Why Unconditional Love Does Not Exist
Of course unconditional love exists. But where, how and when?
“Unconditional love can only exist once we have moved through the motions of conditional love. Then and only then may we reach a heightened and enlightened state of being that liberates us from dualistic conditions. This space is profound and requires lifetime[s] of effort to embody, accomplish and reach beyond”.
Walk Before You Can Run
It is through the initial placement of conditions based on our highest values that we dissolve boundaries, borders and ultimately limiting conditions. But we must walk before we may run… The only way TO is THROUGH. If unconditional love is considered an ultimate state of being, then to get there, we must take baby steps. We must move THROUGH connecting to and with conditional love in order to learn and gauge how to embody unconditional states of being.
When we are able to express deep compassion, profound empathy, be non-attached, love without discrimination, judgement and critique, when we can be hurt, emotionally sabotaged, triggered immensely, disillusioned and still be in our hearts then we have reached unconditional states of being. Can you be hurt in every single way conceived and still hold love for that projected image ‘causing you that pain’?
And yes, setting healthy boundaries, whilst loving from a distance is still considered unconditional love. But to respect yourself enough to take that action, you must know yourself and to know yourself you must move through and with conditional states of being. These are intrinsically connected to dualistic premises and we live in a dualistic world.
It is beautiful to think and feel that we may be able to love unconditionally. And whilst this notion and even embodiment of authentic being (this being key here – authentic) has prolific merit and possess deep truth; it is unattainable for most (initially) and in fact not even possible until we move through conditional love.
What Is Conditional Love?
There are implicit and explicit conditions placed upon all of our relationships, especially at the level of being that the majority of the collective function at. So, what is conditional love?
In this context, conditional love is when we love another with a prerequisite or set of ideals that in order to exchange love with another they and we must meet a set of standards or ideals (both negotiable and some non-negotiable) where some form of conceived love may flourish, be maintained or experienced.
Love for self falls in to a different category. This can be just as (if not more) layered and complex than sharing love with another. Depending on our conditioning, exposure to certain experiences and how we have interpreted those experiences will determine how we choose to relate to ourselves.
Ultimately, we are looking to cultivate compassion and empathy at deep levels of being in order to shatter limiting beliefs and break through paradigms that do not serve our growth and that are not kind, endearing nor expansive.
So, whether we are referring to love for and with another or love for ourselves, we are essentially speaking to the same ‘thing’. For the purpose of this paper, let us focus on external intimate and erotic relationship.
The Conditions Of Conditional Love
Now, some may say that conditional love is selfish, self-absorbed, narcissistic, pessimistic, limiting, rude, wrong and the list goes on. Yes, it can be. It is deliberate intention, self-awareness and understanding of self that sets apart unhealthy and healthy conditional love.
“An embodiment of conditional love is necessary for us to move to unconditional embodied states of being”.
Conditional love – when felt, embodied, expressed, communicated and acted in specific intention, connected to growth (of all involved), is ‘selfishly selfless’ and is expressed in compassion is healthy and can lead us to greater enlightenment (unconditional states of being or love).
Whether we like it or not, we bring expressed or implicit additional conditions to all relationships based on who we have been, unconscious beliefs, our models of reality, what specific experiences we have been exposed to and what we believe is right and just for us.
Through knowing self at great depth and choosing consciously to explore the chasms of our being, we allow ourselves to be far more open to life. We can then make decisions, take action, embody and direct our lives according to what is most important to us – love is no different, nor should it be.
Some observe relationships or the exchange of love as a ‘commercial arrangement’. Both parties will only be ‘winning’ if both parties are meeting each other’s needs. This implies conditions. Think in to this for a moment. If your child behaved in obscene, heinous, unhealthy, disconnected, and harmful ways would you love him or her the same? No one can answer this but you.
And the love of a parent child can become layered and complex as this bond and dynamic is a profound extension of self and as discussed earlier, the manner in which we treat others and ourselves is predicated on a number of varying factors. But nevertheless, something to contemplate deeply.
