“I want for you what you want for you- this is loving unconditionally”- Jesse Elder
Loving unconditionally is easy to say, but, living it, well- that is another thing altogether. It is so much more difficult to actually DO. And HOW do we do it?
When your wife is telling you how much she appreciates your hard work and is doing the things that make you happy, you are loving towards her and think loving thoughts about her.
When she does something that makes you feel hurt or tells you how frustrated she is with something you have done, you shut down or say something negative and sarcastic in return.
When we don’t feel understood or valued; it feels lonely and it’s difficult to reach for loving thoughts, especially in that moment. When someone does something we don’t like, we withhold our love toward them. Maybe we give them the silent treatment, or leave the house, or work longer hours that day.
That’s loving conditionally. And it’s a very painful way to live.
Loving conditionally places us in the role of being a victim because we are completely at the mercy of how other people treat us. It’s completely dependent upon whether or not other people are meeting our expectations for them.
When we feel heard and understood, that feels like standing in the sun. It’s warm and fulfilling and easy to reciprocate. When we feel safe and understood it is easy to respond in a loving manner. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was like this all the time? Loving would feel so effortless.
Inevitably, there will be times that require more effort. It is not always going to be that easy. We are not always going to get it “right”. Loving unconditionally is probably the hardest work we will do in this life.
I teach people how to love unconditionally, but I would be lying if I told you I did it perfectly all the time. Don’t hold yourself to a bar of perfection; that’s impossible.
Instead, look for windows of opportunity to open your heart where fear tells you to shut it all down. Look for moments of where you interrupt the pattern for yourself and choose to love.
Challenge the thoughts that are screaming at you that She should be different, and look for the ways in that moment that you can be different.
That’s where your power is (and it’s the only thing you have any control over anyway).
That’s where all your peace is (because trying to control another human being will always cause you unnecessary suffering).
That’s where we can intentionally invite more love into our lives and love more unconditionally, one moment at a time.