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Open yourself up to love


Yes, Valentine’s Day is long gone, but were you one of those people who cursed it, dressed in all black to mourn the supposed holiday, and squeezed your eyes shut to all the roses and paper hearts that popped up wherever you turned? You couldn’t wait for it to be over.

But in the deepest recesses of your heart, you might admit that if you had somebody to take you out to dinner and shower you with flowers and chocolates in a little heart-shaped box, you would be the first to break out into song and extol the wonders of love.

So how do you get from gloomy couple basher to eyes glistening with hope and happiness? According to psychologist and professor Kathleena dela Rosa, “It may be an overused line, but it really has to begin with finding a way to love and accept yourself as you are this moment. As soon as you do, you open yourself up not just to love but to all the different possibilities the universe has to offer.” Have you chosen to shut out love? People are attracted to those who seem to have it together, or to those who have qualities they seek, either in someone else or in themselves. If you are oozing with negativity, you can’t expect to find someone who will want to spend time with you, much more choose to spend their life with you.  “People who are closed to love are usually those who have a multitude of issues with themselves,” explains dela Rosa. “It can be an insecurity with looks, social standing, intelligence, personality, or whatever. For as long as we are not comfortable and accepting of ourselves, we will find it difficult to open up to others, more especially, love.” How do you love yourself?First of all, stop focusing on other people and what you think they see or don’t see in you. Think of how you can become the best possible version of yourself. Make a list of what you can do to improve your life, then work on it. Once you see that you are good at certain things and that you can actually do what you never even dared to do before, then slowly, you will be amazed at how wonderful you really are. Surround yourself with positive people, with friends who want you to succeed, and with those who are supportive of the steps you are taking to improve your life. You might find out that you’re having too much fun to even worry about finding a date for next weekend. 

Are you closed off because you were hurt before?Some people refuse to open their hearts to hurt because they barely survived a bad relationship. If you are one of these people, remember that it’s good to give yourself time to mourn and bounce back. Once you feel you’ve more or less healed and are ready to find love again, you have to be willing to leave the pain of the past behind. Know that you must take risks again and be open to possible hurt once more. Most importantly, remind your heart that it has to learn to trust again. The upside to this is that while you teach your heart to be vulnerable again, your head will remember the lessons of the past relationship and hopefully not repeat them, making this time around sweeter, stronger, and better.

Olivia Yao has been writing ever since she can remember. She has written for health, teen, parenting, and children's magazines. Her latest endeavor is being a mom to her three-year-old daughter—her toughest assignment yet. Swap stories with her at

By Olivia Yao

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