We’ve asked 18 thought leaders “What are the biggest barriers to love?”
In my life, I’ve learned from personal experience that my biggest barrier to love is to be self-absorbed and feel separate from others. That is, being consumed by fear, worry, stress, etc. for oneself to the exclusion of the suffering of others.
Releasing Stories Around Fear, the Main Barrier to Love
One of the traditional definitions of awakening, or enlightenment, is it is a state of fearlessness.
The journey of awakening is above all a process of uncovering and facing your different fears. As you see with more and more clarity that they are not real, they begin to fall away. Then you are naturally more loving and more connected to consciousness, God, spirit, or whatever you choose to call the mysterious Power behind creation.
Together, the teaching and the practice equip you to face and move through your fears, eventually leaving them all behind you. Instead of shrinking from fear and turning it into some kind of monster, you meet it head on, like a warrior, and discover its real face. There’s an old Irish saying: “If you run away from a ghost, it will chase you and haunt you for the rest of your life. But if you stop and turn and face it, it will disappear, because ghosts aren’t real.”
On the path of awakening, you are learning to face not just fear, but every moment, in this alert and relaxed way. Years ago on my own journey, whenever I had a breakthrough, I found myself coming to the same realization every time. It involved letting go of some aspect of my past, my story-some pattern in my thinking or behavior which no longer worked for me.
Suddenly, I’d feel more relaxed, more here. I would say to myself: “Wow, my spiritual journey is all about getting here. It’s about being more present.”
You can probably relate to what I am saying. As you grow up and get caught up in your personal story, the account you inwardly write of your life, of your history of failures and successes, doubts and fears, hopes and dreams, you tend to start dwelling in this internal reality. You are not alone. We all do this until we learn differently. Yet it is the very attachment to this inner world of concepts, beliefs, memories, and images that keeps us from being present.
The deeper your awakening, the freer you get of psychological and emotional fear. You no longer worry about what might happen to you. You know now that you, as consciousness, will always be okay.
But even with awakening, biological fear, the fear of actual physical harm, still arises when danger threatens. It is a necessary survival mechanism. If someone moves as if to strike you, you are going to flinch or jump back. If you take up sky-diving, even if your realization is deep and mature, chances are your stomach will feel nervous and queasy as you are about to step out of the airplane at ten thousand feet.
But even survival fear loses its edge as you awaken to the consciousness you are and connect with the astonishing creative energy which is always here, underneath the surface drama of life.
The more conscious and free you become, the more you find even in the face of danger, hardship, or loss, you remain clear-headed and supremely aware as you deal with the situation at hand. When you stop resisting and fighting it, life has its own surprising way of coming into balance and harmony. This is how miracles occur. It all happens not in some promised future or some imagined after-life, but right now, in this present moment.
Rather than obsessing over what it takes to become enlightened, why you still suffer, or why you are not yet free, let go of the attachment to all your ideas and stories about enlightenment and suffering, and just focus on being fully aware, conscious, and present now. Then the experience of freedom will become more and more frequent, and the times of conflict and suffering will be fewer and briefer.
Eventually, as your internal gaze penetrates more deeply through the illusion of the world between your ears, the world you have for so long been referring to as “me, myself, and my story,” all fear of life and death will leave you. Then the liberation you have been seeking will be yours.
(From the book “end your story. Begin your life…” by Jim Dreaver, available at www.endyourstory.com.
Jim, a native of New Zealand, was on a spiritual journey for twenty years before finally awakening to freedom-freedom from the “me,” the “I,”-in the spring of 1995. His guide was European nondual master Jean Klein, whom he met in 1984. His mission now is to guide others to the same realization but in a much shorter time. He teaches at Esalen Institute and in LA. He also offers private sessions. His book is available as an eBook for $10.95 www.endyourstory.com. Visit www.jimdreaver.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 310-916-4037.
To get to the point where you actually feel comfortable enough to do or say anything. Make sense?
An inability to receive it. I also think that for those who have only learned to love conditionally…there is a hindrance to openly express that true source of love hidden inside themselves.
