Unconditional Love

Although I make every effort to live my life one day at a time, I still really like the idea of a brand new year.

On a personal level, the last year has been an amazingly positive year for me.  As a result of further study and reflection, I reached a greater depth in myself, which helped me to have a more peaceful existence.  This was then mirrored in my intimate relationship, and in other close relationships. image

Over the last year, I found myself gravitating to books written by people who have had near death experiences, referred to as NDE.

I have found Anita Moorjani and Dr Rajiv Parti’s account of their NDE to be particularly interesting.  Maybe it’s due to earlier life experiences but it’s been some time now since I’ve been fearful of dying. I love life but I’m also not afraid of death.  I believe that when the time comes for me to leave this earthly world, my spirit will step out of my body no differently to how it currently steps out of old shoes or clothing.

Just today I came across a new book titled ‘What If This Is Heaven’ by Anita Moorjani.  Anita describes how she didn’t love herself until after her NDE, and how she never realised that loving one’s self is actually the most important thing that any one of us can do – it’s the key to living a blissful life.

If we look at ourselves through the eyes of a loving parent or observer, we will clearly see that we start out as beautiful innocent children, but that somewhere along the way to adulthood, many of us seem to get lost. Whilst some of us may eventually find our way, many others live their entire life and leave this world with little or no self-awareness of their own beauty and worthiness. I think that’s incredibly sad.

As this is the beginning of a new year, I’ve decided to renew my vow to give myself permission to love myself, and to forgive any perceived areas of “imperfection” in myself – but most importantly of all, I’m going to resist “doing” or “giving” in order to gain other people’s love, admiration, appreciation……or whatever other “ation” that seems to be desirable in the moment.

That might seem like an incredibly easy thing to do, and in one way it is; however, when one has been reared in a culture that dishes out enormous portions of guilt for not “doing” and “giving” – then, resisting the temptation to be this way in the world is a mighty big task indeed.

So, how might it be achievable? In my experience, it’s a somewhat like making a decision to opt for a healthy diet or lifestyle – it’s about reducing the size of the portions rather than total abstinence – small portions of “doing” or “giving” can be healthy for the giver and the receiver. The problems tend to arise when our ‘self-worth’ becomes entangled or enmeshed in what we’re “doing” or “giving”. If we’re living our life from a place of ‘duty’ or playing a ‘role’ – there is a significant chance that we’re sacrificing our true-self.

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And the above “someone” in that statement is just as applicable to our own self too.

If you’re looking for a measure as to whether you’re operating from your true-self or from an identified role…..the following might be helpful:

Whatever you’re doing, simply ask yourself – “if I wasn’t going to be judged by either myself or someone else for doing or not doing this….would I still want to do it, or be interested in doing it?”; and if the answer is “yes”……you’re most likely being true to yourself. If the answer is “no”….”I’m only doing this because of my expectation of myself – or someone else’s expectation of me” – at this point, it’s worth considering how you could choose differently in order to be true to yourself.

It’s been a conscious decision of mine to blog about the above issue because I know that sometimes I can grapple with both my own expectation of myself and indeed other people’s expectations of me. I’m also aware of how much other people seem to get totally lost themselves at times in their efforts to please others.

Love, by its very nature, is unconditional; it’s just that in our humanness there can be a strong tendency to make it conditional.

My wish for myself in 2017 is to make a real conscious effort to love myself unconditionally and to also unconditionally love those I encounter throughout the year. 🙏🏻

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