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A time comes in our personal development when we realize that we are not isolated, independent individuals, but rather that we are all interdependent. We then experience genuine care and concern for others, become more aware of the larger whole and feel a deep desire to share our riches, whatever they may be, with others.
Why strive for unconditional love? It is because we do not love unconditionally for love’s sake. Rather we love unconditionally as an act of service, a way of giving freely of ourself, a way of serving one another, humanity and the world.
Humanitarian Albert Schweitzer observed, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
True service is being who we are at all times and expressing as best we can our inherent transpersonal qualities, including unconditional love. The process of evolution engages us all to be conscious co-operators with it, and so we begin to see the needs of the whole and direct our resources to meet those needs.
The Key To Service: "Want To" Rather Than "Have To"
The key to service is doing what we want to do, not have to do, in an effortless way. A Psychosynthesis trainer we know suggests two guiding principles when deciding what to do in life:
• Make a contribution.
• Do it whole-heartedly one hundred per cent.
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We may ask ourself, ‘How can I best serve, where can I contribute, what is the greatest need, where can I give one hundred per cent?’ A popular saying provides the answer, ‘Ask not what the world needs; ask rather what makes your heart sing and go do that. For what the world needs is people with hearts that sing.’
Here are a few suggestions for bringing more unconditional love into your life.
To avoid judging, criticizing and condemning others, affirm silently to yourself whenever you are tempted to think unkindly towards someone, ‘I love you, I bless you, I see the divinity within you.’
Remind yourself to look beyond all outer appearances. Recognize and appreciate people for who they are—a permanent centre of pure Self-awareness, love and will.
2. Creative (Ideal Model) Visualization
Imagine how you would ideally like to express unconditional love—not a model of perfection, but a realistic and attainable ideal. Then visualize and experience yourself being this ideal.
Move slowly scene by scene through a full day’s activities, including interactions with others at work, leisure and home.
3. Angels and Mortals
Each year in early December, Findhorn Foundation members take part in a festive ritual called ‘Angels and Mortals’. They write their names on slips of paper and put them into a hat. When everyone has done so, each then draws out a name and becomes an instant ‘angel’ for their ‘mortal’ so chosen. Thus, everyone is both a mortal, and an angel for another mortal.
From then until Christmas, the angels’ task is to love, appreciate and bless their mortals in as many different ways as they can imagine—anonymously; mortals never know who their angels are until Christmas morning. Angels find creative ways, as well as willing helpers, to let their mortals know they are being watched over by caring guardian angels.
Whatever form they take, these are all acts of unconditional love because all participants must trust, as mortals, that they will receive the full and loving attention of their angel, independent of however much they may do for their own adopted mortal. Thus, their attention can be focused more upon giving rather than receiving. In this ritual, as well as in life, when everyone gives, everyone receives.
Become An Angel for Someone
To practise unconditional love, we invite you to become an ‘angel’ for someone! Do not wait until Christmas. Do it now. Choose a ‘mortal’, perhaps someone in your family, church or meditation group, a co-worker, a neighbour or whoever delivers your post, and begin to find ways to acknowledge, appreciate and do simple little things for the person—all anonymously, of course.
If you feel shy, awkward or embarrassed about following this suggestion, remember you are doing it for the other person, not for yourself. It need not take a great expenditure of time, money or effort—only love: Do not hold yourself back. Open your heart and focus upon the love, the caring, the joy of giving.
Continue to appreciate and bless the same person for as long as you wish. Or adopt a new mortal every week! Never reveal your identity. Then you can be assured that all the wonderful things you do for your adopted mortal are acts of pure unconditional love.
• The Power of Unconditional Love: 21 Guidelines for Beginning, Improving, and Changing Your Most Meaningful Relationships,by Ken Keyes Jr, presents a strategy for loving unconditionally. He suggests, “Unconditional love means learning to separate the person from the problem. Love the person; work with the problem.”
• Unconditional Love, by John Powell, SJ, says, “Love is either conditional or unconditional. Either I attach conditions to my love for you or I do not. To the extent that I do attach such conditions, I do not really love you. I am only offering an exchange, not a gift. And true love is and must always be a free gift.”
©1993, 2004, 2018 by Eileen Caddy and David Earl Platts.
All Rights Reserved. Publisher: Findhorn Press, an imprint of
Inner Traditions Intl. www.innertraditions.com
Learning to Love
by Eileen Caddy and David Earl Platts.
In this simple yet insightful guide, Eileen Caddy and David Earl Platts detail the down-to-earth practicalities of exploring feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and past experiences that block us from loving and from receiving love. They show how bringing more love into our lives is not a mystery but often a journey back to ourselves and our core values. The authors examine the feelings of acceptance, trust, forgiveness, respect, opening up, and taking risks, among others, within a framework of compassionate understanding and non-judgment. Deceptively simple yet profound exercises, meditations, and visualizations support the reader in examining their inner world and implementing these vital concepts into their lives.
About the Authors
Eileen Caddy, MBE (1917-2006), was the co-founder of the Findhorn Foundation, a thriving spiritual community in the North of Scotland. For more than 50 years, Eileen listened to and shared her inner guidance, inspiring millions around the world. David Earl Platts, Ph.D., a former consultant, trainer, writer, and psychosynthesis counsellor, lived at Findhorn for many years where he worked extensively with Eileen.
David Earl Platts, Ph.D., a former consultant, trainer, writer, and psychosynthesis counsellor, lived at Findhorn for many years where he worked extensively with Eileen Caddy.