Love. Love. Love. It is a word we hear a lot in songs, in novels, in movies… and yet it is a word very few of us know how to use. I personally get annoyed when someone finishes a conversation with a casual ‘love you’ in a way of saying actually ‘goodbye’. Don’t get me started on the casual ‘how are you love?’ used as an alternative to ‘how are you mate?’. For me, the three words ‘I love you’ are sacred, they cannot and should not be used lightly….
Love is sacred. Saying it is sacred. Showing it is sacred. Making it is sacred.
Love is the ultimate most powerful emotion that was given to us living beings. I am saying living beings and not human beings because, as much as we like to think we are the most advanced species on this planet, a statement I often wonder about as I do not think that our technology prowesses grant us necessarily the status of ‘advanced’, it is clear to me that animals not only know love but probably understand it better than we do. Have you ever watched a program with cubs and their mother? Have you ever watched those incredible videos of animals loving, helping, supporting other animals from a different species? Have you ever observed dogs with their masters? That love is pure and totally unconditional. Whatever you do to them, love them, feed them, yell at them, mistreat them, they look at you with utter adoration. They love you like no one else has loved you before. They love you unconditionally.
Unconditional love. Isn’t strange that we feel the need to qualify that particular expression of love? Shouldn’t love, by essence, always be unconditional? It should, and yet, it rarely is.
Our love, whether we admit it or not, is usually conditional. It has rules, it has conditions, it has expectations. It has all of this because we are flawed, we have our own history, we have been hurt, we don’t trust, we are scared. We want the other to behave how we want, in the timing we are comfortable with and with the words or actions that resonate with us. And when we do that and get angry or sad because the other is not expressing love the way we want it, we forget something fundamental. Others are also flawed, they have their own history, they have been hurt, they don’t trust, they are scared. They might not be behaving according to our own codes and yet their drivers are the exact same ones as ours.
In this journey I have embarked on, a journey of self discovery and spirituality I have realised one thing that I don’t like… I don’t like at all… I know a lot of things about this world, about how it works, about the incredible invisible mechanisms that influence our lives. I am an empath and, as such, I feel energies, I can read people. I can see where we are going in our crazy rush to so called advancement and supposed civilisation. And yet I do not know how to love others unconditionally. And until I do that I will never know enlightenment. Hard truth.
I am a complete Star Wars fan and from a young age I have only had but a profound respect for the deep wisdom and incredible vision dispensed in those movies. There is a scene that marked me deeply on the subject of love. Young Anakin, madly in love with Padme, tells her how, as Jedis, they are actually encouraged to love everything and everyone and yet are forbidden to have any kind of attachments. Something he cannot comprehend as the only thing he wants is to be bound to her, something that ultimately will lead him to become the infamous Darth Vader.
Unconditional love is the purest and most powerful expression of love. It is the strongest love that comes with ultimate detachment.
Like Anakin I am still struggling with that notion as, for me, when you love you are committed deeply, you are fully engaged, mind, body and soul to the object(s) of your love. And yet you should be detached. That detachment does not mean not feeling anything. It is not a case of ‘whatever, I don’t care’. No. I care. Deeply about everything you do or think. However, I am detached towards the result. Whether you love me in return, whether you behave the way I would or not. I am detached and… wait for it… I love you.
And that is the hardest thing because, whether we like it or not, we have expectations. Those expectations revolve mostly around how WE would have handled the matter. And when the other doesn’t behave in that way we feel rejected, unloved, unworthy.
So the answer to my question seems quite simple really. It is two fold:
One: If I want to know unconditional love I need to let go of my expectations. Whatever happens, whatever others do or don’t. I will just love them.
Two: I can only show unconditional love to others if I show unconditional love to myself. Whatever happens, whatever I do or don’t. I will just love… me…
And for that I need to let go of my fears of not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. I have to let go of judgements and criticisms. The judgements and criticisms of others but most importantly the ones I have against myself. Because the ones of others can only resonate if I hold the same judgements or criticisms against myself.
So there you go. If I have only one resolution in this new year it is to love myself deeply, infinitely with no judgement, no criticism, no expectations.
Every time I look at myself in the mirror. Every time I lose my cool. Every time I don’t say what I think I ‘should’ have said. Every time I am not the highest version of myself. I will love myself.
I don’t know if I will succeed. I don’t know when I will succeed. But I will put everything that I have to reach that goal. It might be, after all, the sacred grail?