According to Wikipedia, “Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. This term is sometimes associated with other terms such as true altruism or complete love. Each area of expertise has a certain way of describing unconditional love, but most will agree that it is that type of love which has no bounds and is unchanging.”
I used to believe that if I was to love someone in my life, then they darn well better be good to me and love me too or else they were off my Christmas card list. And I remember time and time again, feeling hurt and disappointed by someone and becoming angry at them and sometimes ultimately trying my best to remove them from my life. According to Eckhart Tolle and my experience of it as well, “true love contains no wanting whatsoever“.
For instance, I can remember one example that sticks out in my mind. One of my very best friends was planning a trip from her place in Florida to my hometown, and I was so excited that I was going to see her. I worked really hard, cleaned my house from top to bottom, cooked and baked and invested a lot of time and energy in getting ready for her much anticipated visit to my place. I was in touch with her by phone and she said she was excited to see me too and provided me with the dates of her visit. Back then, there was no way for me to call her during this time period because we didn’t have cell phones so I just patiently waited for her smiling face to show up at my door. And when the last day of her scheduled time in Brantford, came and went, I was devastated!
Sometime after that, we once again connected by phone. I am not sure now if she called me or I called her but regardless, I shared with her how hurt I was. Her explanation was that her visit to town was extremely busy and she simply ran out of time. She also reminded me that she didn’t say for sure that she would visit but said “probably” and I guess that word didn’t even register in my mind.
Back then, many, many years ago, I was so asleep and conditioned by what others had taught me that I remained angry with her and held a grudge for I believe over a year. I was so hurt and thought to myself, she couldn’t care very much about me if she didn’t even take the time to squeeze in even a little visit to me. Afterall, I believed I was her best friend. I believed very much that she hurt me and if she cared about me she would never have done that.
Thank goodness, since that time, I have gathered some wisdom and knowledge and learned new and beautiful ways of making sure that to the extent possible, I no longer suffer like I did back then. Through searching and learning from the experts, I found out that I could give unconditional love when ever I wanted to (and that would be always). I learned never to expect that I would receive it from anyone in return. I was able to discover that absolutely no one in my life had the power to hurt me or make me angry but me. It was only ever me that had that kind of power. It was me saying things to myself like “she was so mean to me, she hurt me, she doesn’t care about me – that was so unfair what she did to me“. I was the one believing all of those thoughts that were busy running through my mind.
But I had the choice to believe different thoughts. Byron Katie says, “No one can hurt me, that’s my job“. And I have found this to be absolutely true. Like Katie says, who would I be without those thoughts? Who would I be if I didn’t believe those thoughts? Who actually hurt me? Was it my friend Bunny or was it me going in to my mind and believing that she had hurt me – that she didn’t care for me. I could not have known for absolute certainty that she didn’t care about me and that she purposely didn’t visit me so that I would be hurt. And let’s say, just for a moment, that she did want to hurt me purposely; even then instead of being upset about it, I could just choose to have compassion for her. No one in this lifetime who wakes up each day happy, healthy and whole would ever purposely hurt anyone. When it does happen, it’s only because that person is lost in their own pain, their own agony and belief in their crazy thoughts. I have been there and know what that feels like.
It was all in my mind and believing my hurtful thoughts certainly did create chaos, agony and pain in my life. Truth be known, each and every day that I was waiting for her visit (and the almost full year after that), instead of believing the painful thoughts running through my head, I could have enjoyed each and every one of those days whether she visited me or not. Instead, I chose to keep causing myself agony that doubled and tripled as each day passed and I didn’t see her. All of those days waiting for her were wonderful behind the scenes but I was too blinded by my own self-induced agony to even notice anything else. I was too busy focusing on the sheep that I thought was lost and not the 99 others that continued to be there.
I think it is important to note that I am not saying that in every case, if people in your life are in pain and seeming to take this out on you, that you remain in their space. Sometimes, we are meant to move on but even if this is the case, you move on still holding that person in your heart. You come to realize, understand and have compassion for anyone that is striking out at you or someone else because now you understand that they are suffering too. We are all doing the best we can and when we know better, we do better but until then we cannot.
My world since not putting conditions on any of the relationships in my life is a very much more pleasant place to be. Sometimes, I wish I could have discovered that I was my own worst enemy a little sooner, but it happened when it was meant to and when I was ready to try something new. There is absolutely no perfect human being in this world and if I had of continued to put conditions on my relationships, I think chances are really good that I would not have anyone in my life to love and cherish and share this journey with.
As always, I would love to hear from you. Please keep me posted on what is happening in your life and any thoughts you may have in relation to this or any other issue that might be bringing you down. Until next time, onward and upward…
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