If you ask anyone what they most want in life, most will say love, right? Yet, many people who ultimately want to be in a relationship aren't actually ready to give (or even receive) love.
For instance, when I ask my clients if they would be ready for a relationship if the man or woman they were meant to be with showed up on their doorstep today, the majority (perhaps surprisingly) say no.
The good news is that people who admit this are self-aware. Though people's reasons for not being ready for love vary. Some have an inner wisdom that they have more personal growth to do, others are just plain scared of commitment. The list goes on.
The bad news is that the power of our thoughts also has a negative side. Self-doubt and other negative thoughts can lead us to believe stories that don't lend themselves well to fulfillment and happiness.
But on the other side of the coin, we can choose to tap into our inner well of wisdom, figure out what it is that we want, and realize that the beliefs we hold can expand — rather than limit — our perspective and experience.
So close your eyes. Tap into your inner knowledge and ask yourself, Am I ready for love? What would your answer be?
I have grappled with this question. I've done a lot of healing work on myself since my last relationship, and have arrived at a place of quiet confidence, what some might think of as true self-love. I feel ready for love. But how does one really know they are ready for love?
Well there isn't a definitive answer. But there are a few signs that can indicate you have the foundational elements in place. In fact, the three "signs" I've identified below can perhaps better be thought of as the three non-negotiable truths you must be able to say to yourself and believe before you can answer whether you're ready for love.
1. "I no longer play the blame game."
Most of the time, our go-to defense when we feel hurt is to blame the person who "wronged" us. It is so normal to have this knee-jerk reaction; the ego mind can project that the problem is out there, rather than seeing that our reaction to the situation is actually showing us something about ourselves. This keeps us safe.
But, in truth, all humans are essentially walking film projectors. The light we shine onto the film of our lives comes from a deeply internal, often untapped root system of beliefs within us. It is through this illumination that our minds make meaning of our experiences.
When we are in a relationship, we experience our internal world outside of ourselves. In all of our reactions to our partner, we catch a glimpse of our internal belief systems. In essence, our partners act as a screen on which we project all of our "issues" — both the positive and the negative.
When we're stuck in the blame game, we aren't ready to own these parts of ourselves and will have a more difficult time creating a healthy relationship because we will be stuck in blame.
If you truly see that you are no longer stuck in blame's snares, there's a good chance you believe you're ready for the type of relationship you deserve.
2. "I trust — and accept — myself when I feel difficult emotions."
I'm not sure about you, but I woke up human this morning. I keep waiting for the day when I wake up superhuman, but so far that hasn't happened. Emotions — even the difficult, ugly ones — are part of the human experience.
It is inevitable (and normal) that uncomfortable feelings will arise in and out of relationships. In relationships, they often come up because people we love can trigger us most. It's OK to feel all of this; what matters most is what you do with these feelings.
Difficult emotions are great teachers. If we know this, we can listen to their sage wisdom. If you already use your feelings as teachers — rather than sublimating them by shopping, eating, drinking, or one of the many other ways we escape — beautiful! This will make your future relationship an inspiring experience for you.
3. "I know, deep down in my core, that I am already complete."
There's a lot of talk about self-love out there. I love that this is such a focus (especially in the wellness world). Everyone everywhere should really want to love themselves.
The kind of self-love and completeness I'm talking about doesn't come from repeating affirmations or mantras or sticking Post-it Notes of love on your bathroom mirror. Those are all fine things to do, but true self-love doesn't take force or convincing. It's a quiet knowing that comes from seeing and accepting all of who you are, the light and the dark parts of you.
So do you believe these truths? If so, you can now ask yourself again, Am I ready for love?
Don't let fear hold you back. Open up to the fact that your beliefs may be limiting your experience; similarly, self-trust may just be what you need to open up to the possibility of something beautiful. You deserve beautiful, deep and fulfilling love.
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