Have you ever noticed how our perception of the world shifts when we are in love? Or when we feel safely loved? And how different it is when you are experiencing a hurt or a rejection? Our inner state determines so much about how we perceive the world, how we perceive others. When we lose a sense of being loved, appreciated, safely held, we switch into a survival consciousness in which the world is an unsafe place and we need to be vigilant, aggressive or defensive, and fearful. We need to be prepared to defend ourselves. This builds energetic walls between people and then we are simply relating through our defensive postures and positions. Thankfully we have a true yearning for love and connection. If we have experienced enough violation that we don’t trust love then we may not consciously experience the yearning for love. It may scare us or make us feel cynical or defend against love. Because the presence of love brings a softening, a sweetness, a tenderness and that might make us feel vulnerable or have many associations with hurt, betrayal and all the myriad of other heart wounds.

We can never force our hearts to open, force ourselves to put down our defenses. Not only would we fail but it would be uncompassionate. It is far more effective and compassionate to bring curiosity and understanding to our protective aspects. Because these protections really did serve us and think they are still needed.

We could ask a simple repeating question:

What is right about not trusting love?

Ask the question over and over and keep allowing your responses to be spontaneous. Or have someone ask you the question over and over and spontaneously answer. You might be surprised by what arises when you stop censoring.

Then you might ask the question:

Tell me something that stops me from loving myself unconditionally?

Do the same thing. Let the answers flow.

Maybe you think you need to earn love, or you are not good enough, or you think it will make you weak and soft. But there are many responses and no right or wrong responses. Only your own truth.

Make up your own questions. The point is to open to exploring both how love feels and how you defend against love. Because we all do to some extent. We have all been hurt, betrayed and abandoned. But remember, love is our nature and our deepest yearning is to return to the purity and innocence of who we are. And who we are is love.