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Personal Transformation

The Barriers We Build Against Love

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    As children we needed to be loved. We were entirely dependent on the adults around us, so the way they acted towards us - and each other - has had a big impact on how we show up to love as adults.

  • Reflect On:

    What are some of the barriers you put up that stop you from feeling your own love? At what age were these barriers to love created and why?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi

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Many people are still looking for their ‘other half’, venturing out on more and more dates, casting the net wider until they find someone to complete them. And when it doesn’t work out just as they planned, they jump back onto their smartphones, ‘unfriend’ the offending partner and swipe themselves another one.

--> Our latest podcast episode: Were humans created by extraterrestrials? Joe sits down with Bruce Fenton, multidisciplinary researcher and author to explore the fascinating evidence behind this question. Click here to listen!

And yet many of us also know that, deep down, another human being is never going to be able to make us whole and that the fairy tale of meeting our Prince/ss Charming is just that – a fairy tale. We understand that true love comes from within and when we love ourselves – fully – only then can we truly love another.

This is great, in theory, because for many of us, self-love stuff is still very much an intellectual concept that we strive to reach in the same way that some people strive to meet someone new when their last relationship hits a wall. Striving for self-love is not the essence of self-love. Discovering the barriers to love may well be what we need.

Barriers to love

Rumi is rumoured to have said that our task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against it. It’s likely that he knew a thing or two about life and love. Self-love can be tricky – sure, we get it, intellectually. We know it’s necessary to “love ourselves” but aside from eating healthier, daily exercise and spending more time doing the things we love, it can be hard to get over that ultimate hurdle.

So what is it that gets in the way? What are these barriers that Rumi speaks of and why are they there at all?

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We all have them. They’re made up of the internal voices that tell us that we “don’t deserve to be loved and happy”. Or that there’s something intrinsically ‘wrong’ with us. That we are somehow ‘broken’ and if anyone actually found out the truth about us they would surely leave us.

These barriers to love are constantly running in the background; a low hum that unconsciously speaks to everything we do, every action (and inaction) we take. Unlike the self-loving ‘apps’ that we consciously choose (weekly yoga sessions, salad and connecting with friends), these barriers form a part of our internal ‘operating system’ and are generally in shadow for us.

What you realize is, we don’t need to go out and love ourselves, we already do, we simply need to take down the barriers blocking that.

We Are Not Born With These Barriers

Not one of us came into this world with pre-erected barriers to love; it’s learned behaviour. We learned them from the adults around us at the time. We might have learned that ‘love’ was scary and shouty, or that if you love someone it should be dramatic. We might have learned that ‘love’ was silent, sulky and certainly not communicated through affection.

What was happening around you as a child has likely informed your decisions about the type of partner you choose as an adult. Repeating patterns are not always pleasant, but they’re certainly familiar.

In addition to how we saw the world and what we learned about love when we were children, we were also extremely vulnerable. Something as subtle as having overly critical or emotionally unavailable parents can have a big impact on who and how you are as an adult. Through little eyes, the world can look like a dangerous place and it’s likely that you employed protection strategies that may have stopped you from getting hurt, emotionally or physically.

Creating a tough outer shell or a sentinel-like vigilance may have been necessary when you were 3 feet tall, but how is that working for you now? How are the protective behavioural patterns you employed as a child serving you in your life as an adult?

In my own life, I have sometimes struggled to connect fully; to really let my partner in. My experience as a child taught me that loving relationships were not easy and they wouldn’t last. So as an adult, it felt safer to never let anyone come too close, in case the same thing happened again.

All the self-loving actions in the world couldn’t compete with my unconscious internal message that love was unsafe and ultimately destined to end.

Whilst it may sound quite depressing; on the contrary, I have found it to be massively empowering. As I now know this about myself, I can make a decision when I feel myself withdrawing, I can choose to come closer and to see this as a pattern that was created many years ago in order to protect me – it’s not who I am. Because of this, I am now so much closer to my current partner.

Discovering your personal barriers to love

It’s taken me many years to discover my own barriers to love and I’m still uncovering more and more layers of the onion each day. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to discovering what’s getting in the way of you and the love you deserve, but there are proven tools and techniques that can help. My most recent ‘ah-ha’ moment came whilst taking part in an online workshop known as the Groundwork.

