physically, psychologically and socially. How to cultivate the habit of love :

1- Prioritize your human relationships and yourself
2- Do not be afraid to love and be loved in the way that you deserve it
3- Set love goals : cultivate new friendships , new relationships , you can even get a pet !
4- Remember your childhood : what loves felt good to you / keep those love styles

Last but not least , please open yourself to love. Love is everywhere, you just have to look at it in the eye and welcome it without fears. If love hurts you, let it hurt and allow yourself to also process that experience. Just remember, love will happen again.

Dr. Giselle Leon Jimenez – www.leonfamilytherapy.com

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