I rarely talk about unconditional love.
Why? Isn’t it beautiful? Something to aspire to? Something we all want?
IT’S OUR NATURE
Yes, it is our nature. It’s what we most fundamentally are.
To myself, I am capacity for the world, and I am what the world to me happens within and as.
I am the oneness the world, to me, happens within and as.
And another word for oneness is love.
It’s the love of oneness for itself in all the different forms it takes.
It’s a love that’s unsentimental and not dependent on fleeting feelings or states.
It’s the love of one hand removing a splinter from the other.
OFTEN CLOUDED OVER
Even if it’s our nature, it’s also often covered over by our very human and messy hangups, issues, traumas, and the ways we try to cope with life.
It’s there. It shines through.
And it’s filtered by our very human messiness. And that means it often takes a form that looks like anything but love.
ASPIRING TO UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
There is nothing inherently wrong in aspiring to unconditional love, although it often comes with some pitfalls.
We may think it’s something we need to create and not find and uncover.
We may make it into an ideology and use it to get a sense of safety.
We may use it to cover up our very human messiness.
If we aspire to live from unconditional love and talk about it a lot, it’s sometimes a sign of compensating for a sense of lack. We know we often behave like a jerk, and want to be more accepted and loved, so we use “unconditional love” as a strategy to get this. We use it as an identity to mask our humanness. We make it into an ideology. We make the idea of it into a shield.
WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?
So what’s the alternative?
Here are just a few I am drawn to…
Acknowledging that my human self is messy, confused, scared, and has a lot of issues, hangups, and traumas.
Befriending the different parts of myself and experience. Exploring how it is to meet it with more receptivity, curiosity, and kindness.
Find some authenticity and be more honest with me and others. Be vulnerable. Speak what’s true for me as a confession. (It’s often a confession about something in me my personality doesn’t particularly like.)
Notice and rest in the noticing of my nature, and allow this to work on me and transform me in whatever way it does.
Heart-centered practices help me shift my relationship with myself, others, and life.
Examine and inquire into stressful thoughts and identities.
And see what happens. How does it all unfold?
Where am I still hung up? Can I be honest about it? Can I meet it with some kindness?
The seed for this article: Seeing someone saying “It’s all about unconditional love” in an apparently defensive way and using it as an ideology.
I saw a message from someone saying “this is all about unconditional love” after seemingly acting on their own reactivity.
That’s of course my own story and I don’t really know what’s going on, but I have some thoughts about unconditional love.
Why? After all, isn’t it what we are?
And sometimes, we get more actively caught up in our issues and our nature is expressed in a very different form. A form that looks like anything but love.
If we aspire to live from unconditional love and talk about it a lot, it’s often a sign of compensating for a sense of lack. We know we often behave like a jerk, and want to be more accepted and loved, so we use “unconditional love” as a strategy to get this. We make it into an ideology. We make the idea of it into a shield.