What are the messages that we attach to love and call it unconditional? Is unconditional love something I can lose...or have to strive to gain? Allow me to share a new perspective on what unconditional love is and how to cultivate it.
Unconditional love has no attachment or story about the love that is being given or received. No “because” or “if you” involved. Unconditional love cannot be manipulated, it just is. It is an experience, something that is felt like the wind, but not tangible. It can never be misunderstood because there are no other words for it. Any attempt to define it changes it and it becomes “conditional” in the process.
Unconditional love occurs at a deep level, deeper than personality, or outside appearances such as good looks, wealth, or safety. Our innocence loves us unconditionally; our true nature, true Self or Inner Child loves unconditionally because it knows no other way. It is the purest form of Self-love.
Unconditional love is not “nurturing love” although it can feel abundantly nurturing as an experience. When you have felt unconditional love, you know it. The only one that can unconditionally love is your True Self or inner child.
We, our outer self or Ego-Self can love, but cannot love unconditionally. It is an impossibility. The love we crave is the love from our own Source, which is not external. Therefore, only we can fulfill our heart’s desire. Only we know what that is for us.
So what is our Shadow Self? Or the shadowy parts of ourselves that we fear? Is that different from Inner child? No. Our Inner child often has aspects that are dark, desperate, angry, jealous and ashamed. These are the parts that we have hidden away from our conscious selves and from others, or we externalize it and call it the Devil or Entities.
“The Devil made me do it”. When we are honest with ourselves, there are times when we just aren’t happy with our own behavior and we feel the need to blame something else for our shortcoming or poor behavior. First, we judge our behavior or attitude, and then we blame something or even ourselves for being bad or wrong. This process, over time creates an incubator of sorts in our inner self that becomes a sort of “monster in the closet” scenario. We turn away from it, we deny it exists, and we say things to keep it controlled and hidden. Most of all, we are afraid that someone is going to find out about it. That someone is going to find out that we are unworthy, terrible and imperfect because of the darkness we sense is hiding within. If everybody has this, then it doesn’t have to be something we are ashamed or afraid to talk about. It is what makes us human, it is our innocence in its most dormant state, waiting for the light to be shined on it so it can be healed. It’s not even necessary to go into long drawn out processing or reliving, because most people ruminate about all of the things that they believe are “bad” about themselves on a daily basis, therefore people are constantly “processing memories” all by themselves.
Finally, unconditional love does not mean that I try to be perfect and then beat up on myself when I’m not. It is allowing anything that arises to be “OK” even if it’s not my best character trait. Loving and accepting that part or feeling for being true for me in the moment is self-affirming. Sometimes when I hear the things that come out of my mouth I’m horrified or embarrassed, however the opportunity or lesson is this: I am learning how to forgive and be forgiven. Forgiveness is not something we learn how to do; it is a spiritual practice that we can cultivate. So, the next time you put your “foot in your mouth” say I apologize for that, I wasn’t being my best self, or I was being myself and I really need to look at that because it didn’t feel good to me. Now…doesn’t that seem more like unconditional love?
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