I’m passionate about Integrative Communications and the exploration of cognitive creativity being linked to self-awareness to understand how change and ideas are shaped.
If you are not first loving yourself then you are not able to give love to others. When you are not feeling worthy about yourself as a person, and struggling to forgive yourself for things you have done in the past it is difficult to openly love yourself.
Leisa Olson – wife, mother, step mother, grandmother, author and F.U.S.E. Family Coach!
I would say that the biggest barrier to love are expectations. Expectations, or, to be more precise, misguided expectations, trick the mind into distorting views of people or situations. With a distorted view of an experience, the flow of love and acceptance is diverted. Expectations act as a dam to block, restrain, or divert the pure course of love, which should flow over all equally. The flow comes through a heart at peace and a mind that is quiet. If you are peaceful and quiet within, there is an innate acceptance of situations and people. Carried deeper, this acceptance blossoms into love. Expectations such as “he or she should do this to please me” or “such-and-such needs to happen for me to be happy here” by nature separate our attention from the flow of peace, which is expressed as love. Expectations block peace and love by focusing on external experience, not internal experience, which is where peace and love are felt, and from where they originate. Love should flow through the channel created by peace without the obstructions of unreasonable expectations. To expect others to conform to our ideas is dangerous, because it allows us to shift the responsibility for our happiness externally, when it truly can only be internal. When our expectations lie only in our own actions and reactions, and not on the actions of others, we are naturally quieter and more peaceful, because there is a lessening of conflict, and we strive first to be at peace within. Then, love begins to flow naturally.
Bio: Member of Self-Realization Fellowship
It seems to me that the biggest barrier to love is forgetting who we really are – not honoring or valuing our true magnificence. When we don’t acknowledge that we are unique expressions of divine light – that we created from love – the new tend to not love ourselves. We doubt our worthiness to be loved – by ourselves or by others – and so we don’t allow that. It is challenging to expect others to love us when we don’t even feel deserving of love from ourselves. And when we don’t love ourselves, we have little love to share with others. The key seems to be to realize that our reasons for resisting love are faulty, and to clear them outâ€¦ and let love in.
Brad likes to think of himself as an Evolution Catalyst. He is known internationally for his work with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Brad has worked with a diverse group of clients, from CEO’s to professional and NCAA athletes, from award-winning actors to clients in social service programs. He has been a presenter at a number of events, including Jack Canfield’s “Breakthrough to Success.” He is the co-author of the best-seller “Freedom at Your Fingertips,” and is a featured expert in the EFT movie “The Tapping Solution” and has partnered on teleseminars with Joe Vitale and Bob Doyle of “The Secret.”
Letting go of yourself and mingling with intent! Hit the nightlife or socialize in the right spots, market yourself thoughtfully, and go out of your way to mix with a potential partner. Don’t flirt like a fool, drink in excess, or act unnatural – instead get on an exercise regime, eat healthy and light, dress sharp, study to get smart enough to work out the right moves. You will know when you meet the right person to love, and the feeling will be mutual. Try until you become madly in love. If you follow these principals you’ll hit the right button, and be loved in return!!!
As a self starter Carl has experience in a wide range of operational activities and marketing strategies. As a self development expert he has lead extensive sales teams to provide consistent results. Boniface is a successful self made businessman who has worked in many areas of commerce with an emphasis on marketing and sales.
We’ve asked 25 thought leaders: What is your favorite way to express love?
Here are their answers:
Love is found everywhere. It comes in the sense that angels are near, in the sound of wind in the trees, the smell of lavender, the taste of a strawberry, the sight of a beautiful sunset, the touch of a kitten’s fur. Love takes over the senses and sends them to new heights. But more than that, love is the Universal connection to each and every one of us; it keeps us searching for more through our daily experiences. It is revealed in that overwhelming, excited, short-of-breath feeling that pulls back the veil for just a moment. Long enough to reveal where we truly come from… the eternal being that is ever connected to the unconditional love of the Universe.
Beth & Lee love living life & want to show you how they have found happiness through books they have written, the Indicator magazine, radio shows, and the movie ‘Beyond the Law of Attraction.’ They enjoy teaching all about the Law of Attraction and positive thought and would love for you to join them for some self realization and answers you may be seeking.
