There’s a well-known quote from Rumi. You probably know it. “Your task is not to seek for love, but to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
I’ve built many barriers to love over the years. Many I wasn’t aware of, and some I’m sure I’m still not fully aware of. Those barriers have affected my capacity to give and receive love in all its glory. Yet, this to me, is the task of inner self work. This to me is the mission of life – to become as open to love as I can. Why? So I can realise my fullest potential as a human.
“The things that keep us safe are the things that stop us experiencing love”.
Here are what I consider to be 5 big players when it comes to love barriers. There are more, but these are powerful, and if you can begin to remove these barriers, you will open your heart to love like you have never known before.
What are we afraid of when it comes to love? The most obvious answer to that is rejection. If we open ourselves to love, we run the risk of being rejected. And this is true.
We are not in control of someone else’s choice to say no to the love we have to offer, or to change their mind. We fear being hurt. We fear being overlooked. We fear even ourselves and not being enough.
Our walls of fear keep us just far enough away from love to not get hurt, but to also not experience it’s healing power and wonder.
This mindset tells you that there is either not enough to go around, or there is not enough to last. People treat love like it’s a finite resource. But the greatest thing about love is that It’s a renewable resource, better than water, wind or fire.
Love is an energy that does not run dry. People don’t fall out of love, they just lose a feeling, and then mistake the feeling for love. Love creates love.
When you are willing to not see love through a glass half empty mindset, and see love as a muscle that is strengthened every time we use it, you will never be worried about a lack of love.
Pain and expectation
No one likes the idea of pain. When another person stops choosing us or says no to us, we feel that choice as pain. It hurts. But here is the thing about pain. When we feel it, it is telling us something about ourselves.
Pain is a messenger. So unless you have no weaknesses, no vulnerabilities and are some kind of iron man, you will experience pain in life.
Love doesn’t lead to pain. Belief and expectation leads to pain. If you believe that someone should love you unconditionally forever, that is an expectation. And guess what, at some point you are going to feel that as pain. So when you build a wall against pain, made out of expectation, you will block the flow of love.
What if this person stops loving me? What if they cheat on me? What if they change their mind? What if I am not enough? These doubts build barriers to love from within, and where there are barriers, there is self protection.
When we doubt the power and strength of love, we start to build small barriers, just in case we need to make a quick escape. But the ironic thing is, these same barriers also restrict our ability to give and receive love.
Doubts are the little questions we continue to ask, that lead us to conclusions that cause us to doubt the very thing that we are looking for, and so we never really see it.
With a divorce rate of 50% and so many people experiencing relationship troubles, how could we possibly believe in love? They say that in a lifetime, many of us will experience 2 or 3 major love relationships. So if that is the case, we already have a preconceived mindset that love does not go the distance.
Whether you have one, two, three or more significant relationships in your life, or even if you have none, which is also true for some people, the belief that love does not last, will cause that very belief to manifest.
Love does not hurt us, people do
Our mission as men (and women) is to love each other with respect, with honesty, in truth and kindness. That is the strength and healing power of love.
Why bother with love anyway?
If you risk rejection, pain, abandonment, suffering and emotional heartache, why would anyone bother with love?
The answer to that I believe can be found in a quote from Rumi himself again when he says, “a life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.”