Unconditional love: the magical feeling that’s frequently tossed around in spiritual vernacular. Can we define it? Technically, it’s far beyond something we can comprehend in text, but there are certain characteristics we can adapt to the written word. This is a type of love that transcends the boundaries and limitations of platonic, romantic, familial, and all other sorts of love and goes deeper than these human labels. Unconditional love accepts and forgives, expresses and affirms, and opens up the widest doors for all empathetic and emotional connections. Unconditional love is the energy of the Universe itself. Some, myself included, believe that this energy is synonymous with pure life force.
Unconditional love is something that can be directed towards all aspects of our lives. We can feel it towards our housing situation, job, self, partners, family, friends, food, and so much more. It’s a deep respect for the other person’s being, recognizing that they are a universe in an individual just like we are. They have dreams, likes, dislikes, pains, fears, and hopes just like us. Deeply comprehending this is a sign we have reached a state of unconditionally loving them.
Unconditional love doesn’t mean we automatically forgive people of their wrongs. This is commonly mis-understood in today’s culture and unfortunately, it can even lead to detrimental situations. Many highly spiritual people will end up taken advantage of because of the misinformation about unconditional love. The first place we must express unconditional love is towards ourselves. (See how this is not an egoic thing to do by reading this article here). This type of love recognizes that we are worthy of respect and that when someone, acting out of their ego with ill-intend or accident, wrongs or hurts us, they are accountable for it. We don’t let it slide through loose forgiveness, instead we fully hold them responsible for their actions and make sure we take care of ourselves.
Where unconditional love comes into situations like this is how we treat the individual responsible for hurting us. We still honor their sacredness, as a unique being on this earth, and respect them. This doesn’t require us to agree with or be happy with them. It also doesn’t require us to follow their requests if it will harm us in any way. We have every right to leave the side of people who aren’t healthy for us, and we won’t damage our ability to be unconditionally loving.
That being said, what does the expression of unconditional love look like? It’s unique for each of us, but there are some commonalities. Like mentioned above, unconditional love is founded in respect and acceptance. This can be towards one’s living situation, towards food (like honoring that the earth has supplied such sustenance for you), or towards another living being and their relationship with you. This type of love recognizes how sacred their role in your life is, or their existence in this world. Even if they aren’t someone you wish to have in your life, they are someone the Universe has given a chance in this world—in the eyes of the Universe this person is sacred. Unconditional love allows us to see through this divine perspective.
Unconditional love doesn’t judge. It recognizes past patterns and notices things keeping us and other’s from growing, so unconditional love can lead to a healthy critique when welcomed. But it doesn’t impose or assert opinions on others. It also allows for us to easily admit that we were wrong when we make a mistake, because we recognize that making a mistake doesn’t destroy our innately lovable nature. We are still as wonderful of a being as before the mis-step.
As mentioned earlier, unconditional love is expressive! How it is expressed is highly individual, since one person may leave love notes or pray about their life situation in gratitude. Another may simply have a silent and deep acceptance, treasuring each moment. Unconditional love thrives in welcoming every moment, recognizing that the present will never repeat itself and that, because of this impermanence, it is worth of our entire acceptance and attention. This compassionate awareness is founded in unconditional love.
When in human relationships, unconditional love is (of course) something that leads to a healthy relationship. In fact, the psychological models of healthy relationships mirrors that of unconditional love itself! There is accountability combined with respect, admitting wrongdoings without being judged by the other, working towards collaborative healing, supporting the goals and desires of the other, mutually sharing what needs to be shared…these are all manifestations of this joyous form of love. The only difference between the healthy relationship model and unconditional love is that the model neglects to mention empathy. This deep emotional and energetic connection is something present in unconditional love.
When unconditional love is felt, it’s unmistakable. It seems purely radiant, like we’ll burst at the seams with this incomprehensible joy and connection. It’s allows us to deeply empathize with others, even with plants and animals too! We recognize the sacred nature of all life and happenings in life, and through this we deeply respect everything around us. And, most of all, we respect ourselves and work to enhance our lives in all the ways possible and ask the loving Universe to support us in the ways we can’t yet support ourselves. Simply asking the Universe to teach us how to access unconditional love is all we need to begin a path towards feeling it.