Have you ever noticed that adversity softens the heart spontaneously?
Be it a family member diagnosed with a serious illness, a friend that lost a loved one, a sick puppy on the roadside or a neighbour whose marriage broke down, crises make us put differences aside and reach out to others in love and compassion. Often, we also feel the pain and suffering of fellow human beings, almost as if they were our own.
I wonder what blocks the flow of love during the more routine phases of life.
Is it the unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves or others?
Is it the reluctance to accept that we are human and imperfect?
Is it the inability to acknowledge our difficult emotions and vulnerabilities?
Is it perceived differences and attitudes of ‘them vs us?’
Or a combination of several factors?
No matter what, as long as we still have some capacity to feel love and compassion, everything is not lost.
Healing the heart is seen as a significant milestone on the spiritual path.
Unconditional love is an experience many yearn for.
In truth, unconditional love is the only kind of love that exists.
Unconditional is the nature of love itself.
However, as humans, we have created the concept of ‘conditional love.’ This can feel safer and comfortable to many of us. Experiencing unconditional love requires us to accept people as they are, flaws and differences being part of the package. This isn’t always easy considering the kind of conditioning and baggage many of us carry.
Sharing unconditional love with self may be a good starting point. Being unconditional with ourselves can make it easier to offer the same to others.
This can be taken further by extending unconditional love to the people closest to us.
For instance, can you love your spouse or romantic partner unconditionally, despite the differences between the two of you? Can you accept her or him with all their flaws and quirks?
What about your children, if you have any?
Please note that while the experience of unconditional love is a wonderful milestone to work towards, it does not imply that one has to put up with unreasonable or abusive behaviour. If you have to be firm and draw boundaries in a relationship, it must be done without hesitation. In cases of abuse, external help may need to be sought. Even if you love an abusive person unconditionally, if they do not mend their behaviour, they may have to be let go of. All of this is the logical aspect of life and is the sane thing to do.
But wherever applicable, unconditional love is a state that all of us deserve to experience in our lifetime.
In the presence of unconditional love, differences pale into insignificance, rigid boundaries dissolve, hearts unite, minds come into peace and life flows with ease.
Does anything else matter if love can be primary?
Love is all that matters!