The quest for ‘unconditional love’
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on June 28, 2016

The phrase “unconditional love” is redundant.

If love is conditional, it isn’t love.

Recently, Kirtan artist Missy Balsam performed her original song “Unconditional Love” at a Ruby and Pearl’s Yoga Studio workshop. (The video is on YouTube.)

Every human being yearns to be supported and nurtured regardless of flaws, mistakes, lapses in judgment and blemishes.  As the chimes of Missy Balsam’s voice synced with the harmonium, she reassured everyone the love and acceptance we all crave has always been within us.

There was not a dry eye in the place.  That spiritual awareness, feeling that unconditional love, the oneness with all that is, eludes most.

We are the problem.

Unconditional love self-study

  1. Ask yourself how you relate to the world.

Don’t just examine your relationships with significant others, friends and family.

Explore your attitudes toward strangers, people who have harmed you for any reason, criminals, terrorists, people who hold different political beliefs.

If you are fearful, hostile, demeaning, belittling or othering, you are a choosy love sniper, pinpointing who lives and metaphorically dies.  Your love, particularly your withholding of that love, is a weapon, a tool of power.

A person who lives in love is a pebble dropped into the water creating an expanding circle of ripples, and those ripples miss no one. No one.

2. How do you feel when you help someone?

We are beings of service. If helping someone fills you with resentment, if you expect payment, some kind of return or even a mannerly thank-you, you’re not helping.  You’re being selfish.

3. Think of people you love, and write down three reasons why you love them.

Perhaps they are fun, loyal, sexy.  Maybe they listen to you; maybe they tolerate you.  But what happens when they stop?  What happens when your significant other departs the relationship or a friend blows you off for a different crowd?

If love fizzles, you never loved these people in the first place.  You were using them because you liked the way they made you feel.  Love is not something we devour; it’s something we emit because it’s what we are.

Bob Marley was right with the one love, one heart.  Practice opening yours when the selfishness creeps in.

Lie back on the floor, and slide a yoga block or bolster between your shoulder blades.  Allow your head to drop back if comfortable.  Be open. Be vulnerable. Be love.

Hopefully we can all work on this before November 8th.