Unconditional love might seem to be an unachievable goal, something out of the realm of possibility. However we can come close if we believe in the possibility and work like crazy to make it happen.
In A New Map for Relationships, I talk about a realization I had: “I knew that learning how to love was my life’s mission. As with all great quests, it was mine to either fail or succeed at in my time on Earth. Since somewhere, somehow, I had been programmed to love, I was determined to succeed.”
That realization was key, but it was only the first step. Now I had to work like crazy.
Unconditional love has two parts. One is learning how to love and the other is learning how to receive love. Surprisingly, both are difficult to achieve.
Learning to receive love means letting down the protective, emotional walls that we’ve built over time. At first that can be scary, so it’s not surprising that it’s hard to do.
I remember wondering why I couldn’t let Marty’s love in even when he was wrapping me in it. Part of the problem was that my life experiences had taught me – incorrectly – that I was unlovable.
Next time a loved one wraps you in his or her arms and lets you know that you are loved, be sure and notice whether you can feel it without reservation. If you can, you are on the path to unconditional love because you know what it feels like. Believe it or not, the signals are there and sometimes you just need to tune in to the channel.
Learning to give unconditional love means letting go of a thousand ideas about how the world should be and focusing on this one individual and who they really are. All your external ideas fall away and you become open to a meeting of souls, minds, and hearts.
Unconditional love isn’t just a way of giving; it’s a way of being. It has nothing to do with material gifts; it is a gift straight from your soul that costs nothing.
You need to quiet yourself and attend to the opportunity before you. If you sit with someone and really open your heart to them you will discover things about yourself that might surprise you. It might be an overwhelming feeling of calm, or a rush of love. It might be true empathy for someone in a difficult situation. Whatever it is, you will find that the rush comes right back and fills your heart. The gift given also becomes a gift received.
And now we are back to working like crazy to achieve it. Unconditional love takes practice. Being still with someone, dropping judgment and ego, and making room for unconditional love is a practice. We don’t get “there.” But, if we work hard, we get to be in the process of getting there.
How do you practice compassion and unconditional love? Let us know by commenting below. As always, stay up to date with the latest A New Map news by following us here, or on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, and Pinterest.