How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
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The power of unconditional love
Some say love conquers all. But does it? Can it? It takes a good person to face aggression with love and it takes a strong person to forgive a terrible transgression. If you are faced with a person who seems as a snarling, vicious beast, can you respond with love? If they strike you again and again, what then? Or what if they did it to someone you loved? Or if they did it with a cold, calculating laugh?
There are always situations where love seems impossible, and where anger, hate or terror seems a most likely response. But what of a more normal situation, where someone is a bit thoughtless. Would you still be angry? Could you see the struggling humanity under the seemingly-uncaring exterior? Could you love them, just for being who they are and forgive them their weaknesses?
Love is a tricky word, perhaps. There is a love that includes desire, but this is not what is meant here. 'Unconditional love' accepts a person as they are and requires nothing in return. It also does not oblige the loving person to give anything other than acceptance. Done well, even forgiveness is not needed as no judgement or accusation is made.
Unconditional love is good for you. When we judge, fear, hate or even desire others, we carry the uncomfortable tensions that these produce. Unconditional love carries no tension and leads only to release. It does not want, expect or carry any desire. If the loved fail there is no sadness or disappointment.
Still sounds awkward? If the word 'love' has too strong connotation for you, perhaps in notions of romance and desire, you can substitute the word 'appreciation' or 'acceptance'. Unconditional acceptance is pretty similar though may seem to have less warmth (though how you define it may vary).
Unconditional love (or acceptance) can also seem to require an almost saintly attitude, though you don't need to be a saint to be benign and you don't have to be benign all the time. Just try it from time to time to start with.
It's also good to start with yourself we are often our own fiercest critics and forget to accept ourselves as human. This does not mean being narcissistic, as judging yourself as wonderful is still an evaluation.
So go on: try judging less and loving more. It's good for you!
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