When I had terminal cancer and had to heal myself, one of the ideas that I came across was that “Love Heals.” Since my healing was a matter of life and death, and I had decided to live, I had to find out what love is. While I am certain that somewhere inside we all know what love is, I know that societal values often cover up the true nature of love in favor of different ways of expressing it.
When we are children, we feel the love and we know what it is, and as we go through adolescence, the thymus gland, which controls our immune system and which is associated with the heart chakra, atrophies. That tells us that we get away from the direct perception of love, and therefore have to find another way to know that the love is there. We look at the behavior of others as indicators of whether or not the love is there.
We have accepted the idea from the society around us that if we love someone, we have to express it in a certain way. The problem is that expressions of love are often misinterpreted, misunderstood, because we have all been taught different ways of showing the love that we feel. Some express their love through jealousy, or control, or attachment, but often these expressions of love are perceived by others as love being taken away. The other person feels that if they were loved, these things would not be happening, that the other would not want to control them, or would somehow behave differently toward them.
We all express our love in the way we would like it expressed towards us. We do to others what we would like others to do to us, and when someone else has a different way of expressing their love, we can react to the way they have expressed their love by holding the perception that we are not loved. We decide that the other would not do that if they loved us. We put conditions on the love.
Love, by its nature, is unconditional. It has no conditions. It is a perception without conditions, without judgments, without expectations.
If you begin with a perception of someone and you remove the conditions, the “I would love you if…,” and you remove the judgments about that person, deciding that there is something about that person that must change, and also remove the expectations, the wanting something from that person, then you are left with a perception that feels good in the area of the heart, and that’s a good clue. That tells you that what you are feeling is love.
In terms of the chakras, judgments and expectations are solar plexus perceptions, and the more the attention is held in these perceptions, the less likely one is to feel the heart chakra perceptions of what love really is.
While we often work with the idea that we are always surrounded by love, we are the ones to make the decision to put our attention on it, or to notice it, or to feel it. We are the ones who must decide for ourselves whether to love or not, and this decision must come as an aspect of free will, in order for it to make sense as a step in our evolution as humans.
Love cannot be solicited. It must flow freely, and be freely given. Love is a decision that must come from within. The person must decide for their own reasons to feel the love.
The decision to love or to feel the love is often connected to other decisions. People put a “therefore” after the words, “I love you.” The “therefore” might be stated or implied, but it is usually there, in the form of “I love you, therefore we should have sex,” or, “I love you, therefore we should live together,” or, “I love you, therefore I should tell you what to do.” When the “therefore” is there, it also implies that if the action is not taken, it must mean that the love is not there. “If you don’t want to have sex with me, you do not love me,” or, “If you don’t want to live with me, you do not love me,” or, “If you do not do what I tell you, you don’t love me, because you are not accepting the way I express my love,”
Love has no conditions. It is unconditional. It is not about “I would love you if…”
Love is a feeling of non-separation, of connectedness with. It’s a sense of include, a sense of “we,” rather than a “you and me.”
Love recognizes and accepts the essential uniqueness of each being respecting their individuality, and the essential relatedness of all beings, the connectedness.
Love is acceptance.
You are capable of infinite acceptance. You are capable of accepting, of loving, any and every being. You can love anyone - and everyone – whether or not they have chosen to love you. It is always your choice.
You are capable of infinite love. Your love is infinite. It is your choice to feel it or not, and your evolution is a function of how much of it you choose to feel.
We can say that the love we have been discussing here is an impersonal love, a love we can feel for any human, and for all humans
When we have decided to share our life with someone, to have someone as a partner, it is a separate decision than, “I love you.” It is not, “I love you, therefore we shall be partners,” but rather, I love you, and I also would like to share my life with you. When you are marrying someone, it is not only about the "I love you" without the ...therefore..." - but also about the compatibility of two beings who love one another.
After all, there are many people we can love, without wanting to be their partner.
The personal aspects of unconditional love include first of all the aspect of Acceptance, accepting someone as they are, totally, with a sense of "Include." There is still a Me and a You, but without the barrier between them that implies something about sending or receiving love. It is more about being in a shared Include space where one is just "In" that space, "in" love, where the love is sensed, felt, and flows effortlessly. There is no need to analyze the behavior of the other to understand that the love is there. We feel it. We feel the contact, and in that way, we know the love is there.
We can enjoy their individuality, even with the quirks that are part of who they are, without judging them, and without using them as a reason to diminish our love for them, while knowing that at the same time they are seeing our own quirks and accepting them as part of who we are without loving us less for them.
It's a space of enjoying seeing the other happy, and not deciding how that should happen. After all, if we are deciding how someone else should be happy, we are then in a space of control and manipulation, while when we truly love someone and are happy to see them happy, we must just leave the space for that to happen, and then we can see what it is that they are doing and enjoying when they are happy. For that, a mutual respect for personal
freedom is a necessary element.
When we see someone happy with some way we have expressed our love to them, our heart sings. After all, we want to express our love in a way that enhances the experience of the other. That's the whole point, isn't it? To see them happy enjoying the way we have expressed out love to them? Then, the joy and the satisfaction bubbles up in our hearts, knowing that we have had something to do with their increased happiness. Their happiness also increases our own happiness
Of course, we each have our own way of expressing love, and the dynamics of communication demonstrate this. We express our love to others in the way we would like it expressed to us - and thus we can see how others express their love to us in the way they would like it expressed to them. If that way of expressing love does not resonate with us, if we don't really feel like expressing our love in that way, we can continue watching to find other ways we can express our love in a way that feels good for us as well as enhancing the experience of the others. We do not have to have love expressed to us in a way that diminishes the other or doesn't feel good for them to do, because expressions of love must come from the heart and be freely given. In the same way, we do not have to diminish ourselves in our way of expressing our love. It must also feel good for us to do.
When the communication is clear in both directions, the love flows and is clearly expressed in both directions.
The love and sense of appreciation for the other continues to grow.
That is my sense of a personal unconditional love.
That's the way I experience it.