Collective Evolution readers get 25% off the standard price and you will get to learn more about some of the tools and techniques I used at www.dothegroundwork.com (use the coupon code: collective to get your 25% discount).

When you discover your unique barriers to love, know that you created them a long time ago with your own best interests and safety at heart. Dissolve them with the love they were created with; acknowledging and thanking the little one, that still lives inside you, for being there and for doing the best they could when things got tough.

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Consciousness

4 Key Steps To Heal From Any Kind Of Trauma

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7 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Trauma can be seen as stress that has been trapped in the body. It can affect our daily life in many ways, and given our neuroplastic brain, trauma can create undesirable habits if gone unchecked.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you feel consistent stress? Perhaps unexplainable low energy? Feeling as though you are on edge for no reason? This could be a sign of a body and nervous system stuck in a trauma trained pattern.

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Trauma can be challenging, but the moment we are willing to do work on it is the moment that so much potential for healing and growth opens up. The more aware we are of the bigger picture, the less we suffer.

As a general rule, the mind clings to negative, fear-based experiences as a biological survival mechanism. But when we can consciously step outside of our own stories, outdated beliefs, and personal perspective, we can empower personal transformation through self-awareness.

Below are some useful questions to ask yourself in different instances of trauma. They are designed to help clear your mind, open your heart, and begin the healing process.

1. Life Is About Evolution. Find The Lesson In Your Experience

The Big Bang has revealed a universe to us that is radically evolutionary. It is constantly growing, evolving, and developing, and has been for more than 14 billion years. Life is evolution. It is an ongoing process of transformation and conscious expansion. This is a natural law, and this means that from a higher perspective, all of the experiences in our lives are happening for us, not “to” us.

While things may create suffering on an egoic level, there is often a different layer of meaning from a higher perspective. You must be willing to look for the hidden order in your perceived chaos. Ask yourself:

What am I supposed to learn?

How did I play a part in the creation of this, and what habits or behaviours do I need to clear?

How can I grow from this?

These questions will take you out of a state of learned helplessness and begin shifting your mind to focus on the solution rather than the problem.

I recently worked with a client whose house burnt down. She was overcome with grief. While discussing the situation, she mentioned to me that it was also days within the ten-year anniversary of her husband’s death.

I asked her if she felt that the two situations were somehow connected. Right away, she mentioned that she had still kept all of her husband’s belongings in that house and their bedroom exactly the same, more than ten years later.

She also mentioned how consistently her family begged her to move on. One family member specifically said to her, “If you don’t let go and choose to move on, the universe will eventually force you to.” She felt that this was a lesson in moving forward in her life, and in letting go. She also knew that by holding on so tightly to the past, she was preventing new love and peace of mind from entering her life.

She knew it was time to let go, and as challenging as it would be, it couldn’t be more painful than spending every day trying to pretend that nothing had changed.

Finding the lesson is an important first step to opening our minds to the evolutionary process, and finding a higher meaning in the sequence of events occurring in our lives.

“The wound is the place where the light enters.”    – Rumi

2. See The Other Side

 Beyond simply learning from our experiences, we can also find the hidden benefits in all of the circumstances we are faced with.

Our beliefs and expectations will often create one-sided stories in our mind about whether events are good or bad. This often causes us to focus primarily on the drawbacks of unmet expectations. And yet the exact events that challenge us most in life often have the greatest unseen blessings embedded within them.

Ask yourself, “What are the unseen benefits of this traumatic experience?”

Based on the natural laws of duality that exist on our planet, this technique I’ve learned from Dr. Nima Rahmany in The Overview Method is very effective. It works to un-filter your selective perception so that you can see both sides in a traumatic situation.

Where are you being supported in the face of this challenge? How is this trauma actually supporting the things you care about most in your life?

If you are courageous enough, you will be willing to go directly into the challenges you face, open up your perspective, and do the work. The more benefits you find, the closer you will get to neutralizing the feeling of loss within yourself.

3. Look Beyond Your Perspective

There is a difference between pain and suffering. Pain is a feedback loop, while suffering is the story we create about the pain itself. It adds another layer to our pain

If someone else has hurt you, ask yourself: “Why, according to this person’s life story and perception of events, did this person feel justified in making their decision?”

