Choosing Love, Part Two

After last week, I wanted to continue with the concept of love.  It is a simple yet complex concept.  I wanted to especially expand on unconditional love.  So often we hear that love is a need that everyone has.  In addition, that love need is specified even more as a need for unconditional love.  As we consider the love we give, be careful that we are loving as purely as we can.  I believe this is, again, a practice....and one we tweak over time.  Ask yourself who do you love unconditionally?  Is it a spouse or partner?  Is it a child?  Is it a friend? Do I love them simply to love them?  Is that love only as long as they____________________?  Filling in the blank here can be your heart and mind.  Is it as long as they are in a good mood?  Is it as long as they are healthy?  Is it as long as they provide money or help around the house? Is it as long as they are nice looking?   Is it as long as they think like me or agree with me?  Is it as long as they stay the same as when I met them? Be careful here.  Love is simply love.  Compatibility and attraction are slightly different concepts.  They often go with love but when we break it down to just LOVE, it is helpful to choose to love outside of these slightly different ideas.  We can choose to love someone who is completely different from us....perhaps we don't even like them that much.  Love is so much deeper.  Go deeper.  Maybe we choose to love someone yet set up needed boundaries.  Maybe they can't or don't love us back....maybe they are so stuck in their own cycle of pain and self-destruction that they don't even love themselves and arguably can't love others. Setting the intention to love without conditions is key.  Really explore your own mind and motivations.  Spend some time in silence with your thoughts and see how the love looks...  If you are struggling to love someone unconditionally, maybe it is because you aren't loving yourself.  Whoa!  Read that again!  For some, it is easier to love others than to love ourselves.  But this love is an energy that flows through you and if there is any place where that love stops and can't get through, it becomes harder and harder to love others.  I like to think of it like a garden hose.  If you turn the water on and it flows perfectly through the hose, very well.  If there is a little kink here or there in the hose, it doesn't flow as quickly or as strongly.  The more kinks you have, or the bigger the kinks, the more likely the water won't get through at all. Do you love yourself?  Now....if you said yes, then ask yourself if you put conditions on that love?  I will love myself when I lose X amount of weight....I will love myself when I get that promotion....I will love myself when I get cosmetic surgery.....I will love myself when I have a clean house.....I will love myself as long as my kids succeed in school...I will love myself when I stop whatever self-destructive behavior I cling to (overeating, sexual addiction, people pleasing, etc.).  Here is an article I read not long ago that is apropos. If you decide to begin choosing love as a part of your healing journey, begin as we did last week by setting the intention right now and any time you think about it and each morning before your feet hit the ground.  Maybe start by setting the intention to love yourself UNCONDITIONALLY.  Then move outward into your circle to whoever is closest to you, asking yourself where you put conditions on that love and see if you can CHOOSE to let that condition go and just love them as they are right now.  And for fun, set out to love some strangers today...strangers you pass on the road or strangers you see in the news.  Begin choosing love and experiencing love....and see how transformational this can be in your healing journey.  I would love to hear from you!  What are you finding out?  Where are you hitting blocks?