Why is it hard to accept kindness and love

Sometimes kindness and love may be in front of us. Being offered directly to us. And we pause, hesitate to accept or downright refuse it. Why? Don’t we all want and need love?

Yes we do. It is in Abraham Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs. Right in the middle. After physiological needs (air, water, food) and basic safety needs are met, we seek love and belonging. Everyone does. It is normal to desire this in our lives.

We are social creatures. We need one another. In various practical and emotional ways. Infants need loving care and physical touch or they will sometimes die (even when provided with food and shelter). I think this need for human connection continues for many of us throughout life. In the best of circumstances having loving connections makes life that much better and richer.

So why reject love?

Old patterns of abuse and neglect can make it hard to accept love now. We may fear being used in some way. We may become suspicious, wondering what they will demand of us later. We may wonder what strings may be attached if we accept this kindness now.

Another challenge is that we tend to compare our insides to other’s outsides. We put our worst up against other’s best. That is not fair. We know our faults and weaknesses and judge ourselves harshly.

Yet none of this should matter! Of course we have weaknesses and failings! Welcome to humanity! Just because you fail does not make you unworthy of love or kindness. When we struggle is often just when we need love most.

It can be scary to accept kindness or love. No doubt. It may cause us to feel vulnerable. This is hard for many people. Yet the blessings are huge.

So I encourage you to practice accepting love today. If it is offered, just accept. And maybe also take the chance and offer love to another. I don’t think you will regret it.

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