I believe that the ability to receive, and then give love, is akin to sending and receiving radio signals over the radio. For those of you who have never delved into the fascinating world of telecommunications, this is an extremely basic explanation of how your radio works: Your radio host’s voice is converted into electrical signals at a certain frequency and transmitted through the air as radio waves, caught by your radio’s antenna, reconverted into sound and voila! You are listening to your favorite station. But here is the most important part: you have to be tuned into the right channel to hear it. If you are not on the right frequency, all you hear is static or some random channel in a foreign language.
Okay, so what does all this have to do with love? I believe that love works the same way as a radio. In order to receive love, we have to be tuned into the right channel to receive it. Now you might think, “Shouldn’t everyone be automatically tuned into love because who does not want to be showered with expressions of care, affection and respect?” Well, let’s try a little experiment.
I want you to read the following sentence as if I were saying this directly to you:
You are a beautiful human being.
What was your first reaction? Were you able to take in that sentence and feel an echo somewhere deep in your being, confirming it to be true? Or did you roll your eyes or smirk at the cheesiness of it? Or did you respond with all the reasons that statement is not true? If there was any resistance to that sentence, where is that resistance coming from? When did you learn that you were not a beautiful human being? And if you are not a beautiful human being, what are you?
Our core beliefs about ourselves, whether or not we believe we are beautiful human beings worthy of love, kindness and respect, dictate our interactions with others. If in the depth of your heart you have learned that you are too flawed to be loved and respected, it will be extremely difficult for you to accept evidence to the contrary. Our core belief is the station we are tuned into. Your partner can shout their love from the roof tops, or that great person you are meant for might appear, but because you are “tuned into” the wrong channel, it will be difficult for you to receive their message of love. And here is the kicker: most of us don’t even realize we are tuned into the wrong channel. We just get angry or sad that all we are receiving is static or something we are not interested in.
So how do we tune into love? Rumi, the famous Persian poet, once said,
“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.”
Listen to Rumi. Pay attention to how you respond to small gestures of love like a compliment or gratitude, or some wanted physical affection. If you feel any resistance to wholeheartedly accepting those gestures, you may not be tuned into love and your core beliefs probably need exploring. The combination of therapy and Kristen Kneff’s “Self-Compassion” were game changers for me but core beliefs can be changed in a myriad of ways that I will write about in another post. For now, take a deep breath and start fiddling with the dial so that you can start receiving those love signals that you so deserve.