Unconditional love seems like a pretty tall order.
For your kids? For your dog? Not so difficult. But what about for people you disagree with? People who have wronged you? Or hardest of all, for yourself?
First off is to define what unconditional love is, since it’s many times seen as a free pass for others to walk all over you while you take it like a chump. Not at all the concept.
Unconditional love as I see it is the neutralization of fear. It is sending heart-centered well-being into the world from a place of contentment. It is the desire for everyone and everything to be the most whole version of themselves.
Who is unconditional love for? There are no limits.
Romantic relationships and friendships can be transformed by the acceptance of partners exactly where they are, requiring them to do nothing else to fulfill our needs.
Families can be healed from trauma and resentment by removing the resistance of old wounds and allowing love to flow.
Communities of all kinds and sizes can come to deeper understanding and harmony when rooted in benevolent intent.
But the most important place, where the beginning of unconditional love leads to all other routes outward, is within. We cannot give what we do not have. So developing and growing our own unconditional love of self is the true key to sharing it with the rest of the world.
No giant gesture is necessary. It’s a small seed that needs to be planted, and you are fertile soil.
Find your breath, fill your lungs with it, and center in on the gratitude for it, that it is so reliably present throughout your whole life.
See yourself as you are: a cherishable being with purpose and power. Your every mistake, conflict, and pain can dissolve like a ripple in water by the decisions you make from this step forward, and you are choosing to make that step with unconditional love at its core.
You are star stuff created from the magical intertwining of emotion and action, and you are never ending in your ability to affect the world and all who inhabit it. Your existence in itself is a unique masterpiece that every inhalation renews.
Removing the conditions from love allows now to be enough, freeing you from past anchors or future longings you may feel you need in order to find happiness. The perfection of now is not necessary to create feelings of agápe, our highest love. Just the desire to manifest it. It shows right up.
Keeping it flowing may seem daunting. We are inundated with information in the technology age. Holding a breath for one moment of self-acceptance is one thing, but when the thoughts return that may try to remind us of what we have believed before, it is tempting to let them come back in.
But unconditional love for ourselves comes with the ability to form healthy boundaries, because we know how important maintaining harmony is.
Boundaries can be established to give ourselves room to breathe. It is alright to turn the machines off, to turn the chaos off, to turn the illusions away as they arrive uninvited.
As I said before, it is not a free pass to become a doormat for others or for outdated thinking.
Unconditional love is the highest of high standards, and while we are letting go of our need to control the process of anyone else, we are taking within our lives complete accountability for our own experience.
That sometimes means allowing the love to flow from a place of physical separateness. It sometimes means letting people, situations, and love itself change at their own pace and in their own way.
It always means not trying to force someone else to love you, or be made to behave in a way that brings you security. It always means not trying to force someone else to change their feelings or make your needs their responsibility to fulfill.
The conditioning of our prior thoughts can be easily replaced by our own affirming of who we are and what we know in this glorious human experience. It takes a bit of effort in the beginning, by meeting the old ideas as they come and contrasting them in our own inner discourse. Tools can help, like what we read, what we watch, what we listen to. Taking personal responsibility for what we are exposed to. With time, it becomes second nature. That is how we are designed.
Not only are we as individuals capable of our highest good in every moment, but we default to it in moments of need. Heroes are born from every tragedy. There is never a time we collectively do not inherently know when we must act. We can trust ourselves to hear the call.
In the moments when it seems the world is too far gone, and that familiar ache comes that urges you to give in to the darkness, know that is when your greatest power shows up. Because you do know inside that you would rather love. You would rather have peace. You would rather the connection you feel that binds you to all of the chaos be one transformed for your support and the support of others.