Loving unconditionally. Giving without expecting anything in return. We all think we should, but most of the time these concepts are just lofty ideals, impossible to achieve no matter how hard we try. Why is it so difficult to love unconditionally?
The reason we cannot love others unconditionally is because we donít know how to love ourselves. How can I give what I do not have? How can I perceive perfection in another, accept them as they are, if I see myself as flawed? The only way to love unconditionally is to first learn to love ourselves.
Ironically, in modern society we have the idea that loving oneself is selfish. Actually, it is selfish to not love yourself, because as long as you reject yourself, judge yourself, and focus on what is wrong, you will be needing something from others: approval, acceptance, recognition. That is being selfish: to take from your loved ones, instead of giving freely. Loving yourself is to stop being selfish, and to start taking responsibility: to take responsibility for your own joy, your own fulfillment. When being with yourself is enough, when your own presence is a pleasure, you can give freely to those around you without clinging, without needing; without taking. When you feel complete within yourself, It is a natural joy to give to others, to serve them in their own self realization and in remembering their own perfection.
The misconception of the ego as someone who is obsessed with their own grandeur just goes to show how lost in our egos we really are: the ego is the voice that convinces us their is something wrong with us, that judges us and keeps us small. It often adopts a false posture of pride and arrogant superiority, but if we cannot see this for what it really is – profound fear and insecurity – it is only because we ourselves are stuck in the same game of self judgment and rejection.
If you want to love unconditionally, first accept that you donít. Accept your conditions, your needs, the contracts you put in your personal relationships. If you cannot be honest with yourself, see yourself as you really are, you will not be able to change. Letís not focus on appearing to be unconditionally loving; letís focus on becoming unconditional love. By embracing yourself as you are, you will become the person you always thought you should be.
Isha Judd is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and author; her latest book and movie, Why Walk When You Can Fly? explain her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness. Learn more at www.whywalkwhenyoucanfly.com.