We all want true love in our lives, but but do we really know what is love is? While the concept of love varies, the meaning of unconditional love goes way deeper than we may think. Here’s what is unconditional love and how it is different from conditional love.
Unconditional love is so vastly different from the love we are used to receiving that most of us don’t really know what it is. In fact, most “love” these days isn’t actually true love, but instead differing forms of infatuation, lust, affinity, affection, codependency, or egotistical neediness.
The reality is that true love is rare and immensely precious. The moment you experience true unconditional love is the moment you feel completely seen, understood, forgiven, accepted, and loved just as you are.
This feeling is the most embracing and liberating sensation you will ever experience. Indeed, unconditional love is the most healing force in the universe. Yet unfortunately, we are so starved from experiencing it regularly in our daily lives that we become emotionally and spiritually ill.
One of the saddest sights you will ever see is a being who has been completely deprived of unconditional love – and we have all experienced it at some point. But you don’t need to stay malnourished any longer. As we’ll explore, unconditional love is open for you to access in any moment, no matter where you are, or what you’re doing.
What is Unconditional Love?
“Unconditional love is not so much about how we receive and endure each other, as it is about the deep vow to never, under any condition, stop bringing the flawed truth of who we are to each other.”
– Mark Nepo
Unconditional love essentially means loving someone or something without any conditions. In other words, no matter what another person says, does, feels, thinks, or believes in, we still love them unconditionally.
Unconditional love can also be applied to other beings such as animals and even emotions and thoughts. But perhaps most importantly, unconditional love can be applied directly to ourselves in the form of self-love. The more we are able to love ourselves unconditionally, the more we are equipped to love others in the same way.
This principle echoes the famous words of Jesus, “Love your neighbor as yourself” and other enlightened masters such as Lao Tzu who said, “When you accept yourself, the whole world accepts you.”
What is Conditional Love?
Conditional love is the complete opposite of unconditional love. In fact, conditional love isn’t really “love” in the truest sense of the word, because it comes from the ego, not from the heart.
Unlike unconditional love which is given freely, conditional love has to be “earned.” When this false form of love is earned, only then is affection, respect, and kindness given.
While unconditional love is limitless and boundless, conditional love is restricted and limited. While unconditional love doesn’t need anything from the other, conditional love is given only when something is received.
The equation looks like this: I will love you only if ………. (you do this, say that, provide this, make me feel this way).
Conditional love is inherently selfish and ego-centered. Conditional love only lasts so long as certain unspoken rules are maintained or met. Some of the most common unspoken rules that underpin conditional love include:
- I will love you only if you make me feel good about myself.
- I will love you only if you maintain your attractive looks.
- I will love you only if you are successful and popular.
- I will love you only if you have a good career.
- I will love you only if you do what I say.
- I will love you only if you believe what I believe.
- I will love you only if you keep supporting my bad habits.
- I will love you only if you keep giving me money.
- I will love you only if you are great in bed.
- I will love you only if I have control over you.
- I will love you only if I approve of your life decisions.
- I will love you only if you behave properly.
- I will love you only if you sacrifice something for me.
- I will love you only if you abandon your dreams.
- I will love you only if you love me.