The purest form of love is compassion; the
ability to empathically experience the suffering of another. It is through our compassion that we extend the gift of healing.
Dr. Elllie Izzo
Dr. Ellie Izzo is a psychologist and co–author of the book Day After Day The price You Pay, Managing Your Second-Hand Shock.
My favourite way to express love to others is with hugs.
Wife, mother, step mother, grandmother, author, and FUSE Family Coach! We help parents be heroes to their children by providing them with a ‘How to Parent Guide’ called F.U.S.E. at Home.
As a Duhism Master, my favorite way to express love is with the look I give my students when they rub my feet, feed me with gold-plated silverware, and show me the money they’ll be depositing into my Swiss bank account.
Bob Tzu is the long-lost American cousin of the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu. Where Lao Tzu teaches Taoism, Bob Tzu shares the Impractical Wisdumb of Duhism.
By being present with the person I am with. 100% attentive to their emotions and my interactions with them. Nothing else matters and all else can be put aside. It makes people feel WONDERFUL and special to have your undivided attention. Speak to them from my heart and enjoy the time with that person.
I am also a “hugger” — hugs can say so much, give a deep feeling of love and take away pain.
A smile is the simplest way. When doing errands instead of having the “to do” list in my head I am conscious. I smile and wish the people all the best from my heart that I pass. This can change a person’s day and is such a simple thing to do.
There are a million and one ways I love to express love because love is my favorite emotion to express. When I am in that love state I see it transfer onto the people around me – and there is no better gift than that.
I have written over 200 articles on alternative healing since healing myself of several diseases. I also have written over 100 articles recommending non violent computer games/sites for children. I am a Reconnective healing practitioner, Akashic Record reader/clearer and LOVE meeting people.
Doing Unselfish Acts of Kindness!
Sacrificing personal desires to fullfill the needs of others. Listening and taking a genuine interest in others concerns and making them our own. Being humble and grateful, and always forgiving. Letting others know that we feel and appreciate the love they are giving
Bio: 73yrs.old. Write The free Daily Health Message, exercise regular eat a plant based diet, and am healthy and fit
People have so many ways of expressing their love. Depending on the moment & the need, i like to do something for someone that will bless them–listening, doing something they want, giving them a surprise, cooking their favorite meal…..U R LOVED
Silently. Silently connected to inner peace within, attent and aware, I radiate acceptance and love internally. This way, it creeps into all thought and all activity. This practice has proven to be highly transformative for me. Feeling peace within, radiating love, attachments and ego-driven responses seem to melt away. I have more energy when I radiate that love from my calm center… I laugh more. I get upset less. Loving becomes effortless. It feels wonderful. No language is required. Radiating love from within is simple- it is something that can be practiced. At first, it might be helpful to use words, such as “I am okay with this situation. Everything is alright”, but concentrating the attention on the feeling behind the words with deepening concentration and understanding eventually makes words unnecessary. There is always a silent spring of love flowing from the temple of inner peace into the world…
Bio: Member of Self-Realization Fellowship.
Ever since I took a week long workshop with Leonard Laskow, author of “Healing With Love” in 1997, I’ve been conscious of expressing love.
Since Len is my spiritual teacher, I watched how he expressed Unconditional Love to everyone he met, and then I practiced doing this myself.
First of all, the heart chakra is the center for Love’s Expression.
So we purposely generate Healing Love in the heart in a counter-clockwise motion, from the perspective of where you are. If I am standing in front of you as you do this exercise, the energy is generating in a clock-wise motion.
But what’s important is to consciously bring Love into the Heart.
With practice, a sort of detachment from opinion and knee jerk reaction occurs.
For instance, I am a nurse. I love all of my patients, using this method of Love Expression. I no longer judge where they are in this lifetime.
Over time, this ability to express nonjudgmental and unconditional love flows to meet all other souls on this Life Journey.
Our companion animals teach us how to express a Loving Heart, which is why they are our greatest teachers.
The most important thing is to Beam Your Love today!
