Unconditional Love

Loving and forgiving can both be real challenges in life. Whether one works with forgiveness before working with unconditional love or vice versa matters little - it really is personal choice and there are no hard and fast rules as to the order or sequence. Loving the person or the situation that has wronged you, can be a terribly difficult thing to do. Many people may want to make a bargain that goes something like this, “OK! I'm prepared to forgive. Now I've done the right thing ...... But love? ....... Why do I actually have to love? .... That's going a bit far isn't it!?”

I find that love is a very hard thing to write about, for, as I write these words I am conscious of my shortcomings in the area. In fact there are moments where I am tempted to say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” But this would not be right. I’ve always believed the idea that you should never ask a person to do a thing which you are not prepared to do yourself. In asking you to follow me I am asking you to travel with me to what I consider to be the limit of my leadership capabilities. Love is more than the absence of hate. It's not just neutral emotion. It's not just a state of “not hating” or “not being angry”. In fact I think the opposite of love is not hate, it's probably indifference. Love is the positive requirement to actively desire the well-being of all other life. Love, like forgiveness - which I have discussed before in my books and E-Reports, is an imperative in most religions. In Christianity for example, Christ told his followers that the main “laws” are to love God and to love your neighbour as yourself. Pretty hard stuff to live up to!

For me the challenge about love covered three questions
* Could I love myself?
* Could I love others?
* Could I love the man who killed my daughters?

Love of Self

Often we tend to demand from others what we are most unwilling to give and isn’t it strange to think that we could expect, perhaps demand, that someone give us what we are not willing to give - unconditional love. If we expect that from someone to make us feel safe and loved, wanted and desired, we have to understand what it is. We have to feel it for ourselves before we can accept or expect anyone else to give it to us. Unconditional love: loving without limitations, conditions, or reservations. If we provide that for ourselves, then it becomes a point of reference to measure the love that is to fulfil our lives. How would we know what we are searching for or what we expect someone to give to us? How do we express to someone what we need?

So let’s explore firstly ‘to love yourself’. It is really important for self esteem. I believe that loving yourself is purely taking responsibility for yourself - being a responsible participant in all aspects of your life; you choose to eat and drink only healthy foods, to accept mistakes that you make and grow from them, to use positive self talk, to take responsibility for your own health and healing, to stand up for yourself and express your own opinion, to respond to situations instead of reacting, to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. (For a much bigger list see my book Students Steps to Success page 33.)

The above can be difficult and in fact you may be further challenged by identifying painful experiences and experiences that create anger or bitterness in you. Why did it happen? What was the lesson to be learned in it? We are all on a journey and it is how you look at the lessons that will make the journey easy or hard. Be grateful for the people that were put in your path to help you with that lesson, rather than resenting them for hurting you. It is absolutely impossible to unconditionally love yourself if you harbour bitterness, anger, guilt or any other feelings that are not love.

If you have not read my previous about Acceptance and Letting Go it may be a good idea to review it here Exploring your inner self means going back right through your life and identifying issues that hurt you (including hurting others, which in effect means hurting you) - then work with Acceptance and Letting Go. After this step you can proceed with Unconditional Love - firstly for yourself.

So in learning to love yourself - totally accepting yourself, (warts and all), you become more clear on what it is you are looking for. More importantly, by looking inwards you realise that you provide that love for yourself before expecting someone else to provide it to you - now you’re finding unconditional love.

Love of Others

It has been said, and I believe it, that love is the strongest force in the Universe.

Unconditional love does not mean “I love everyone equally.” I prefer to say “I love everyone appropriately and in response to their individuality.” And, very importantly, unconditional love does not mean unconditional acceptance or condoning of behaviours.

Let’s move on to loving others. Often it is not a challenge to love unconditionally a family member - your partner, parent, child or sibling … although sometimes it may be a challenge. Perhaps the family member you’re thinking of is in a distant city or country - you can still love at a distance. A good exercise is to look back in the relationship you have with this family member and identify any outstanding challenges or difficulties - no matter what has happened - if there is any event in the relationship that hurts you then you need to clear it using Acceptance and Letting Go and identify any of life’s lessons you have learned from that experience. Then you could be ready for unconditional love.

I found that the analogies I use help me understand unconditional love. These analogies are described in full detail in my book Switch On to Your Inner Strength. Briefly, we all have an energy within us - whether we call it CHI, Prana, Life Force, Soul, Spirit, Spark of the Divine, or simply Energy. We are all joined to one another through this Energy in the same way that each and every ray of sunshine is ultimately joined back to each other ray of sunshine, through the body of the Sun. So when I extend my unconditional love to anyone, I bring to mind that part of the person who is joined to me (in the way just described) and then I say (to myself) "I unconditionally love you .... and say the name ..."

Love Of Someone You Despise

How is this possible? The key point here to remember is that personality is form whereas soul is formless and that loving does not condone the other person’s action. Loving is a decision - we choose to be loving towards ourselves and others. We can take loving actions without having a loving feeling, however the feeling normally follows.

Once again it is helpful to use the meditation Acceptance and Letting Go as a starting point to move on in your life. Remember in these negative situations that negative thoughts attract negative thoughts, they lead to negative action followed by negative reaction. In other words if your negativity continues then you become another victim; and who has done it to you? Yes that’s right you’ve done it to yourself and, because you love yourself (take responsibility for yourself), you decide not to move on positively.

I find the analogies I wrote about above are also particularly useful for dealing with someone whose personality may be detestable. In your mind, you bring to mind that part of the person who is joined to you through the body of Energy or the body of the Divine, and you say “I unconditionally love you ………”, and you say their name. You let those feelings register within your body. When you do this in deep meditation you become clear and the negativity is not in the forefront of your mind. It feels great to move on knowing that you can unconditionally love.

Meditation - Unconditional Love

I have a beautiful active a meditation in which you will experience loving unconditionally. You may have needed to work with some challenges using the meditation Acceptance and Letting Go as a preliminary step. Doing this meditation will definitely be beneficial and has a cumulative action, so keep doing it again and again until you know you can love yourself and others unconditionally.

So, know that loving is a decision - we choose to be loving towards ourselves and others. We can take loving actions and love our self and others unconditionally. If you wish to read even more about this subject then please download my complete Free E Book titled - Addressing Trauma, Grief and Loss. Click Here

Take care and be easy on yourself.

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