How Much Love…

love copy“How much love have you let in today?”

That question crossed my path and stopped me in my tracks. Reading the article by Cheryl Eckl that followed the question hit me like a ton of bricks: giving love to others is only half the equation.

Being a good giver but a poor receiver of love makes me in part affectionately impoverished. I am so much better at expressing my feelings to others, but not nearly so good at receiving affection. Talk about a ‘lick up side the head”! No wonder there has always been a lack in my heart.

To let love in, you have to be vulnerable. Not a familiar or comfortable state, especially for us Westerners. Even if we walk softly through life, we still carry a big stick in the form of inner defenses, resistances, psychological walls, and separations. Social media make avoiding actual people quite easy, so that creating real, honest, heart-felt, physical connections is not something we do well. Because to be that open means that we might get hurt or inconvenienced. Or we might be exposed for the frauds we may secretly suspect that we are.

It’s a crummy way to live. And yet, we’re so accustomed to being closed off that we don’t even notice. That is, until somebody asks, “How much love have you let in today?” Then we have to stop and examine whether we even know how to open up. Do we really know what love is? And what happens if we actually let it in?

Allowing ourselves to be touched by another’s differences is to be truly open and powerfully vulnerable. Parents are often really sweet in accepting the crude drawings of a child, knowing them to be an imperfect expression of perfect love. But somehow we lose that generosity as we age, forgetting that inside each of us remains a child who wants her gift to be cherished and pressed to the heart of the one she loves.

It may be more blessed to give than to receive. But if we fail to receive what others uniquely and affectionately offer us, the circle of love is incomplete. The heart’s door must swing both ways if we are to find wholeness—if we are to ever live life to the fullness that a loving Universe longs to give. Taken from “A Beautiful Grief” by Cheryl Eckl http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-grief/201111/how-much-love-have-you-let-in-today

To expound any further would delude the impact a simple question had on me today. “How much love have I let in today?” will become a permanent part of my toolbox for better living. I am grateful to now have such a useful implement!

Treasure the love you receive above all.
It will survive long after
your good health has vanished.
Og Mandino