If we were sitting in a room filled of people and asked, “How many of you want to be loved?” I bet most of the hands would go up in the room – without hesitation. We might not think about it as often as we think about food or water, but it is something we all want — and need.  We want to be successful and well-liked, but, above all, we really want to be loved.

Yet, despite wanting it, many of us are actually scared of it.   I once read an article where the author made this comparison:  Love is like when you give a dog a bone.  When a dog is given a bone, it will run up to it sniff it, sometimes it will take it, sometimes it will require you drop it first.  Sometimes, it will just run away for some period of time.  It has a fear of the bone.  It wants the bone but is weary of it.  Sound familiar?

Being truly vulnerable, transparent and being intimate with a partner is not for the faint of heart.  You have to learn how they want to be loved (not how you want to love them) and you have to be open to letting them love you.  It requires the most unbelievable internal strength to accept love.

Why are we afraid?  Many people are afraid to love because they have been hurt before, they fear loss, they feel they’re not good enough or they’re afraid they aren’t capable of love themselves.  Some of us know how to love others but have no idea how to accept it in our own lives.  Why is something that seems like it should be so easy, so difficult?

I’ve written about fear in many contexts. It keeps us in a box. In a small world.  And, it inhibits our ability to allow love into our lives.  We must learn to trust (despite a world filled with messages about not trusting people, gov’t, sales people and yes, us lawyers!).  I think if we can find a way to find our internal courage we are better able to allow ourselves to be more vulnerable.  And, in turn, better able to accept love.

I know people who go through life just holding their emotions in.  Never fully committing to anyone (even when married) because they don’t want to be hurt.  Here’s my thought:  I’d rather experience the hurt and open myself up than just live in my cave at 123 Fear Drive.   Yes, pain may very well be part of the picture.  But the risk (to me) is worth it.

I love this quote (I don’t even know where I found it!): “It takes a brave soul to really trust enough to be intimate. Although the protective shell of non-vulnerability helps when dealing with the outside world, those closest to us deserve to see us as we truly are.”  

Leave yourself open to the possibilities of today!