It seems most people agree it’s really worth the effort to love each other, and most of us seem to aspire to some concept of unconditional love. Great, but then, why do we see so much conflict, even with the people we try hard to love? We all want unconditional love, but in practice we quietly feel it’s too lofty to apply in every situation; which by definition means our love is conditional. Actually, unconditional love is the logical way to love.
Do you ever grumble while doing the dishes, even after you offered? Do you ever expect just a little appreciation for something you did out of the goodness of your heart? Most of us have felt this. In fact, it’s quite natural to yearn for the beauty of a smile in return for a favor. So how can we manage our feelings if it doesn’t turn out that way? How can we get one step closer to applying unconditional love?
What if it is as simple as flipping the whole concept of love on its head? Usually we think love starts from the self, and emanates outwards. A gives love to B, right? Well, what if we think of love starting from the other person?
Father Moon says that, “Before action can take place, there must first be a subject and object partner.” This means there must be two sides willing to share the dynamic experience of love. Without someone to love there’s no place to start, and no energy or movement can take place. He goes on to say that in order for real love to come about we need to focus on our object partner’s needs, just because we love them—that’s the logical way to love. We probably all know this too, but how often do we actually practice it?
Say we want to show love to our family by volunteering to do the laundry. Those neatly creased shirts took a long time to perfect, and we are quietly waiting to be thanked. Or perhaps we are repeatedly offering unreturned favors to our friends. Can we feel positive energy by just focusing on the good that the other person feels, regardless of how they show it? Actually we can, but for many of us it’s like a muscle that we don’t often use. So how about some simple training? Let’s try putting this into practice today.
Wherever you are right now, make a commitment to do at least one thing for someone else today, without them knowing it. If you think about it, you may already do this more often than you give yourself credit for, but this time try it more intentionally. Consider the idea of love starting from them; think about what they might need. Perhaps you could do this for the next seven days and see what you can learn about your ability to love unconditionally and how far that potential can extend.
Ultimately it’s natural to want positive energy from the dynamic give and take of love, but to start, we need to get in the habit of practicing unconditional love; we need to practice loving with only the other person in mind. Even if the act goes unnoticed, it will feel good and we will quickly find that, in fact, we were made that way, creatures that innately love, unconditionally.
Watch the first in the series, Forgiveness.