We accept the love we think we deserve

Wow. This is such a powerful statement–a line from the movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This statement tells us that we determine what we receive in terms of love–not only love from other people and relationships, but the love we receive from the Universe—from nature and our various life situations. Two people can be looking at the same scenario and have two completely different perceptions. One might see and feel the beauty, opportunity, growth, expansion and love, while the other might only see and feel despair, desolation, ugliness, contraction and fear. The perception comes from what we think we deserve.

What we think we deserve. The statement is both heartbreaking and empowering, depending on our perception. The key is to recognize that we have the power to change the way we think in terms of what we deserve.

It is not a matter of whether or not we deserve it–all the love in the world is already ours–it is a matter of accepting that love.

The mind is undoubtedly a gift. It is the only way that we can realize consciousness. Without the mind, we would still be conscious, enlightened beings, but we would never be able to experience our own consciousness. It is only through the gift of the mind and the experience of being unconscious, that we are given the opportunity to realize and experience our enlightened state.

That being said, the mind can also create an enormous barrier. It attracts and holds all of the things we are taught—all of our perceptions about ourselves–who we are and what we deserve. Beginning as children, we are taught what is good and bad, based on society and other people’s perceptions. Depending on our experiences, we build up an identity for ourselves based on what we learn from the world. Are we good or bad? If we’re ‘bad’ we deserve less. If we’re ‘good’ we deserve more. All of us hold varying degrees of ‘good and bad’ and it changes throughout our lives based on experience, relationships, and our various perceptions.

How do we change our perception from deserving certain quantities of love, to accepting it from an unlimited source?

Through forgiveness.

We hold ourselves trapped in a self-built prison of shame and guilt based on all of the ‘bad’ things that we’ve ever done or had done to us in our entire lives. And whether we’re aware of it on a conscious level or not, it is still there, wreaking havoc on our lives and holding us back from accepting the love that is already ours.

In order receive the love that is ours, we absolutely must forgive ourselves and anybody who has ever helped in building the perception of ourselves as not being worthy of love.

Initially, forgiveness might feel phony. It might be spoken or thought without feeling or depth, but do it anyway. It might start out shallow, but with practice, it becomes a real feeling with depth and meaning. Forgive anything and anyone in the past, and also everything that happens in the present moment. Make it your mantra to forgive. Allow it to rest on the surface of your mind, ready to dissolve any thought or feeling of guilt or shame that arises out of the present moment. It may surface as a memory of the past or it might come as the result of present action. If it is a current action that causes a feeling of unworthiness, change the behavior, forgive yourself, and move on. You might forgive the same thing over and over again, but eventually the shameful behavior will dissolve into your willingness to forgive. Stick with it.

Forgive yourself, forgive others, forgive the situation, and see how your perception changes. Love will no longer be something you deserve in varying degrees. You will come to realize that unlimited love is already yours and you’ll be willing to accept it.

This post originally appeared on my first blog, www.emilyparkinsonperry.com on March 15, 2013.

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