How to Love Unconditionally
Sometimes it's hard to keep loving. Sometimes it's hard to love without conditions. Sometimes such unconditional love seems misplaced, even foolhardy. We believe that if such love were offered indiscriminately, people would be given free rein to behave in any way they want without suffering any negative consequences. If, on the other hand, we put conditions on our love, we believe that somehow we will be able to control their behavior.
One of my personal rules for living on this planet earth is to dwell in unconditional love. I feel I have been compelled by heaven to do this, and would sooner fly to Siberia on the back of a goose than be told I could not dwell in unconditional love. Even so, I have often found myself feeling hurt or used by someone who seemed to take advantage of the unconditional love I offered. I have also experienced how fruitless an exercise it is to try to force others to alter their behavior patterns by withholding unconditional love.
I think the issue in both cases has to do with accountability. When I tell myself that unconditional love allows too much freedom, I find myself unable to give it, lest I be left in a heap of pressing pain and edgy emotions. The way I have found to love unconditionally and maintain accountability is by separating my personal feelings from the hard, grounded truth of the love itself.
Let me explain what I mean. Unconditional love is always there, not because I give it, but because it is given by something/Someone bigger than me. God. The universe. The Power beyond all things. That love is as steady as the dawn being birthed from darkness. It is distinct and separate from any personal feelings of tenderness or sentimentality I may feel toward another individual. All I am truly capable of doing is acknowledging the fact that a person is standing in a space where they are surrounded by that love. My responsibility is to help them become aware of that space when I can, and to honor that space by not placing my judgments on them or their behavior. By recognizing what is already there, I can simply open myself to it, and let it change both me and the one from whom I am tempted to withhold it.