Loving Unconditionally...

Marie T. RussellOne hears a lot about 'Unconditional Love'. The dictionary defines unconditional as 'absolute, with no conditions or reservations'. Thus, to love unconditionally is to love with no restrictions, no qualifications, no 'I love you... but...'. 

Do you love yourself and others unconditionally? Do you love and approve of yourself and others even when a 'foul-up' occurs or when a behavior is not one you judge 'right'? Have you achieved that ideal state of being, even once in a while? To love yourself and others no matter what the situation is.

There are certain states of mind that will make it easier for you to love yourself and others with no reservations. The first is to accept things and people (including yourself) the way they are. This does not mean that you do not want any changes. Instead this means that you love them the way they are now, you accept that they are 'good enough', and desire them to become more of who they really are: their highest self.

Another state of mind is patience and understanding... The same patience one has with a small child that is learning to walk, or to talk. When a child stumbles or when a child speaks in strange incomprehensible words, we don't laugh at the child, mocking it, giving it a hard time and making it feel bad. We have understanding and patience. We understand that the child is learning, growing, and moving towards mastery of the new skills they are learning.

So it is with "adult learners". We are all learning to be masters of life and love... thus we all deserve patience and understanding. The people in our lives, no matter how trying they may seem at times, also deserve our patience and understanding. They too are struggling with mastering the skills needed to be happy and fulfilled in this existence on Planet Earth. 

Thus the first steps towards Unconditional love include patience, understanding, and acceptance of what is. To create a world for yourself where unconditional love abounds, you can also hold the thought that the world is a friendly place. As thought is creative, you will indeed attract to yourself a friendly world. Your attitude will bring out the best in people. You will be a factor in inspiring others to opt for their highest thought.

It is sometimes difficult to love unconditionally when some person or situation has 'pushed your button', so to speak. You have a choice as to how to react. You can get angry, you can pout, you can pretend that nothing is happening (ignore the person and event), or perhaps, a better way to handle it is to deal with the situation or person in a non-attached way. Taking care of what needs to be done, responding with patience and understanding, and moving on.

Non-attachment does not imply non-caring; being non-attached, emotionally, physically, psychically, and intellectually is an active process of expressing your feelings NOW, releasing them, being done with it, and moving on. This can be done honestly and in a caring way.

Unconditional love has to do with always coming from a loving, giving, and responsive viewpoint, recognizing the value and worth of yourself and others, and thereby producing a state of pleasure. Unconditional love is the highest truth and is not afraid to tell it. Know that you are living in a world that loves you as much as you love it, where you are an inspiration because you love, and you are not-attached to the results. 

Loving unconditionally is not always easy, as it involves speaking the truth, yet doing so without withholding love. It means acknowledging that while you may not approve of a person's behavior, you still honor and recognize the Divine Being that they really are. It means that even if someone doesn't behave in a way that you want them to, you still recognize the fact that they are a Being worthy of love and respect. No, they may not be "perfect" according to your definition of that term... Yes, you might be able to see many ways that they could "improve" themselves and their lives... Yes, you might think that you would do better in their situation... Yet, unconditional love means giving people the space to make their own choices, their own mis-takes, their own successes.

Just as we let children learn how to walk, we need to let the people in our lives learn "how to be"... and just as we give a child plenty of love and moral support while they're learning to walk and talk, so with the people in our lives, whether they're family or co-workers or friends or someone in the grocery store (or ourselves), we need to also give them love and moral support to assist them in discovering their own path toward Unconditional Love...


Handbook for the Heart, edited by Richard CarlsonRecommended book:

Handbook for the Heart: Original Writings on Love
edited by Richard Carlson
(author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff).

Info/Order book


About The Author

Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.

