One of my friends uses the phrase “contemplating the universe”. I always loved doing this with her and then sharing my thoughts.
I was doing just that a few days back, and I came across my mind’s thoughts that provoked me to share them over here.
Unconditional love was something that I started thinking of. Is love unconditional? Can it ever be unconditional? The Lord will always love you, but if you want to feel that love forever you will need to live a life as perfect as His son. By doing so, you can be with Him forever. The quickest answer is that His love for you is unconditional because if you sincerely repent despite committing sins you will be loved. But, for the vice versa to work, conditions come to play.
To me, unconditional love is non-existent, sort of.
I mean, the magnitude of love depends on situations AKA conditions. That is, if someone close to you does something that is despicable, you will still love them. But, that love you feel for them might not be as strong as when they do something honourable AKA conditional love.
Everything in life is conditional. When you do something noble, you receive inner peace. To receive inner peace, you do something noble. You do some favours for someone close to you without expecting anything. But, in reality you are expecting an acknowledgement, a token of appreciation. If you live the commandments set up to live a good life you will feel eternal love and the Spirit forever. To feel eternal love and the Spirit forever, you live the commandments set up to live a good life. Give and take is how life is.
No one does anything for no reason. You do not love someone without any reason.
You may be active on charity work and helping the world and its people. The instant you have a chain saw cut across your limb, you will attend to yourself first and care about yourself rather than worrying about the epidemic in Botswana. Some people might call this being selfish. But, they are missing the broad picture here.
I love myself a lot and unconditionally. And, so do you. Full stop! But, my decision to take care of myself first can also be because I want to be fit and fine so that I can attend to the others, couldn’t it? When there is an air-pressure drop in an airbus, the captain encourages you to attend to yourself before attending to your fellow passengers. And, I roll my eyes if people call this wrong OR inconsiderate OR selfish.
Detaching one from oneself and being selfless is a path to peace. But, that does not mean one needs to jeopardise themselves and not take out time to think for their own well being. Although the dictionary calls this selfish, I think it is fine. I reckon being selfish is comparatively better than being self-centred.
Why do you think divorces take place? One gets married after being in love. But, when that notion of being in love is off by receiving no love in return, a couple decides to part their ways. Love is conditional.
People fearfully call love unconditional because they make the same mistake in differentiating realist and unrealistic expectations.
There is always a reaction to an action. Circumstances rule over mankind. The difference is that most people blame the circumstances, while some of them realize that their choices placed them amidst those circumstances. And, when you are already on a ride in a theme park, there is no bailing out. The same applies to living your choices.
Unconditional love is only existent between a mother and her children. But, when you come to think of it, she will still feel less fond of them when they do something immoral.
Mind you, I am not claiming that love seizes to exist the instant something wrong is committed, but it does dunk away; at least to a certain extent, at least for a certain time frame.
Loving someone when they least deserve it is when they are really in need of it. And, to me, that is unconditional love. Something that is not dependent on behavioural patterns and situations. Something that is sincere, uplifting and supportive. But, then how many of you have been fortunate enough to come across such kind of people who would not judge you, be optimist in their presumptions about you and love you, accept you, respect you and support you, put you forward before themselves, endanger themselves for you, no matter what! Think about it. May be 1 or 2 people. May be, none!
Love takes time to sink in. It is not instant. Grains of wheat when just fallen on the ground are utterly useless. But, when it sinks into the ground, and is pushed deeper, is cherished and nourished, it can grow into wide fields of wheat. It requires patience and perseverance. The same is with love. Time is a selfish commodity in life. When it is dedicated to be spent with someone else it marks unconditional love. Still, there is an unsaid connotation, a realist expectation of receiving equal love, respect, support and time from the other party.
Nothing is unconditional. But, maybe there is something that is unconditional.
Sometimes I think of the supreme power, the One above and us below. A human being can be divided like an egg. The destructible outer shell of the egg is our flesh. The white is our soul and the yolk is our spirit. What we make of ourselves is entirely up to us. If an egg is left without any care OR purpose, it shall rot. On the other hand, if we take care of it, we could either turn it to some hunger omitting recipes. Else, it could turn up to something livelier – a bird! The same applies to us.
Therefore, however harsh and selfish this may sound, rationally, unconditional love is something that one feels for their self day after day. Their conscience, their soul, the Spirit is what they love without any conditions applied. Your love, respect and peace for yourself follows you like the light on a ballerina. You can be narrow-minded and call the act of the light following the dancer to being selfish. Alternatively, you can focus on the dancer and notice the elegance, the grace and its marvellous effect on the audience. And, in the end, it is that unconditional love and unarmed truth that shall triumph.
Photo by Ajey Padival
Copyright © Ajey Padival 2010 (Brisbane, Australia; +61434360675; email@example.com)