Allowing Love, Insights From A Retreat

Allowing Love

Photo Compliments of www.freeimages.co.uk

I spent another exciting weekend at Edwene Gaine’s retreat this past weekend.  The topic was ‘Goals, Dreams and Visions’.  Now that I’ve had some time to process what came up for me over the weekend, I wanted to share it with you.  Hopefully, anyone who seems to have some of these same issues will benefit from this as well.

I have been going to these retreats every month since October – or at least every month that Edwene has offered one.  And I have gotten a lot out of them.  They have changed my life more than words can express.  But, each time, I’ve come away feeling as if something was missing.  That I didn’t quite get everything I was supposed to get.  I wasn’t sure what or why, but something just didn’t seem satisfied.

The last couple of retreats I’ve invited someone else to go with me and they have.  I’ve opened up my heart a little more.  It has been eye-opening for me as well.  I never dreamed that letting someone else in, being more vulnerable, being more open, and sharing more of myself could have such a big effect on every area of my life.

I’ve prided myself on liking myself enough to be ok alone.  I truly enjoy spending time alone.  I am an introvert and I love myself deeply.  I love others as well and thought I was being open, loving, caring, etc. when I was around them.  I’m sure I was, but I wasn’t letting them into my own heart.  I was trying to give and send out to them, but I wasn’t allowing the love to come back.  I was not being a good receiver.

I felt that they weren’t sending it, but what I realized this weekend is that they can’t send the love to me if I’m not open to receiving it.  I didn’t realize, until now, that I had been turning down their love.  Not on a conscious level, but somewhere deep in my soul, I was rejecting their love.

I won’t go into all the reasons why I was rejecting their love – that’s a story for another post, but I do want to share how this has affected me.  I realized, after much help from several of my friends – both new and old, that I felt invisible.  No one ever seemed to notice that I was even in the room.  How can I feel their love if it’s as if they don’t even know I’m there?  How can they even send me love if they don’t even acknowledge that I’m there?

During this last retreat, I felt more visible.  People not only knew that I was there, but they acknowledged me and heard me for the first time.  They responded to me and showed me more love and attention.  So, I started looking for reasons as to what changed and how I can build on that for the future.  Not only the next time there, but for everywhere I go.  Why are some people noticed and remembered while others are not?  More importantly, how can I make myself more noticed, more visible, more remembered, more loved?

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not an attention whore.  I dislike attention whores.  I don’t want to be perceived as even a little bit  that way.  I think right now I am at the other extreme. I’m not dying for everyone’s attention, love, etc.   I didn’t even realize that it was missing and I certainly didn’t care.  I thought I was perfectly content without it.  But, I feel that my inability to be seen by others, or be noticed,  is the one thing that is keeping me from my abundance in all things.   Being loved, and KNOWING that you are, can be the difference between an existence and living life to the fullest.  I know that I am lovable, so why don’t I feel that others love me?

I feel the need to clarify that too.  I am not dying for someone’s love and attention.  I do feel loved.  My family and friends love me.  I KNOW that.  I feel very loved.  But, to be successful and have the abundance that I desire, I want to be noticed as a kind and giving person to every one I meet.  I want anyone who meets me to immediately feel my love and feel the need to send me love in return.  Please hear how I am defining love – divine love, where the God in me connects with the God in you –  I wasn’t feeling that everywhere I go.

I was doing my best to give to others in the only way that I knew how, but I didn’t feel that people were receiving my love, my time, my gifts, my knowledge, my wisdom or anything else I might have to give.  How can you give something away if people won’t receive it?  And how could that have anything to do with me?

I’m not sure I have all the answers to those questions yet, but I do feel that I’m on the right track.  I made GREAT strides to find those answers this weekend.  I stepped completely out of my comfort zone.  I did things I would have never dreamed of doing when I first started going to the retreats.

The main thing that I changed?  I started asking for what I need.  I  started opening myself up and becoming more vulnerable and letting others see the real Cindy.  I thought I was doing that before, but there was always a part of me that I kept hidden.  I didn’t even realize that I was hiding it.

I finally realized this when I needed to ask for help from someone.  It really scared me to ask for their help, but I wasn’t sure why it was so scary.  When I started looking for the reasons for the fear, I realized that there was a part of me that I didn’t want that person to see.  When I asked myself why I didn’t want her to see that part of me, I realized that there was no good reason.  The part of me I was trying to hide really didn’t exist anyway.  I knew the truth about me and my fears were not based on the truth, but on what I THOUGHT she would think about me – not who I really was, but how she might perceive me to be.

I realized that if I became more open and honest and let the real me come out then she would have no choice but to see the truth and not perceive me any other way.  It’s only when I try to hide the real me because I’m afraid of someone else’s judgment, that others can’t show me their love. Only because, in my hiding, I can’t receive it.

The funny thing I’m now noticing is that the things that make others not notice us, or worse yet, not like us, is because we are trying to hide something that we think they won’t like.  When, if we didn’t care if they didn’t like it, they would more than likely see the truth about who we really are and would not be able to keep from liking us.

For example, somehow I got it in my head when I was younger that I needed to be smart.  Being ‘not smart’ was not an option.  So, I want, on a subconscious level, for others to think I’m smart.  The best way for me to do that is to keep my mouth shut so that no one knows just how ‘not smart’ I am.  The truth is that I really am smart.  I don’t claim to be the smartest person around, but I am fairly smart.  Enough that it wouldn’t keep others from liking me and they certainly wouldn’t think I’m not smart.  Once I get that truth into my subconscious, I will not be afraid to open my mouth around others.  Therefore, I will not be invisible.

How does this stinkin’ belief hurt me?  Because by keeping my mouth so shut and pretending to be even smarter than I am, others may feel intimidated by me. Or worse yet, they may feel shut off by me.  I become unapproachable, which is the LAST thing I want to happen.  All because I had that stinkin’ thinkin’ buried in my brain – in my subconscious.  How can they give love to someone they can’t even approach?

For me, sometimes the awareness is enough to fix the stinkin’ thinkin’.  I hope, in this instance, that’s all it takes.  I will be more consciously aware now to not keep my mouth shut.  Others may benefit from what I have to say.  I DO have a voice and I CAN help others with what little smarts I might have.  They may see that I don’t know everything there is to know.  And that’s ok too. I do not know it all nor do I want to, because then I would be bored.

I will make an honest effort to not only be open and approachable and let others in, but I will invite them to come in and play around in my heart.  There is a lot of room in there and it’s been shut off way too long.  I had built this wall around it and didn’t even realize that it was happening.  I learned long ago that allowing my heart to open means that it can be hurt badly.  The hurt can be in direct proportion to the amount of love I allow to flow through my heart.  Loving deeply means risking being hurt deeply.  I’ve experienced both.  I have to say loving deeply is worth the risk.   I thank my friends – new and old – for reminding me of that this past weekend.

I mean this more than ever…

MUCH Love,

Cindy

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