There are so many expectations and such strong societal pressures to find “the one.” This quest can be overwhelming and scary, but the most important thing to remember is that you must open yourself up to love. You never know when you’ll meet “the one” and chances are, you’ll find him or her when you least expect it. Amy B. Scher, author of THIS IS HOW I SAVE MY LIFE, shares her tips on how to flow in the direction of love.
While many of us focus on the search for love, I’ve learned that our beliefs and expectations about love are sometimes the only challenge we actually have in the quest for it. After suffering through a chronic illness during my 20s, I came out on the other side totally well, but single and wondering how I’d ever find someone to accept all of me. Jay and I had been together almost the entire decade that I was sick; and our already-fragile relationship just couldn’t take the stress of what we had been going through. After I left Jay, I realized that I didn’t even know who my “type” even was. It was then that I began to examine what my preconceived ideas of love and relationship were, too—and decided to ditch them all. And it wasn’t long after that that I was in for the surprise of my life: falling in love with a woman!
It’s been almost another decade since that time in my life when everything was up in the air. I’m now happily married to Charlotte, the incredible woman I couldn’t never imagined meeting. And I have a full-time practice help others through healing of chronic illness; which often includes examining where in their lives they’ve been holding back. So much of the time, that includes being open to, and allowing, you guessed it–love.
Here are my top tips for being more open to love, even when it feels scary.
Tip #1: Ditch past expectations, requirements and agendas
Don’t focus on what you “thought” you were looking for or who you “thought” you’d marry, because it might just keep you from seeing the awesomeness of what’s right in front of you. Have you dreamed of a dark-haired blue eyed bride to rescue you from an unhappy family situation since you’ve been 15-years-old? Are you still 15? Do you even like dark hair anymore? Is finding love to be rescued still the best idea? While letting go of old requirements and agendas, focus on what in a relationship would make you feel wonderful, now. If you’re happily hitched, focus on what your partner does that shows you she loves you and stop focusing on what your partner is doing that doesn’t follow your 15-year-old ideals. Don’t punish yourself or your loved one for not meeting requirements you’ve always had. A healthy relationship does not consist of specific character traits of two partners–it’s an energy, a feeling. When you have it, you’ll know. If you’re not sure, you’re not there yet.
Tip #2: Let people love you, their way
People don’t always love you in the way you want them to. They love you the way they know. You don’t always get to choose. Of course, no one should remain in an abusive or toxic relationship, but if that’s not what you’re dealing with, it will only benefit you to have a little ‘give’ in the way you demand to be loved. We all have different abilities, capacities, and carry our own emotional baggage that gets in the way. We spend our lives trying to muddle through that and still love and be loved in the best ways we know how. The more you come to peaceful terms with allowing others to love you their way, the more awesome your love life will be.
Tip #3: Stop believing the world revolves around you
When we take things personally, whether while getting to know someone new, or during a long-term commitment, we strain our relationships. Every time your partner is upset, it’s not because you suck. It’s most likely because they think they suck in some way (remember, they believe the world revolves around them, too). We all like to think we’re the center of another’s Universe, but it doesn’t help anyone when we hold that belief. How can we be supportive to another person when it’s all about us? Stop for a minute when you get angry, defensive or agitated and decide to make a choice: that you won’t allow this to be all about you. In that instant, you’ll create the ability to love yourself and your partner more than you ever could before.
Finally, we must be able to sit through difficult emotions in order to be the most open hearted, loving people we can be. While that’s not always easy, I have a trick that will help.
Transformational Technique: Tap Your Thymus Gland to Release Difficult Emotions
When we experience difficult emotions, we tend to distract ourselves from them, closing ourselves off to personal growth and connection with others. The healthiest thing we can do with uncomfortable emotions, about who we are, how we feel about that, or what others think about us, is to move through them.
The thymus gland is the master gland of the body’s immune system and is located in the upper part of the chest, behind the breastbone. It sits right over the heart and is affected by emotional stress. The thymus is so powerful and so connected to the rest of the body’s energy system that it can be used as a tool for releasing difficult emotions.
When you are experiencing uncomfortable emotions, simply tap the thymus gland using your fingertips while you breathe deeply. Aim for about an inch below the notch in your neck, where a tie knot would be, and tap with three or four fingers on that general area. The percussion effect of the tapping will help to gently process the emotion out of your body. Don’t worry about tapping on the perfect spot because even if you are not directly over the gland, the vibration will create a powerful clearing and calming effect. You can tap for several minutes or until you are feeling relief from stress, anxiety, self-blame, and other emotions we are often plagued by.
Once you’re less of all those things, you’ll be more balanced, open, and ready to flow in the direction of love, without the encumbrances of heavy negative emotion.
If you’re able to lighten up a little and stretch your perceptions about what love should be, it’ll be easier than ever to find, sustain, and enjoy the relationships you’ve always wanted – including the most important one of all; with yourself.