Love can feel like risky business…will we lose ourselves in the process? Open ourselves up to depend on another only to be rejected or abandoned? What would that say about us if it happened, that we are not worthy or not good enough? No wonder we want to protect ourselves!
Rumi makes a very wise point: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it”
There are all sorts of reasons we might build barriers against love, sometimes consciously, sometimes without even knowing it. Barriers can develop from what we have seen and experienced in our families, past relationships, and popular culture. Yet, in the effort maintain these barriers, to protect ourselves, to avoid being alone or to maintain a sense of control, we limit our ability to connect with others.
It’s easy to point fingers where relationships are concerned and even easier to keep focused on the other person and what he or she needs to change, instead of looking inside ourselves. Ideally your partner would make some changes too (or make all the changes your heart desires), but realistically that is not something you can control. In staying other-focused, it’s easy to avoid looking at ourselves, where we do have some control.
By getting to know and learning to accept ourselves for who we are, weakness, strength and all, we can spend less time trying to prove our worthiness or seeking love from another in order to feel okay and instead begin to transform our barriers into bridges.
What are some of the barriers that might prevent you from being available for love?