Every single one of us makes a decision because the combination of our conscious + subconscious mind believes there are more benefits than drawbacks in that decision.

This means that everyone is always doing the best they can with what they understand at the time. And more often than not, the people who do the most careless or destructive things are often the ones hurting the most.

The same principle applies to you also, meaning that the notion of having regret is illusory. It is based on only being able to see the conscious mind’s perspective, putting us in a state of limited awareness. If we could open up the selective filter and see the bigger picture, we would find that the subconscious mind saw greater benefits in our decision at the time, that we weren’t consciously aware of.

In the words of Yehuda Berg, “Hurt people, hurt people.” With awareness and understanding, we can work to break the cycle.

4. Find What’s Missing

In the case of a traumatic loss, developed by Dr. John DeMartini:

All positive and negative particles in the universe are created simultaneously, in perfect one-to-one balance. We are made of these particles, and if these laws apply to all matter (in both quantum mechanics and classical physics), they must apply to the whole.

This perfect one-to-one balance exists within all things, but our senses create imbalanced perceptions. It is completely normal to become attached to the form of what we’ve lost, but it can be very healing to find where what we’re missing still exists in our lives.

Ask yourself, “What do I miss about who/what I’ve lost?”

For example, let’s say that you’ve lost a friend and you miss:

  1. His sense of humour
  2. Having deep conversations with him
  3. Playing video games
  4. His awesome hugs

Keep listing until you’ve covered all of the things you miss about that person.

Now, see where these things still appear in your life, but in different forms:

  1. Who do you laugh with now/who has a good sense of humour?
  2. Who do you have deep conversations with now?

Go through all of the traits that you’ve listed. Sometimes, you’ll have to look very carefully to open up your selective perception. The things you miss in your friend might not only come in the form of other people. For example, you might laugh with your aunt or siblings more often, but you might also find yourself watching more comedy television or funny videos.

If you look carefully, you will find that what you’re missing isn’t actually gone, it has only changed forms. Universal laws state that everything is always in a state of balance, a state of wholeness. While grieving is a necessary part of dealing with trauma, it is often the form we are attached to that creates the most suffering.

Then, what are the benefits of these new forms, that the old one didn’t have?

Some of these questions can be challenging to go through, but if you truly want to create transformation, they are well worth it.

Love yourself enough to do the work, ask the questions, and set yourself free. You deserve it.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Consciousness

Four Key Elements Of “True Love” According To The Teaching of The Buddha

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk explains the four key elements of "true love" according to the teaching of the Buddha.

  • Reflect On:

    Where does our idea of love come from these days? How much of it is influenced by pop culture? Is a relationship necessary to experience true love, is it something we can experience within ourselves and with our relationship with family and friends?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

What is love? What is ‘true’ love? Can it even be defined? Is it even dependant on being in a relationship with someone? Our idea of what true love is today may comes from a fairytale, movie, or reality TV show, and the definition has likely changed many times. But we all have certain conditions attached to our idea of what love is, or some sort of criteria drawn up for what our ‘perfect match’ would look like, and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. Perhaps true love is much more simple than popular culture would have us believe. As Thich Nhat Hanh (a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk) explains below, if there is love/kindness, compassion, joy, and inclusiveness, according to Buddhist teaching, you are experiencing true love. It’s pretty simple. True love doesn’t necessarily have to be something magical that sprung out of a fairy tale, although if that’s the case there’s nothing wrong with that either.

The main points taken from the video are that love and kindness have the power to create happiness.  When you are able to develop  feelings of joy and happiness in yourself, that’s true love, offered to yourself. If you can generate these feelings, and help the other person generate these feelings, that’s true love. So, if you are a source of joy and happiness for another, that is true love. True love is the capacity to make yourself suffer less, and help the other person suffer less. “There is an art of suffering. If you know how to suffer, you suffer much, much less.” Practice compassion and it will grow and if love does not generate joy, it’s not love. If love makes the other person cry every day, it’s not love.

It seems that “true love” can be a choice. You can choose to be in a relationship and cultivate these feelings with anybody. “True love is capable of generating joy for yourself and for the other person.” What do you think ‘true love’ is?

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Consciousness

9 Common Traits Among People Who Are Genuinely Happy

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Below is a list of common traits I've observed in people who are genuinely happy. It's a great list and something we can all learn and grow from.

