If you don’t love more (and, by definition, you don’t), it’s probably due to one (or two) of two things: ignorance or fear.
You just don’t know better. If you did, you’d probably rise to that level. That’s why people claim that “everyone is doing the best they know how.”
On one hand, this barrier can be solved by simply providing information. That’s why we provide so many insightful explanations on this site, and will continue adding dozens more as we go along.
On the other hand, conscious understanding is far less important than deep, emotional, experiential comprehension. That’s why we provide Sliders, For Discussion topics, and Homework – so these concepts can work their way deep into your paradigms where they can make a difference.
Sometimes we DO know better, and we still don’t do it. Fear is probably to blame.
Fear is a POWERFUL emotion which the subconscious mind uses to discourage us from taking any risks. It’s like an overprotective parent who never lets their child grow up.
It’s like a terrifying monster who lives in your gut and roars into life whenever you consider stepping outside your comfort zone.
Lucky for you, love conquers fear. Get out there and put these lessons into practice. You may freak out at first, but once your love grows, fear will retreat until you’re not afraid of anything! What a wonderful way to live, don’t you think?
A subset of ignorance, our culture and our feelings propagate many myths about what love is and how it works. Conscious learning and contrary experience can wipe these out.
A subset of fear, we avoid the discomfort of effort or don’t believe that our efforts will pay worthwhile dividends. We obey our feelings rather than making mature choices and following through.
A subset of ignorance, our lack of maturity hides the fact that generous loving is far more satisfying than living a tiny life for only our own immediate interests.
A subset of fear, our past heart breaks make us fear to open our hearts try again. Repeated failure in love – betrayals, abandonment, disappointment, abuse, etc. – probably means we have something to learn, and it may be wise to learn to love more maturely first rather than hoping that next time, everything will magically turn out differently.
Really deep wounds may be healed by love, but they may prevent that sort of love from happening, so you may want to seek professional help to speed up your journey. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, try Heal Your Mind – a practical guide to speaking your brain’s languages and turning pain into power, a book I wrote recently to help you understand and work through difficult emotions.
If you simply can’t find anyone to love, you may either change your environment or change your perspective and love the people already around you.
If you’re looking for a romantic partner, go new places based on your values and interests where compatible partners may be found. Try online dating sites to quickly sort through thousands of options. Get to know yourself better and love yourself more and see how that changes the equation. See? There’s always someone you can love more!
If looking to love people in general and everyone seems to resist the idea, you may need to be the bold explorer who takes the first steps. If others are afraid to follow your example, don’t feel bad about challenging their position and point out, for example, that constant sarcasm is based on the fear of being more genuine and vulnerable.
Where do you fall on the “Love Barrier Types” love slider?
|1: Love is bad. It has hurt me again and again and I would rather be evil and miserable than try to love again!||3: Love is scary. I’ll love more as soon as it’s safe!||5: I wish I was a more loving person, but I’m not, and I can’t change.||7: Love is scary, but I’m willing to learn and improve by ability to give and receive love.||10: Love is infinite and I’m excited to become more and more loving with each passing year.|
What competing ideas about love do you see in the world? Which do you think are best and why?
If you could choose which culture to be born into based solely on the way they view and practice love, which would you choose? Why? Can you implement their cultural patterns into your life?
Choose one (or more) of your relationships and increase the amount or quality of love you invest in it. Observe how others respond, and how this changes you and them.
Next time you have an opportunity to bless someone but don’t feel like it, do it anyway. Afterward, ask yourself whether you’re glad you did.