More articles by Marie T. Russell


Relationships

The Art of Encouragement: How to Encourage Yourself & Others

How to Encourage Yourself & Others: The Art of Encouragement

: The Art of Encouragement: by Mark Nepo. In many ways, to encourage is to help the heart unfold. And each time we do so, another…
Continue reading
Perfectly Imperfect Connections: The Joy of NonAttachment

Perfectly Imperfect Connections: The Joy of NonAttachment

by Susan L. Westbrook, PhD. The first step to connection is to open ourselves to the possibility that we can survive the hurts…
Continue reading
Becoming Your Own Best Friend: One of the Secrets of a Happy Life

One of the Secrets of a Happy Life is to Become Your Own Best Friend

by Barbara Berger. One of the secrets of living a happy life is to become your own best friend. But you can only do this when you…
Continue reading
Love Holds No Grievances: Choosing Peace in Relatinships

Love Holds No Grievances: Choosing Peace in Relationships

by Joyce Vissell. I like the anonymous quote, “Holding resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”…
Continue reading
Birthday Tradition: Redefining the  Great American Ritual

Birthday Tradition: Redefining the Great American Ritual

by Patricia Cohen. Almost any culture from which we originated had traditions or rites of passage that symbolized the changing…
Continue reading
Awakening to “The Good” and to a Deep Sense of Oneness

Awakening to “The Good” and to a Deep Sense of Oneness

by Ervin Laszlo. If we can choose the way we act, we have the responsibility to choose it wisely. Evidently, we can act to…
Continue reading
Should I Get A Divorce? Steps To A Happy Marriage

Should I Get A Divorce? Three Steps To A Happy Marriage

by Joseph Murphy. Divorce is an individual problem. It cannot be generalized. In some cases, divorce is not the solution, no more…
Continue reading
The Secret Formula To Successful Online Dating

The Secret Formula To Successful Online Dating

According to recent surveys, more than 40m single people out of 54m singles in the US have signed up to an online dating site…
Continue reading
Looking Inside Yourself For Definitive Answers with Relationship Therapy

Looking Inside Yourself For Definitive Answers: Relationship Therapy

by Kelly Johnson, M.D. Is relationship therapy really needed? Why can't most of us just wing it and hope that everything turns…
Continue reading
We've Been Limiting the Love We Get by Limiting the Love We Give!

We've Been Limiting the Love We Get by Limiting the Love We Give!

by Sandy C. Newbigging. Love is the essence of your being. Love is what you are. It is not something you get depending on what…
Continue reading
Cause and Effect: Depression in Children and Teens

Cause and Effect of Mixed Messages: Depression in Children and Teens

by Francesca Cappucci Fordyce. Children diagnosed with severe behavioral problems are blamed for their bad conduct. Yet parents…
Continue reading
Let Someone Into Your Heart

Let Someone Into Your Heart

by Alan Cohen. Most of us have at some time thought or said, "I will never love again." In the wake of emotional pain, it is…
Continue reading
Being Angels to One Another and Making Love Multiply

Being Angels to One Another and Making Love Multiply

by Dawna Markova. Making a loaf of Sabbath bread on Friday morning was my grandmother's favorite teaching tool. As she kneaded…
Continue reading
How Teachers Transform Classrooms With Emotional Learning

Unleashing Empathy: How Teachers Transform Classrooms through Emotional Learning

The secret to learning self-awareness, cooperation, and other “social and emotional learning” skills lies in experience, not in…
Continue reading
Leaders and Helpers: Learning Through Our Differences and Our Similarities

Leaders and Helpers: Learning Through Our Differences and Similarities

by J.T. Garrett and Michael Tlanusta Garrett. Quite possibly, it is through our differences that we learn the true value of that…
Continue reading
Men and Women Feel Things Differently: Guts and Hearts

Men and Women Feel Things Differently: Guts and Hearts

by David Kundtz. Many studies have shown that women's brains are wired differently from men's so they can both feel and recall…
Continue reading
Harvesting the Fruits & Gifts of Solitude

Harvesting the Fruits & Gifts of Solitude

by Zenith Henkin Gross. Americans are deeply ambivalent about the solitary person in our midst. On the one hand, the lone hero is…
Continue reading
Night Owls Are Less Likely To Get Married

Night Owls Are Less Likely To Get Married

People who tend to stay up late and wake up late in the morning are different in many important ways from early risers, new…
Continue reading
From Repression to Transcendence: Is There Life After Sex?

