What is unconditional love?
I hope that this is an easy question for you, I hope that some-one's face immediately jumps into your mind, I hope that the feeling of being loved unconditionally is completely familiar to you. At least I hope that there is some-one in your life that is trying to love you unconditionally, I realise in bringing this subject up, I might provoke a sense of lack in people that they wish would be fulfilled, which would seem to be cruel if that was what I left people with.
Though it is not my intention as I share this thirst. I want to be loved unconditionally and I want to love unconditionally and I am sure that it is a common thirst with every other person. So why if it is such an universal desire does there seem to be so little unconditional love in the world and so many conditions on love that there is. And before you say my wife, my child, father, feels that way, stop and ask yourself if they changed, cheated, lied, became a drug addict, gambled away the house, would you still love them, would you expect some-one to still love you if you did the same.
Conditional love hides behind so many of our declarations of unconditional love, our promises to love some-one forever tended to have limits. We demand more than just love, we demand respect for who we are, and there is nothing wrong with that, trust that some-one is not going to hurt you is important, that they care about what you think and feel, that it guides their actions. Though there no denying all these things are conditions, they are limits on our love, there is an exchange of promises that go beyond love.
Does that mean unconditional love is impossible? No, absolutely not, if you can look into a baby's eyes and not feel unconditional love you might not be looking closely enough, especially if you are related to them. If you have never had a lover who for a moment you have not felt that flash of just loving and maybe even being loved, you have my loving kindness and I hope you have merely forgotten. If you have never felt completely safe in the company of your parents, family or friends, I hope you will discover it one day.
If you have, you know it is possible for unconditional love to exist for moments. Even if it does not tend to last for long before the conditions reappear, before people started demanding things, behaviours and attention again. Unconditional love can exist between the conditions, and try as we might we all have conditions that results from our needs and wants.
However unconditional love might come and go, that does not seem to be the fault of unconditional love. The unknowable god, enlightenment or whatever label you wish to put on the source of everything would probably be laughing at you for wanting unlimited, eternal, unconditional love, “You had that, then you decided to have a human experience instead,” we are human, we want so many things. Perhaps those lighting strikes of unconditional love are there to light the path of being human, of loving as a human, it when we communicate from one soul to another, and let some-one else know that they can trust us to fulfil the conditions that go along with our love.
Our unhappiness with a lack of unconditional love might come from where we choose to pay our attention. If we are always paying attention to the lack, to what conditions are being set upon us and what conditions of ours are not being met, is it any surprise that we can only feel the conditions of love and that we are missing out on something better. The mind can not help but compare, and it remembers the moments that everyone has of unconditional love, then it complains, “why are we not feeling it now, it was better before, let's go back to that” which of course it can't because it was the one saying, “Well, unconditional love is nice but we also want this and that,” the two are incompatible or rather one changes into the other.
What so few people do is allow love to oscillate between the two, in expecting love to be static and unchanging, we want it not to change, but love is energy, it changes back and forth from one state to another. Instead of holding on, and trying to trap it, hold it loosely, know that sometimes you want and desire, which is fine. Then when you are not thinking about it, you will be hit with a breeze of unconditional love, and if you lucky enough, you will just feel it and sit with the emotion without thought.
When you have a moment of unconditional love, try not to immediately think about the next one or dwell on how rare it is. Enjoy it when it happens and remember it whenever you can, revisit it and relish it, meditate with it and on it. Know that it is an honoured guest, a passing stranger. That way you will be ready and expectant for it to come again, you be ready to sit with it and not bother it with your worries, wants and desire when it comes to stay, because we won't expected anything from it, we won't be putting conditions on it, and when we do so that there is a chance it might even stay for a second cup of tea.