Be a Love Beamer!!
My favourite way to express love is to feel so connected to a person that I feel not only their pain, frustration and struggle, but also their joy, happiness and peace. To achieve this state without feeling the need to fix is accomplishment to me.
In an attempt to define the undefinable, we’ve asked 65 thought leaders “What is your definition of love?”
Here are their responses:
My favorite day of the year has always been Valentine’s Day. It didn’t matter if I was alone on that day or not, I still adored it. Valentine’s day for me is a celebration of love, love in its many forms, romantic love between a man and a woman, the never-ending love of family and dear friends, the enduring love between a parent and child, the abiding love between a human and their beloved pet, love of self and love shared with communities or the world.
In our society we seem to need an excuse to tell people how we feel about them, or show them with tokens of our affection. At Christmas, we exchange gifts and take time away from our busy schedules to be with the people who really matter in our lives. On Valentine’s day we are presented with yet another opportunity to open our hearts and share our souls. The marketplace makes it very easy for us to do that, presenting us with a cornucopia of delicacies and finery, from chocolates, to strawberries and whipped cream, to diamonds, singing teddy bear deliveries, and an abundance of greeting cards with just the right sentiment.
It matters not how you choose to serenade the ones you love on this auspicious occasion, what matters is that you do! Whether it be with a store bought treasure or a simple handmade delight, the form is not important, but the sentiment is! Valentine’s day gives you another opportunity to do something that comes naturally for you, as natural as breathing, and that is to BE love and to GIVE love. It is who you are and it is the only thing that really matters in the end.
Veronica Hay is an inspirational writer and self help, holistic magazine publisher. She provides inspirational support and resources to help you live a richer life.
Love to me means that deep feeling of connection to each other and the Universe. Love is that deep joy of connectivity and knowing all is as it should be. Love means peace in our hearts and reflecting that out to the world so others feel it too. Love means feeling hugged by God and knowing we are all powerful, God-like and there is nothing to fear. Love means the deepest connection and realization that life IS beautiful and a gift and living in that gratitude and connectivity brings us the knowledge we are all ONE.
After healing myself of several diseases I found my love of healing. I blog about ways/tools to heal from within as well as recommend non violent computer games/sites for kids.
Love means someone else’s happiness is more important to you than your own.
Susan M. Heim is a writer and editor, specializing in parenting, women’s and Christian issues. She is a longtime editor of the bestselling “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, and the author of seven books, including “Boosting Your Baby’s Brain Power”; “It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence”; and three “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books.
My definition is that it is an all-encompassing feeling of being accepted for who you are unconditionally and if you are fortunate enough to HAVE this incredible feeling living within your heart, you instinctively want to take care of and protect who or whatever is the recipient of your love.
The recipient may be familiar to you…the recipient may not be.
The recipient may be a human, an animal, a place or a thing.
I am a woman who lives in Southern California with MY love, who is my boyfriend and soulmate Chris.
(Deep breath) My passion is my website and I love living my life. My family and friends are my priority and my interests are: spreading my message of a less violent existence via my website, reading, writing, poetry, music, crocheting, photography, art, inventing things, animals, cooking, comedy, movies, tv, computer games and surfing, star gazing, laughing, dreaming, and if you want to know any more, well then either come to my website and/or get to know me via e-mail because I love to meet new friends. (Letting breath out).
Defining any concept limits it. For example, to define dessert as “chocolate cake” can keep one from Key Lime Pie. To define entertainment as “something you enjoy watching” keeps you from spending hours obsessed with the train wreck called “Jersey Shore.”
Besides, we’ll first have to define “definition.” Surely we don’t mean the ripped abs one gets from the assiduous practice of Duhism (which also guarantees you a rebirth in Newark, New Jersey). And we probably don’t mean, “to throw out a window,” since that’s what defenestration means (you’re welcome… that *will* come in handy at a party).
And to respond appropriately, according to a former president, we’ll have to know what “is” is. And “your.” And “What” and “of” and that little curly thing at the end of the line. And doesn’t that seem like a bit too much to ask of us? Especially when the weekend is approaching?
