Contemplating the meaning of unconditional love has been incredibly beneficial in growing my family relationships. None of us can choose our family, and understanding what it means to unconditionally love someone has helped me embrace all of my family members for who they are. I’ve recently discovered the challenge of applying unconditional love outside my family.
We choose our friends and our partners. This choice by itself is a condition. There is some quality that I share with my friends that I don’t share with other people, and if that quality disappears it is likely that the friendship will disappear also. So what does this mean in the dating scene? Do we conditionally love someone until we marry them, and then suddenly it becomes unconditional love because we’ve made a life long commitment? How does conditional love hinder the relationships we’re in?
In an ideal world I would unconditionally love everyone and everything. Unfortunately, I’m not an ideal person. Certain people rub me the wrong way. Some people make me angry. A few people make me feel great for a short time but shortly after I feel normal again. I experience these emotional swings every day, even though they have been reduced with my meditation practice.
I think the best practice for me is to choose who I want to love unconditionally. Everyone I know has characteristics that annoy me. Once I choose to unconditionally love someone, I’m choosing to love these annoying characteristics also. Maybe over many years I’ll become better at unconditionally loving more and more people. Maybe this is a bad plan. We’ll see! Time to meditate.