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The Challenge of Unconditional Love

Every Soul Yearns for Love

We all need the warm embrace of unconditional love

We all need the warm embrace of unconditional love

Loving Completely

When talking of unconditional love, many people think first of their children, their partner, their parents, or their pets. They nod vigorously, certain that they offer unconditional love to these beings.

What does loving unconditionally mean, and how can we bring unconditional love into our day-to-day life? This article outlines several ways in which you can enlarge your view of love, making your life a gift of love for those around you.

Love For All Beings

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What Makes it so Hard?

While you may like the idea of unconditional love, it is a challenge to love everyone without expectation.

Why is unconditional love so difficult? The short answer is expectations. It is hard to offer love to others, without expecting anything in return. We are hardwired to want a reward for the risk of making ourselves vulnerable.

You give love, you expect to get something back. Maybe a thank you. Or some acknowledgement of your sacrifice. Or at least a nod. But if you expect something, then you are not sharing your love unconditionally.

As part of my own unconditional love practice, I recently decided that the next $100 bill I received in my business would be used as a tip for the server the next time I ate out.

I had fun imagining the person's surprise at my generosity. I felt good, thinking how grateful the person would be. It made me smile, thinking about how good it felt when I received those unexpected large tips, back in the days when I waited tables.

Part of me didn't realize that the $100 bill would come just a day after making that decision. I thought I'd have more time to plan. And the next time I ate out wasn't really the place I'd been wanting to leave the large tip.

In my imagination, I left the tip with a young server at the local coffee shop. But, my next outing was actually at a local Chinese restaurant with a girlfriend.

While my friend used the bathroom, I quietly went up front and paid our check (as a surprise for my friend, who was suddenly thankless and annoyed that I'd paid without asking her.) Then I handed our server the $100, folded up and discreet.

She didn't say thank you. She didn't make a big show. She didn't even come back to the table to refill our drinks. We had to find her, to get a box for our togo items. And to top off the experience, my friend was annoyed.

I was irritated, leaving the restaurant. That didn't go at all according to plan. And then I realized that buying lunch and leaving a generous tip was not about me. Wait. What? It's not all about me? No.

I had expectations of people's behavior, thus rendering my gestures of abundance and unconditional love completely neutral. I expected something from my friend and from the server. That placed a condition on my gift. It tarnished the very gift that I was trying to give.

Only when I released my expectation and agreed with myself that the act was meant to bless them, whether or not I received thanks, only then was I able to release my expectations and just offer love.

That is the challenge of unconditional love: to offer love without any expectation. No strings attached.

Loving Kindness Meditation

May all beings be safe, healthy and happy. May all beings live with ease.

May all beings be safe, healthy and happy. May all beings live with ease.

Love All, Serve All

Unconditional love is love for all beings, whether you like them or not. Loving all, whether they fit in with your religious, political, economic or social expectations, that is unconditional love. It's not easy.

It's easy to love the people who love you. It's easy to offer love to people who are nice to you, or who agree with you, or who do what you want.

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But what about the other 99.999 percent of people and beings who inhabit the planet? The challenge of unconditional love is to offer love and service to those you deem unworthy. It means you offer love to your perceived enemies, to your rivals, to your ex-partners and your estranged children and to the strange dog who nipped at your ankles on your morning run.

The challenge of unconditional love is to offer love, compassion and acceptance to all beings regardless of their behavior, their circumstances or their desirability.

Letting Go of Expectation

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Release Your Own Fear

The easiest way to practice unconditional love is to let go of expectations of outcome. Usually, expectation is present when you fear something. You fear loss. You fear you won't be loved or acknowledged or appreciated.

Let go of your fear, and embrace the idea that you are deeply and completely loved, exactly as you are. Once you embrace unconditional love as your own birthright, then you can offer it to others.

Letting go of expectation is difficult. It feels scary to offer love without a promise of something in return. The truth is, you can only control yourself. You can offer love or fear. When you offer love to a being, you choose to release your own fears of rejection and abandonment and unworthiness. You look beyond that and into the truth that love is a gift for you and for all beings.

Embrace the idea that when you offer love without expectation, you open an energetic flow that allows an abundance of love to flow through your life. You allow others to love you without condition. What you give, you receive.

When you release fear and embrace the notion of loving without expectation, then you open yourself to receiving that love back.

The truth is, there is nothing to fear. You are safe. You are loved. All is well. Share that love with everyone you meet and open yourself to a flow of universal abundance.


Namaste, friends

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Deborah Demander

Comments

Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on March 05, 2020:

That's a lovely story, Ruby. I hope you were able to continue that flow of good energy and abundance into the world.

Namaste

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 26, 2020:

This is a beautiful article. My husband and I went to the Pizza Hut to eat, when we got up to pay the server said that our bill had been paid. We asked who and she said that his comment was " Passing it on " It is nice to know that people are out there who still care. Thank you.

Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on February 25, 2020:

Eric, I always appreciate your kind words. You are a thoughtful soul.

Namaste

Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on February 25, 2020:

Donna, thank you for reading the article and taking time to comment. I appreciate it.

Namaste

Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on February 25, 2020:

Thank you for your comments Peggy.

Yes, just when I thought I had it all figured out, the Universe gave me a little tap on the shoulder to remind me to let my ego go!

Namaste

Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on February 25, 2020:

Thanks for your comments Kari. I have also thought that I'd forgiven someone, only to realize that I was still pretty bitter.

It is a challenge to just love people. But so worth it.

Namaste

Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on February 25, 2020:

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the article. I appreciate it.

Namaste

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 25, 2020:

Very well done on a much deserved topic. You did a good job of laying it out for me. Thanks. (I will be incorporating this)

Donna Rayne from Sparks, NV on February 24, 2020:

I agree with the giving of unconditional love is without the expectation that you will get something in return. It is a precious love and brings kindness and thoughtfulness to the giver and even more so to the receiver of such a gift.

I loved reading your article, great job!

Donna Rayne

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 24, 2020:

This is such good advice. Your experience at the Chinese restaurant was a good lesson to illustrate your point of giving love and not expecting it in return.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on February 24, 2020:

I agree, we are here to love. No matter what else we do with our lives, we should love all we meet. As you say, this can be difficult. Sometimes, I have convinced myself that I had forgiven someone who wronged me, just to find out later that I really hadn't. Love is hard to show unconditionally, but it is worth the effort to try.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 23, 2020:

Interesting reading. Thought provoking.

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