Understanding Unconditional Love


The Process of Coming to Unconditional  Love

For months I had been delving into understanding unconditional love, something of which I had determined I knew little of…neither in giving nor receiving. My long-time spiritual mentor had given me a number of reading and study assignments, and practical suggestions on how to apply it to my relationship with my wife at the time.

It had been a particularly difficult process, mostly because it was so embarrassing that an adult male could not love his wife without conditions being placed upon her. And yet, it was seeing that stark truth that had caused this important commitment to learning about unconditional love.

The breakthrough came in an instant, perhaps the result of cumulative effort and willingness. My wife and I had a difficult conversation, and I heard myself say, “You can leave me. You can divorce me. You can hate me. I will love you regardless.”

What made this more than a dramatic gesture was the feeling. It was true. It was amazing. And as much as I’d like to give myself credit, it would be much more accurate to say the ability fell upon me.

I called my mentor to tell him. He congratulated me then he said something that deeply humbled me. “Ron, love is a principle. You can’t just love one person without condition, you must love all people without condition.”

One would think I would have been deflated. But I knew what he said was on the mark. So I took a deep breath and committed myself to the effort.

That was some years ago now. Yet over time and with practice it has increasingly become reality. Painstaking reality. It’s not very easy to get over all the things within me that keep me from loving without condition.

This is the backstory as foundation for a recent awareness.

Often I now move from experience to experience, or person to person, or situation to situation and each fills me with a pleasure that is free of conditions. I can have a coaching session with an enlightened leader, and love them, then move on to a session with someone deep in an ugly reality, and love them as well. There is no comparison. It's as if I’ve lost the ability to discern. In the past, there were those I thought to love, and those I would just as soon avoid. Today, while I may not prefer some, I can’t seem to find any judgment.

Of course, this is not a tale of perfection. Whenever I find conditions being placed on someone or something, I know I have work to do within myself. While that occurs much less frequently, it's noteworthy that it cleans up much more quickly than before. I can only hope that continues to be the case.

Recently, I shared this with my mentor. I asked him what he thought.

“Ron, I think you’re in love.”

“Really,” I replied. “With who…or what?”

“Yes,” he replied.

A deafening silence followed.

Seeing True

Love is a principle. Love can have no conditions. Love cannot be selective.

Seeing True in Action

This assignment will be simple.

Who do you believe you love? Do you have any expectations of them? Do you place any conditions upon them?

Updated February, 2018