Have you ever given or received the purest love? That means to love someone with no condition whatsoever.
If you are practicing loving-kindness meditation, you may have an idea of the purest form of love one can share with others with no expectations in return. This article, it is discussed how to cultivate unconditional love in your mind.
What is conditional love?
Conditional love means a type of love given on the “give and take” basis. For example, when a lover expresses his or her love to the other person, he or she expects love in return.
However, the expectation of receiving love in return can create some issues. Love remains as long as you are also in love with them. It is natural to have conflicts in any relationship over time. Thus, there is a risk of losing love with time.
Therefore, conditional love is not considered to be the purest form of love.
What is unconditional love?
Unconditional love means to love someone with a pure heart. There are no strings attached. It is a pure form of love that you can share with every being beyond any boundaries.
What is not unconditional love?
Some may have not understood the idea of unconditional love in its true sense. To love someone unconditionally does not mean tolerating any unacceptable words or behavior that will risk your life or the life of others. You can always set boundaries while loving the other person unconditionally.
For example, if you are in a toxic relationship, you do not have to put up with the other person in the name of love. You can always stay apart while sharing unconditional love with that person.
In short, you do not have to be in presence all the time to share unconditional love with others .
Why unconditional love is pure and powerful?
Unconditional love is pure and powerful because it is not tainted with any kind of defilement. Lust, anger, and greed defile the mind. When your love acquaintances with defilements, you will not be able to see beyond and above.
How to love someone unconditionally?
You can share unconditional love through kind words, acts and thoughts. Unconditional love is difficult to cultivate because we have always used to love others with strings attached. However, it is not an impossible task.
A word is very powerful. It has the ability to maintain a healthy relationship or spoil it.
Therefore, be mindful to treat others with kind words. Avoid harsh words that might hurt others. Also do not engage in frivolous talks that waste your time as well as the time of the others.
Instead, speak soft and kind words that fulfil the other person’s heart with happiness.
There is a saying “treat others the way you want to be treated.” This is an evergreen idea. No one would like to receive ill-treatment from others. Thus, try to engage in benevolent acts that create the goodness of others.
I used to volunteer with Treepeople in California, planting trees in different places like Angeles National Forest. Though I had to spend a few hours during my weekend, the happiness gained from planting trees was huge. Even though I live in a different part of the world now, I hope the planted trees will remain through generations benefiting the environment.
Your positive thinking can make a huge difference in the way you treat yourself as well as others. Our lives are so busy and most of the time, we go on auto-pilot mode. We do not think about how our decisions or words affect ourselves and others.
Take a moment to reflect on your life and the people around you. Ask yourself “what if someone talks to me with harsh words? or what if someone ill-treats me?” Definitely, you would not like to be subjected to any negative conduct from others.
Likewise, others around you always expect love and respect from you. Therefore, train your mind to be sensitive and soft gradually.
Learning to forgive easily is one of the best ways to spread unconditional love. Most of the time we love someone as long as they are in our good books.
The moment they do mistakes or do something we cannot accept, the status of our relationship changes. However, unconditional love is not a contract where you can sue the other party for not fulfilling the terms of the contract.
Always forgive others for mistakes they make. When you hold on to the memory of a mistake, your mind is not at peace. Even if the other person is wrong in your eyes, forgive them to save peace in your heart.
How to love yourself unconditionally?
As much as you love others, it is important to love yourself unconditionally. We pay attention to others but forget to engage in self-care regularly. Remember, you can share unconditional love with others only when you give unconditional love to yourself.
Forget the instances where you could not perform up to your standards or failed to fulfill certain tasks. You are an individual with unique skills that no one else has. So accept yourself as who you are and what you are now.
Spend some quality time with yourself like doing yoga, exercise or meditation.
Smile with yourself in the mirror.
Free your mind from any negativities you have.
Do not allow excessive self-criticism to ruin your life.
Never expect a reward:
Giving without any expectation is an important aspect of unconditional love. For example, when someone is in need of help, offer him the fullest support without the hope that he will help you in return.
Practice loving kindness meditation
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Dalai Lama
Loving kindness is a powerful tool to get away from all the negativities you have toward yourself and others. You can recite the phrases of loving kindness either mentally or verbally wishing the wellbeing of others.
Start with yourself first. Then extend loving kindness to a person you love, to a neutral person, and to a person with whom you are not in good terms.
For example, when your mind is relaxed at a quite spot, mentally recite “may I be well, happy, and peaceful.” When you feel the inner peace by spreading loving kindness to yourself, think “may my parents be well, happy, and peaceful.” Likewise, you can focus on all the beings in the entire universe in developing loving kindness meditation.
For more information, read Loving kindness meditation: Beginner’s guide
Unconditional love is the perfect type of love that someone would like to receive throughout his life. Thus, be the change you would like to see in others.