This is the third part of this Valentine’s Series on Love. Exploring unconditional love.
So what is unconditional love and how do we get it? Feels like a big questions. A million dollar question.
Webster defines unconditional as a state of no conditions, a state of absolute, unqualified. Absolute meaning without question and something that is there no matter what. Unqualified indicates that you don’t have to do anything to deserve or earn it. In this case love.
The word Love on the other hand is defined by words like strong affection for another, attraction, adoration, tenderness, a warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion, endearment, brotherly concern for others. But my favorite … an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.
So unconditional love could be defined as the unselfish concern for the good of yourself or another person. Wishing and acting to create the best for one’s self and for others.
Sometimes it feels like an aching in my heart, a longing for that other person when they are absent or when you know that they are going through something that is painful emotionally or physically.
Sometimes it feels like peace. There is nothing wrong. Only good appears in my emotions, thoughts, actions when I direct my attention to myself or another person.
Sometimes it is an overwhelming warmth and light that surrounds me no matter who I think about or what the situation. There is no judgement or doubt, no worry or fear, only light, peace, joy, and happiness. It is not dependent on anything.
Unconditional love is like air. It simply exists and we can enjoy it, pass it on, share it, use it, in any way we choose. More and more, I am able to tap into that place of unconditional love and hold space for the world and its animals and people with compassion for all of their beauty, amazement, flaws, and pain places and truly see the perfection of their spirit and what needs to be healed for them to live in that perfection. This is without judgement or attachment or the need to act, fix, rescue. I just sit in the current reality with the energy of unconditional love.
Love is an action and a choice we make every moment of every day. We choose to move in love. We choose to act out of love. We choose to act in ways that maintain a person’s dignity and respect and humanity. We choose to listen and put their wants before our wants for them. We choose to set healthy boundaries that keep ourselves and the other person safe. We choose support their choices even when we don’t agree. We place no condition on the emotional availability of our feelings for them. They are absolute and unqualified.
I learned about unconditional love through my parents and my children. Even when I disappointed my parents, displayed crazy adolescent behavior, made bad choices, my parents loved me and never denied that love. When my children came into the world, I was overcome with unconditional love. I found myself making all manner of sacrifices for their well-being. Making choices that were strategic and allowed me to make a way for them. My prayers changed to be more about them than about myself. And as my father and Duchess aged, I found myself helpless to change the situation and I had to simply love them through the everyday and support them maintaining their dignity and respect no matter what was happening to their bodies and their minds. I would just sit with them in silence, holding their hand when possible and allow my heart to open to their spirit and presence just because I loved them. I had no needs or requests. I was just present.
I have had the word love on my desk for the past 8 years. I came out of the closet with love as a value, pledging to do everything with love. I put the word on my desk to remind me of that commitment. I have learned so much about love that I can’t even articulate. I will say it is the most powerful action any of us can undertake. Love, the unconditional act of love can move mountains and change the world. I am committed to love, to hold and embody this energy and to take the action it requires. I am committed to continue to learn about love and its power. So what have you learned about unconditional love and where does it show up in your life? Happy Valentine’s Day!