As they say in math: QED (though, actually, they never SAY it, they just write it)
If my answer helps you in any way, you’ve clearly misunderstood me.
Welcome to the profounditudenessity of Duhism.
Bob Tzu is the long-lost American cousin of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. Where Lao Tzu teaches Taoism, Bob Tzu teaches Duhism. Bob lives with his wife Bobbie-Sue Tzu and dog Petting Tzu.
Love is action. Love is the friend that is there for you in the middle of the night when your car breaks down. Love is the partner who brings you chicken soup when you are sick, even though they are just as sick as you are. Love is being kind even when you would rather be mean. Love is the faithful companion who just happens to be covered in fur. Love is shown through action, great and small. Love is truly a verb.
Aimee runs a website that celebrates the bonds between humans and animals. An animal lover from birth, she uses her site to promote animal rescue and responsible pet ownership. She and her husband have a dog and a bird, and hope to have more furry friends in the future.
I don’t have a definition for love because it’s such a complex idea. However, I realize I can’t pantomime or do an interpretative dance via this form so I will do my best to describe what love means to me.
People often confuse need, codependence, and attachment for love. When someone makes you feel good, you naturally want to be around them more often, which can seem like love at its strongest. Sometimes that’s the seed for a greater love, and sometimes it’s an illusion that precludes it.
To some extent, we’re all capable of selfishness in our relationships. Oftentimes, our first instinct is to question what someone can do for us, not vice versa. Real love reverses that order more often than not.
When you value, appreciate, admire, and respect someone, you want to show it in action. That looks a little something like this:
• You think of them without framing it in the context of your own needs (i.e.: call just to ask how they’re doing-not because you want them to be there for you).
• You give them the benefit of the doubt (i.e.: you don’t jump to the worst possible conclusion when their behavior seems confusing).
• You consider what’s best for them (instead of always expecting them to make sacrifices for you).
• You approach them with sincerity and kindness, doing your best when you’re angry (instead of using condescension, aggression, or manipulation).
• You apologize when you’ve wronged them, and mean it.
• You want to improve yourself to be better for them.
• You’d walk away from them if it would serve them better than you staying.
This may sound like an idealized love. That’s because it is. But I think you know you really love someone-whether it’s your sister, friend, or significant other”when you want it to be an unselfish love. And do your best to live it that way.
Lori Deschene spends most of her time writing and editing for tinybuddha.com, a website that provides wisdom-related quotes, tips, and stories. You can follow her on Twitter @lori_deschene, and follow @tinybuddha for daily quotes.
Love means never having to say you’re sorry! Oops, sorry-.that’s the 70’s Hollywood version from Love Story! How wonderful though if that were to really be true for us, but then again, is it?
The word “Love” can have many connotations attached to it, very often given to another or spoken of, without the actual feeling behind it. I Love You can be so freely given these days, with very little thought behind the meaning or feelings attached to it.
Love, for me, is a feeling, a feeling so immense and so immeasurable, that words are indeed unnecessary.
We all experience hurt and pain, and relationships experienced today are our mystery schools of ancient years long ago. Through our experiential learning we are becoming more heart-centered (or not), and feeling into our connections. Love is a force that knows no boundaries and the feelings associated with it are everywhere and in everything.
The feelings of Love for yourself can be so simple as to be in the sigh of our breath as we enjoy a bite of chocolate, that we have been looking forward to all day. Or, maybe the feelings of love are invoked as we smell the fragrance of a flower, or walking in nature embracing the hundreds and thousands of molecules of smells, sights, sounds that are racing towards our very senses.
Love is in everything if we choose it to be. To have the awareness of who we are, where we are, and what we are doing every moment of every day. We love our babies immediately from conception, from birth. It’s instantaneous, a natural given. As they grow, no matter what they do, the heart-centered Love connection is always present. We might not like them at times, but the Love is ever-present. To take it a step further, I personally have experienced the removal of the ego and my own hurt or pain, and the heart just opened with Divine Love pouring forth for another Being going through their own hurt and pain. The Love directly from Source engulfs everyone and hence, is immeasurable.
