Much there is that makes us distrustful of others in our daily experiences. Too often we find too few to trust or believe in the honesty of. Openness is a key state to receiving whatever benefits of love and affection. The naturalness and comfort we feel toward pets, for instance, does not come as easily with other humans, even if they are family or friends.
To be truly open to someone else one definitely needs to be in a receptive, even ‘needy’ or ‘needful’ state. To be open to and for someone else requires more than simple giving. It means that one must pay attention to what the other person wants, needs, and may initiate. It requires a relaxation of normal defences and defence mechanisms. One cannot be truly open and guarded simultaneously.
To be open to love means ‘not resisting’ the other person. It means empathically ‘going with the flow’. This is not easy for people used to checking their cellphones every minute for the trivialest of messages! It means that time itself must stop or cease to be a concern and that watch or clock time cease to exist and are no longer the most important things in the world. One has to make time for the other person in order to be truly open for him or her.
To be open to love means that whatever previous conclusions about love must be erased and a new slate created for whatever possibilities of the moment. Whatever one believes, therefore, is ‘thrown out’ or discarded temporarily in a real sense. One must be open for newness and discovery, ready to receive the unique information and possibilities of the love that might follow.
It may be also that a number of strange and wonderful things subsequently occur. For instance, one may no longer be limited by regular mealtimes or capable of consuming larger-than-necessary meals. Too, one may spontaneously do unusual, freer activities like jumping up as high as possible from a standing position just to enjoy the feel of escaping gravity! Similarly, it may be that all the trivial things that one once considered so important don’t matter as much or anymore, unnecessary self-imposed chores like repainting a fence every few years. Perspective and priorities get changed that much by love and a full reception of love. Many limits and limitations suddenly, magically, become blissfully fewer.
Receptivity is, indeed, the key. Too often we see ourselves in the role of agents or initiators, so much so that we do not stop to receive whatever information and affection others may wish to give us. “The readiness is all.” (William Shakespeare) In that sense, we must be ready to receive love if we are to ‘get it’ at all. We have to be prepared to allow the love of others for us to happen, to understand and accept it, sometimes passively at first. It is through this ‘passivity’ and open attitude that our own active expressions of love, in return, may emerge and find their way.
After all, openness to love requires that the other, at some point, accepts the love we find in our hearts and souls to share and communicate. A rare agreement and common will/ingness to love mutually on a receiving, as well as giving, basis.
(previously published here October 17, 2012)