  • Reflect On:

    Is happiness dependent on external factors, or is it something found within? These common traits have nothing to do with the material world, but more so represent changes we can all make within, a shift in consciousness.

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Happiness: the term thrown around more often than any other when people are asked what they aspire to most in life. A loving partner, a fun high-paying job, and endless world travel are also among some of the most common answers, but all of these are preference-based means to the one ultimate end, which is happiness.

Being so sought-after, I thought I’d put together a list of traits that seem to be common to happy people — and I’m talking about the genuinely happy people, not just those who appear to be so on the surface.

In compiling this list I’m not suggesting that these are the only keys to happiness; I simply hope to shed light on some common characteristics I’ve noticed happy people share. I am also not implying that happy people don’t experience moments and periods of unhappiness in their lives.

1. Love Themselves For Who They Are

On the surface this may sound incredibly egotistical, but I simply mean that they are truly comfortable in their own shoes. They accept and embrace their physical appearance, they maintain their true character traits regardless of whether or not they receive approval for them, and they work to make the best of the human experience they are living, rather than wallow in what others would define as weaknesses or shortcomings.

2. See Relationships as an Extension To, Rather Than the Basis Of, The Human Experience

Relationships, whether friendly, familial, or romantic, are certainly one of the greatest parts of the human experience. However, far too many of us let their presence or absence, and even more so the value we attribute to them, dictate our overall happiness in life. I’ve found that genuinely happy people tend to find complete contentment within themselves, and see all relationships as the awesome extension of their already complete self. It’s often when we are not looking for others to fill a particular void, or to make us feel a certain way, that most of our truest and most valuable relationships form.

3. Embrace Change

Life is a constant lesson and happy people tend to be well aware of that. Not only are they always open to change, but they truly listen to suggestions, respect and consider all opinions, and take criticism constructively rather than with offence.

4. Celebrate Rather Than Despair in the Accomplishments of Others

Jealousy is a killer, and as Gary Allan once said, “You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.” We are all capable of accomplishing anything in this life and are the only ones that are going to find the drive within ourselves to do it. Rather than observe and compare to those who have accomplished, the truly happy tend to celebrate those successes and use them as motivation to accomplish more within their own lives.

5. Never Dwell in Being a Victim

We’ve all been the so-called “victim” of several things in life, whether it be an unexpected breakup, job termination, or even domestic abuse. Truly happy people tend to be those who choose not to dwell in the feeling of having been wronged. They choose to let their difficult experiences strengthen them, rather than wear them as a badge of weakness or as the thing that makes them consistently worthy of receiving sympathy.

6. They Live in the Present

As fun as reminiscing about the past or fantasizing about the future can be, nothing will ever be done in anything but the present and happy people tend to realize that. Not only that, they use that knowledge as motivation to make the most of each and every moment. In addition to being motivating, presence can also come in handy for truly appreciating those moments of relaxation, allowing yourself to be truly in them rather than distracted by future concerns.

7. Trust That Everything Happens For a Reason

This can easily be paired with the choice against victimhood, but happy people tend to trust the process and existence of everything in their life. They know that nothing is ever too big to handle and choose to embrace what life is currently throwing at them rather than cowering at the sight of it or wallowing in self-pity.

8. They Don’t Let Money Dictate Their Lives

Nobody is denying that, in this world right now, we all need money to exist, and as a result, many of us spend the bulk of our lives doing things that help us earn it. What I’ve found sets happy people apart is that they don’t let money be the ultimate dictator in their life. They still make sensible choices within their means, but they never let money: A) prevent them from pursuing a so-called “risky” passion, B) be the factor that is blamed for why their life is so miserable, or C) complain about how little they have. There are creative ways to do everything in this world, and only recognizing and valuing the traditional ways of making money cripples that creativity.

9. Look Within For Solutions

One of the most powerful realizations a genuinely happy person will often operate based on is “change starts within.” The empowerment that comes with not only realizing this truth but also using it as the backbone to everything in life can be quite remarkable. There are thousands of books, mantras, techniques, and practices out there that can all help us to find solutions to so many things in life, but they all require one thing to truly be serviceable: the consciousness to support them.


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and to sign up to receive a copy of my free eBook.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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