Healthy conditional love means the following:
• To know one’s highest values
• To act in accordance with these values
• To love, respect, revere, trust and be truthful and present to self
• To set healthy boundaries and if the way you are being treated does not align with you, removal from that space takes place
• Knowing what you need from another – your likes, dislikes, etc. so that you may be able to express this with clarity to another
• Familiarising yourself with your belief systems and then acting in accordance with these
• Maintaining an open mind and heart with respect to ‘being and doing differently’
• Not cheating on yourself and dishonouring who you are – to not minimise yourself in order to maximise another
• Knowing it is okay to walk away
When we say to another we love them, it is laden with conditions. If our highest values in relationship for example is fidelity and our beloved is consistently practicing infidelity, how would we feel? Would we be able to remain in that relationship? Are we honouring our truth and respecting ourselves and our values if we are not aligned with that behaviour, yet allow ourselves to be continuously exposed to it?
When we say I love you, it should be: “I love you but, if you break your promises, hurt me, continue to go against what is important to me or move in a different direction my love for you may eventually wane”. Is there something ‘wrong’ with this?
Love in this context can be fickle. But here is the power we receive from being connected to ourselves in a meaningful manner and respecting our boundaries and setting conditions on our love. When we do this and embody this authentic practice two major occurrences take place.
1. We draw deep alignment in our lives, we draw in to our lives people, experiences, life circumstances and conditions that truly aid our growth in exponential ways because we are being true to ourselves, exploring our authentic power and expressing congruency to others. Our honesty acts as a large sift filtering out what does not serve us
2. And we begin to actually transcend ‘conditions’ and the attachment to conditions as we begin to ‘see’ and feel well beyond them. Now, we have a capacity to enter the realm of unconditional states of being
What Is Unconditional Love?
The Empowering Growth Of Self
As we grow and develop a deeper understanding to and embodiment of life the ‘I will do this for you if you do this for me approach’ (unconscious and conscious) morphs and evolves. The conditions lessen, the expectations become less rigid and we move with preferences as opposed to constricted fear based expectations.
Our connection to self becomes clearer and more obvious, filled with greater levels of self-love and self-worth. We simply experience life from a place of greater attention to self with less non-attachment. No matter what is transpiring around us we continue to remain true to our path and our being.
Unconditional love is to love without conditions. Sounds simple, right? Not quite. When we love unconditionally, irrespective of what another may be, do, feel or project we still hold deep love (empathy, compassion, sincerity, reverence, intuition, support, being and so much more for them).
We love irrespective of what occurs externally. We are un-wavered internally. We smile more than ever when we think of them or hold them in our hearts deeply. This is challenging because as a collective we have not been conditioned in this way, in fact the antithesis.
This love is deep and transcendent. Transcendent of pity, apathy, sympathy, hate, anger, disdain, disconnection, pain, fear, ignorance and shame. This does not mean we disrespect ourselves and do not set healthy boundaries in order to secure our emotional, psychological and physical safety.
It means however our internal state is in constant homeostasis, experiencing love for all that exists no matter what is occurring outside of us. Basically, our depth and level of understanding of life becomes enlightened. Equate this state to our Anahata (heart) chakra being fully open similar to that of The Buddha, Mahatma Ghandi or Jesus Christ.
This is unconditional level – where we can ‘see’ well beyond superficial circumstances and we understand (on various layers – namely existentially) so deep that our love for all is immovable or un-wavered.
Non-Attachment Is The Key
Again, to reiterate this does not mean we allow harmful events or experiences to enter our reality or are despondent or oblivious to what is occurring in our lives. It means we can move through life being honest with who we are, still loving and being able to consciously communicate our needs deeply.
We are not sad, angry, hateful or vengeful if another hurts us with malice or a situation or relationship does not occur in the way we had wished it to occur. We love deeply still, yet we choose to release and surrender to what no longer serves us. The intention is powerful here – the intention to release without negative emotion and inner tension. This is the driving difference.
Essentially unconditional and conditional may hold similarities in the action taken; the difference becomes evident in our internal states. And the calmer, more peaceful we are, the more we give to ourselves, the deeper we love and continue to truly love under adversity – the greater we expand and grow. Through this creative clarity we excel amazingly as human beings being propelled through the cosmos yearning to connect to what makes us whole…
Practicing non-attachment leads us to wholeness.
One is always glad to be of service.
Relational Alchemist, Speaker & Author
Relational Alchemist, Speaker & Author