What is unconditional love? On the surface it would appear to be love that has no conditions.
Sounds pretty simple, right?
Well, for most it is not that simple.
Why is this? Well, you see, we all come with programming that is running in the background of our minds. Sort of like your computer. You see what you think is going on, but behind the scenes there are cookies and things tracking stuff, reporting stuff and moving things around on you.
Well, our minds work like that too. We have things going on in the background that we aren’t always aware of.
How did that get there? You may ask. It comes from a variety of sources. Some are from our parents and other family members. Some are from classmates, roommates, friends, bosses, coworkers and so on.
It’s all of those things that people tell you about yourself or how you should think or feel that work their way into our subconscious and play out over and over again back there. Most often you don’t even realize it is happening.
The things like “money doesn’t grow on trees”, which leads you to have beliefs of scarcity. Or, how about “If it wasn’t for bad luck, we’d have no luck at all”, which leads you to think that only bad things will happen to you. How about “if I want something done right, I’ll just have to do it myself” or “that must be how the other half lives”. The list can go on and on.
All of these little catch phrases form how we think and act. In turn, this affects how we treat ourselves and others.
Okay, so how does all of this relate to unconditional love though?
Well, if you have these invisible things going on behind the scenes that affect how you act, how can you treat others with truly unconditional love? If they don’t meet up to the standards of your life long programming language it can be tough to love them the way you would like to.
So, what can we do about this? Well, the first step is to start paying attention to what things don’t set well with you. Then, listen for the internal dialog/programming that fits the situation so you can start to change it.
All of this can be overcome.
Here’s an example. A person gets aggravated with little children around. The kids don’t have to be doing anything wrong, they can just be playing joyfully but it is still annoying to some people. Well, why is that? Perhaps it is because they were raised with the tape of “Children should be seen and not heard” playing in the background. So, happy or not, any noise children make is now unwelcome due to the programming. Once we are aware of what we are doing we can alter our reaction to it.
This doesn’t mean everything we heard growing up will stick and be as obvious as the example above. I was raised with that same phrase and it didn’t affect me at all in respect to other children. I love kids, especially joyful ones. It just made me a quieter child around a room full of adults, which was likely the intended result of the phrase rather than the worst possible outcome as listed above.
If you and your partner/husband/wife/spouse/etc. have differing views on something stop and see if there are two different messages playing in your respective backgrounds. One person doesn’t have to be right and the other one wrong. They are just two different positions on the same matter. Once you become aware of the background programming to it you will better understand where the other person is coming from and better be able to accept how they feel about the situation. Likewise, they hopefully can be more open to your opinion too!
Here’s another example. One person is raised with “you can do or be anything you want to be” and the other is raised with “you must work hard to get ahead”. The first person is raised with a more open array of options for how they can conduct their life and so will act in a whole slew of different possible ways.
The second person will likely work very hard, all of the time to get what they want in life.
Again, this doesn’t mean one will be more successful or happier than the other, it just means they will take different paths to get to the same end goals. See, one is not right and the other wrong. They are just different and understanding the background can help you better handle the situations that arise between you.
The person told essentially “the sky is the limit” (a different take on the programming of person number one above) will think anything is possible and dream big and chase the dream (at least one would hope).
The person told “hard work is the only way to be successful” – again paraphrasing on the person two example above – will not understand chasing dreams and finding anything possible because only through hard work, not dreaming, do you truly get ahead.
I wonder which phrasing Oprah Winfrey had playing in the background of her mind? It could even have been both!
So, long story short, to truly love someone unconditionally, you have to be open to the way they are and accept them for that. If you impose only your belief systems on everyone it is not likely that you will be able to pull off the unconditional part of this because your beliefs have the condition on them that you are right and alternate beliefs are wrong. So, conditions come in to play. You may think “my way works! It’s proven, it’s tested, it is right and that’s that.” Well, that’s pretty narrow now isn’t it? It could be completely true, but that doesn’t make it the ONLY right way to do things. Open up a little and see how much nicer life can be.
Unconditional love is a truly magnificent thing. It’s not easy to obtain, but it is not impossible either. If you want proof own a dog. They are masters of unconditional love!
Unconditional love means being open to other points of view, not having to be right all the time and accepting others for who they are. Good luck practicing openness, understanding and finding the “unconditional” part of your love!