The force of Love can spread like rays of light across continents from one country to another when we seek to connect with another. Tools such as Facebook have helped people to connect all over the world and literally, within seconds, the heart-filled love connection is felt, as someone responds to words of wisdom posted from thousands of miles away. In that instant, we are connected and the Love grid is formed across the planet.
Love knows no boundaries as just today, I experience the feelings of Love penetrating the veils of the worlds beyond and through Love, gifts are shared to bring yet more love from those who have gone before us. Love is never-ending, all omnipotent, on the micro and the macro, always.
Sue’s purpose in life through Healing Touch 4 Health is for those, who choose to seek her guidance, to help you connect to who you really are. Sue knows that no pain, no gain is false and that laughter and feeling good is more effective in moving you forward towards your goal and all you want in life. Sue’s light-hearted approach in Lifestyle Coaching and Energy Healing is effective and joy filled. Learn through laughter & love, not trauma, by shifting and transforming how you perceive the world, and balanced health and wellness will follow.
When I think about Love, I recall the Divine Love I experienced during my near-death experience. There I observed how Love and Light are Unity that creates this physical world we live in. Love permeates everything and in return everything radiates love into an interconnected world.
This unconditional love is never broken and is always available within us. When we are able to mindfully bring loving intention into our daily lives our vision of this world clears and we can overcome any obstacle in our paths. It is not so important what we accomplish as much as how we express our loving intentions. Love is its own reward and love helped me tremendously in overcoming lung and bone cancer.
A public speaker on Television, Radio and lectures across the nation, author, and leader of the Upstate New York IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies). Dave’s two Near-death Experiences (NDE) transformed his life’s focus. Starting as a Chief Engineer on a research vessel and after he answered Spirit’s call of service into the healthcare industry as a dialysis manager. Since his spontaneous recovery from stage IV lung & bone cancer that collapsed his spine, Dave has retired and devotes time to volunteering and spreading Light and writing his book. You can find him on twitter @DharmaTalks
Love is the fabric of all creation. It’s the beginning and the end. Love defines existence. You are Love. I am Love. Love is all there is! We just forgot It’s now time to remember your truth and re-align with the essence of who and what you are.
A near death experience lifted Amirah to higher mystical insight in 1998. Amirah human journey includes many personal hardships and physical challenges that continue to teach her the transcendent power of love and light. She is a gifted energy healer, authentic channel and an exceptional psychic. As an outstanding clairvoyant and clairaudient, she has the ability to perceive and to interface with auras, thought forms, angelic beings and the energy matrix. Using all of these abilities, Amirah guides you through relationship problems, spiritual questions and crises, financial dilemmas, known and unknown causes of stress and distress, exploration of future choices, communications across time, connecting with greater Truth for you and your loved ones, and many more. Amirah has has helped thousands of seekers find direction and compassion amid the clutter and distractions of modern society. Amirah is the author of WAKE UP! Shift Happens, an energetic guide for shifting consciousness 2012 and beyond, Transforming Through 2012 and LOVE UP Your Life. She hosts Lessons From The Light Radio and offers group spiritual tours to Egypt. Amirah is an internationally renowned intuitive (clairvoyant, clairscient, clairaudient) energy healer, speaker and teacher. She sees the ‘Divine in You’ to help you understand who you are and your purpose. Amirah is a Matrix Energetic Practioner, a Reiki Master and is an ordained minister. She has a BA in Business and MSc in Metaphysics and has studied with top intuitive/energy training schools and teachers in the United States. Amirah was born in Canada and resides in San Diego, California.
We’ve just started a new project called Speak Your Truth where each week you are invited to answer 1 question in your own words, according to YOUR truth.
There is no right or wrong answer. We want to know the truth according to YOU!
We’ll be sharing each person’s answers each week with our growing audience of 15000+ “LOVEolutionaries” through our website, our newsletter and Twitter. We would also be happy to include a short bio of you and a link to your website if you’d like.
The question for the first week is: What is your definition of love?
We’d love to hear your definition!
Speak Your Truth here
The LOVEolution is a global love project dedicated to exploring the importance of love in our current society. MORE