When I first met my now husband Noah, who I affectionately refer to as “Walking Love” for his great ability to give love fully and freely, my love quotient – my capacity for receiving love – was the size of a pea. Which meant that although I had finally manifested a man into my life that could offer the love that I had yearned for in other relationships, I was unable to let all the love in. At times, he and his love were so much to take in, that my stunted capacity to receive love would become completely overloaded.
Sure, I could allow bursts of love in – hand holding, public displays of affection, and his unconditional kindness and consideration felt so good to my love-starved heart. But there would always come a point where the love Noah gave reached a threshold that was way too much for me to receive and my internal system went haywire.
In these moments, even though my heart knew I had hit the jackpot of love, I did what any scared-to-death-of-real-vulnerability girl would do in this situation of love overload… find reasons NOT to like this man! Too bald, too many holes in his socks, not ambitious enough (by my over-achiever standards), whatever excuses my self-sabotaging subconscious could find to eject this love out of my life, and it found plenty to obsess about.
While I couldn’t see it at the time, the truth is that I was pushing out and blocking the very love my heart and soul craved. Why? Because I was scared to death.
It was like there was an emergency RED ALERT system that when Noah got too close, would trip a wire that activated a warning system that blasted, “Intruder on the premises! Security about to be breached!” Noah, because of his ability to offer love freely was about to get through walls that for many years, no man (or woman) had ever breached. He was becoming dangerously close to penetrating the deep layers of protection I had spent years building up around my heart to keep away any chance of being hurt. Until this point, however, I had no idea that these walls were there. A loving, smart, outgoing person with lots of friends and family, you never would have known either. My pea-sized love quotient at the time, unfortunately is about average in size.
We all build walls of protection – you, me, your sisters, friends, mother – because we’ve all been hurt. Our beautiful, loving, open hearts have at one time or another been tromped on, broken or betrayed and so our normal, and probably necessary action at the time, was to build walls, force fields, layers of protection around our hearts… resulting in the miniature, shrunken love quotients most of us walk around with. But there comes a time in each of our lives, when, if we truly want to experience love to the capacity we all yearn for deep inside, then we have to be willing to melt away the force fields, take down the walls, and slowly step forward to reveal ourselves, our hearts, our vulnerabilities, and our innocence to others…
It means opening up ourselves to RECEIVE more love,
which in turn allows us to FEEL more loved,
which then allows us to GIVE more love,
resulting in love quotients that grow to be as wide and vast and deep as the Grand Canyon.
Over the past 10 years, I have made a conscious effort to increase my ability to receive love. It has been my intention to create a life in which I am surrounded by love. This past month I celebrated my birthday, marking a decade of a commitment to self-love I made to myself, which I know is where all love starts. As I looked around my life and as I received all the love that came my way – from Facebook, to phone calls, to celebrations – I felt like a Rockefeller of Love. Wealthy beyond wealthy in love. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!
You too have the ability to increasing your capacity to receive love, to expand your love quotient, and like building any muscle, I recommend starting with smaller emotional practices and risks and building up over time, so that when the big kahuna of love walks in, you are ready to receive baby!
Stay tuned for the 5 steps that will open your heart to love and change your life!
Originally published March 2011.