Unconditional love is something that shows itself through joy. We can evolve in the process of unconditionally loving, and this is a course that is evolving in itself and revealing its nature more and more.
When you love unconditionally, you can see a situation beyond the tip of the iceberg and can understand the basic good of everything without emotionally charged criticism. You can move above your emotions and conditional judgment and become truly objective. If you learn to do this, you are expanding the self. Unconditional love is not a feeling and is not emotional, it is an act based on a state of being and is also mental. In other words, it moves above the emotional level and into the spiritual and mental levels. When you learn to provide unconditional love, you are giving service to your deepest (spiritual) growth and that of another.
Different religions define unconditional love in various ways, but they all seem to share the same foundation. For example, Christianity seems to define it more as forgiveness and doing to others what you want done to yourself, while Islam and Judaism seem to define it more as fairness, justice, and unity.
Overall, people who learn how to have an unconditional love have a sense of responsibility, can make wise choices based on experience and knowledge, can show people their weaknesses in a way that does not create resistance, can challenge people to become the best of who they are, can help people to do self-discovery, can motivate people to work on the blind spots to move beyond them and become stronger, and can teach people cooperation and how to work toward fairness and greatness for humanity as a whole. It also includes sharing information as to how to overcome prejudice, aggressive behaviors, overreactions to situations, knee jerk behaviors, hate, and other blocks that limit us from experiencing joy and becoming whole. But it is important to note that unconditional love is not:
- Accepting things that are damaging and harmful to the self, to others and to the surrounding.
- Not having boundaries, or a sense of accountability and responsibility.
- Encouraging and supporting weaknesses, ignorance, negative thoughts, irresponsibility, and irrational or over reactive emotions.
- Numbing people to their own problems and those of the world.
- Tolerating concepts of uselessness and taking advantage of others and society.
- Taking sides in a conflict but finding fair solutions.
- Expecting rewards.
To practice this concept, we came up with the unconditional love project that was a six-month project where a group of 30 people were asked to apply unconditional love and report how it affected them. At the end of the period, they reported the fowling:
1. I had a sense of freedom from the emotional baggage.
2. I was struggling with having the feeling of unconditional love when someone seemed too lazy to work or worked with no sense of perfection and seemed like he was falling short of fulfilling his mission.
3. I had less judgment and thus had more positive interactions, thoughts and feelings.
4. I felt free from selfishness, arrogance and fear which made me feel more liberated.
5. I learned that even though sometimes I think I know what is best for others I do not. So I need to let it go and only say what I know and do not act as if I know more than I do.
6. I learned to share less baseless opinions and to learn more valid information and listen more. I need to be selective as to what I say, do, and think.
7. I learned to allow people around me to make more choices and understood that different people have different perceptions and that I cannot force mine onto others and to expect them to think and see things like I do.
8. I learned that more times than not, I cannot see things from the higher-picture order and that it is not my right to determine someone else's path.
9. I learned that what works for me may not for you.
10. I learned that many races, religions, customs, nationalities and beliefs within our world bring us great productivity and allow us the benefit of knowledge of such diverseness.
11. Overall, I feel more love.
12. I tend to not overreact as much.
13. I seem to be more rational and in control of my emotions.
14. I seem to have more peace and thus am happier.
15. Things seem to be easier for me.
16. My relationships are getting more and more drama-free.
17. People whom I care for actually want to listen to me more now
At the end, the benefits of comprehending what an unconditional love means and implementing it in our everyday life seems to be significant, not only to us but also to whomever and whatever we interact with. So let's start the process and see it for yourself.
Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD
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