BY JANET ONG ZIMMERMAN
You must flow in order for love to unfold naturally. Letting love unfold naturally isn’t about being passive and letting whatever is meant to be, happen. It’s actually about being active and takes self-awareness, self-reflection and a conscious approach.
Since we’re only human, we get in our own way at times, me included. In much of my love life, it was challenging for me to let things happen the way they were meant to. I approached love in ways that prolonged my disappointment and pain, keeping me from the love I desired. Perhaps you’ll recognize yourself in some of these things I did.
Things That Stop the Flow of Love
In my dating life and many of my relationships, I wasn’t able to flow. Instead, like many women, here’s how I approached love.
My fears got in the way
My fears around full self-expression caused me to not say what I really meant because I was afraid of hurting his feelings (that’s what I told myself when it was really about me being uncomfortable with expressing myself because of what might happen) and not letting him know how much I liked (or loved) him because I was afraid he didn’t feel the same way about me (what this really meant is I was afraid of rejection). Because of my fears, I wasn’t able to build and sustain a meaningful connection. What kept showing up were nice men who weren’t able to fully express themselves, until I did the inner work to resolve these fears.
I made assumptions
Whenever the man I was dating or in a relationship with would say and do something that caused me to question and doubt things, I gave my own meaning to his words and actions by interpreting what I thought was going on. In other words, I believed the stories I created about these questionable and doubtful things, and in the process, asked friends and family what they thought was going on.
Many times, the assumptions I made, caused me to misinterpret the truth. Questioning, doubting and making assumptions about what these men said and did never gave love a chance to flow. When I finally learned to be more forthcoming about my concerns, I made less assumptions and experienced things with more ease.
I tried to control things
Being in control of most areas of my life led to success, except in my love life. When it came to love, I tried to control how I wanted things to happen. The more I tried to control, the less things happened the way I wanted them to. When I reflect back, my need to control stemmed from not trusting that I would get the love I desired. When I learned to let go, I began meeting more men who were better suited for me, and eventually met my husband.
I made men my focus
Fairy tales and Hollywood movies led me to believe that finding love came from being with a man. When I bought into this and the myth of not being complete unless I was with a man, I made men my focus by not fully living my own life. Sure I led a busy life with work, exercising, and getting together with friends and family. But I unintentionally put parts of my life on hold until I met men I really liked. After much disappointment and frustration about not finding the one, I got to a place in my life where I preferred being single instead of being with the wrong men and in relationships that went nowhere. As I embraced being single and began to live my life, I enjoyed better dating experiences and relationships.
If you’re like I was, you are probably sick and tired of self sabotaging behaviors getting in your way. Embrace that these behaviors have given you the awareness to learn, grow and become wiser. And know that you can approach love with more ease.
5 Ways to Let Love Unfold Naturally
Practice these 5 ways and experience your journey to love with more ease. In the process, you’ll find love flowing and unfolding more naturally.
1. Be present and live in the moment
The present moment is where love flows. When you find your mind wishing things were different or worrying about what might or might not happen, gently nudge your attention back to the present moment. You may find your mind gravitating towards certain thoughts, especially unsupportive ones. If your mind continues thinking these thoughts, take some deep breaths to get centered, observe the thoughts without judgment and with curiosity, then bring your attention to the present. The more you practice, the more these thoughts will release themselves, making room for more loving and supportive ones.
2. Set intentions instead of having expectations
Intentions let you be with what is while expectations cause you to struggle with what is. Having expectations is a way of trying to control things. Expectations mean that things have to happen a certain way, and when they don’t, disappointment, frustration or pain ensues. If you’re like most people, love doesn’t happen the way or in the time you want it to. This is because there are so many factors involved (i.e. who you are at different times in your life, whether you’ve learned the lessons you’re meant to, where your soul mate is on his path in life, timing, etc.).
Intentions help you be more flexible and allow for what’s meant to be. When you are holding tightly to how something should be, that is an opportunity to set an intention of what you wish to see. Then let go and take action towards your heart’s desire. And what you’ll have in many instances is something better than you could have imagined.
3. Be open to other perspectives
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Would you rather be right or loved?” When you think you’re right, you are closed off to other perspectives that may be just as right and not open to a different way of thinking. Whether you’re dating or in a relationship, the guy you’re with will have different ideas and opinions. He isn’t going to want to fight about the way you both see things.
If what he says isn’t unethical or immoral, be open to hearing his point of view. In doing so, you may learn something you never knew or gain a different way of seeing things. And when you find yourself trying to defend your position, answer, “Would I rather be right or loved?”
4. Respond from intuition
You have your answers to love, not your family nor friends. Asking others for your answers stops the flow of love that’s meant for you because their answers are based on their own perspectives and experiences. While they may have good intentions and offer good advice, don’t take what they say as your final answer.
Instead, listen to what your body tells you by how you’re feeling. If you feel open, expanded, relaxed or uplifted, say “yes”. If you feel closed, stressed or uptight, wait for more clarity instead of making a decision. You will begin to make better decisions as you continue listening to your intuition.
5. Live your own life
Living your life makes you a more dimensional and interesting woman. Discover and live your passions. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Try new activities and adventures. When you have your own life, you are happier with yourself and less reliant on a man for your happiness. When a man doesn’t feel responsible for your happiness, he feels less pressure and is more attracted to you. Live your own life and share your happy self with him.
You will feel more relaxed as these practices become your way of being. When you are relaxed, your connection and time together flow with ease and things develop naturally. What have you done to let love unfold naturally?
Article originally published as Let Love Unfold Naturally.
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