From Repression to Transcendence: Is There Life After Sex?

by Osho. You exist as a sexual being. Once you accept it, the conflict that has been created down through the centuries…
Continue reading
Appreciating Your Partner & Being Mindful of Each Other

Appreciating Your Partner and Being Mindful of Each Other

by Susan K. Perry, Ph.D. Do the best couples have any secret strategies for staying mindful and not taking one another for…
Continue reading
Why Do Opposites Repel or at Other Times Attract?

Why Do Opposites Repel or at Other Times Attract?

by Shakti Gawain. The people in our lives who make us uncomfortable, who annoy us, who we feel judgmental or even combative…
Continue reading
It's Not Your Job as a Parent to Make Your Children Happy

It's Not Your Job as a Parent to Make Your Children Happy

by Barbara Berger. Sitting with clients every day makes me realize that so many people are confused when it comes to the…
Continue reading
Is It Closeness … or Codependence?

Is It Closeness … or Codependence?

by Barry Vissell. When we were in our twenties, Joyce and I were criticized for being too close. Some people even quoted Kahlil…
Continue reading
Love problems? There’s a pill for that, but Plato offers a wiser cure

There’s A Pill For Love Problems, Or Maybe Not

Is pill-popping the best way to ensure we stay in love with our long-term partner? Should we also pop a pill to try to fall out…
Continue reading
Can Love Make You Whole? Discovering the Sacred Connection

Can Love Make You Whole? Discovering the Sacred Connection

by Julie Tallard Johnson. Unfortunately, many of us get lost on our way to find wholeness and happiness — we get lost in search…
Continue reading
Living From Your Heart

Living From Your Heart & Welcoming Everyone with Love

by Caroline Sutherland. In order to reach the summit of your own personal mountain, your mandate must be to love, inspire, and…
Continue reading

every-moment-of-life-is-an-initiation-the-journey-as-a-cocoon-to-butterfly by Simran Singh. Every situation in life has been an initiation—the leap forward, an activation; the reconciliation and clearing, the integration; and...Read More
who-is-in-charge-you-or-chocolate by William Fergus Martin. Many of us do things we wish we would not do. We may compulsively eat sugary or fatty things, drink too much alcohol, become a...Read More
embracing-new-life-allowing-your-creative-intuitive-power-to-lead-and-support-you by Simone Wright. I invite you to promise yourself that, from this moment forward, you will pursue with power and confidence every dream or desire you...Read More
love-holds-no-grievances by Joyce Vissell. I like the anonymous quote, “Holding resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” This poison can...Read More
coping-with-loss-the-many-faces-of-grief by Echo Bodine. We all deal with grief in our own way. Many turn to addictions like shopping, gambling, hoarding, alcohol, drugs, eating, and even...Read More
awakening-to-the-good-and-to-a-deep-sense-of-oneness by Ervin Laszlo. If we can choose the way we act, we have the responsibility to choose it wisely. Evidently, we can act to maximize our own...Read More
how-to-gain-clarity-clearing-out-your-mind-and-your-unconscious by Daphne Rose Kingma. One process for attaining clarity used by the Quakers is called the clearness committee. In it a person convenes a group of at...Read More
making-herbal-medicine by David Hoffmann FNIMH AHG with Diana DeLuca. There is nothing mysterious or even particularly clever or skillful about making healing formulations...Read More
good-enough-to-be-true by Alan Cohen. When I began to teach classes on spiritual principles, I devoted time at the end of each class to pray for students and their loved ones....Read More
the-art-of-encouragement-how-to-encourage-yourself-others: The Art of Encouragement: by Mark Nepo. In many ways, to encourage is to help the heart unfold. And each time we do so, another aspect of our true self...Read More
horoscope-current-week-by-pam-younghans by Pam Younghans. This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and insights to assist you in making the...Read More
innerself-newsletter-07-20-2014 We all have habits of some kind. The first step to moving past our habits is to connect with The Joy of Non-Attachment. Then of course, we can replace...Read More