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Unconditional Love

 

Techniques Happiness > Unconditional Love

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Love everyone and everything, without attaching strings and without judging them.

Have personal regard and respect for the people you meet. Treat them as equals and not inferior or superior in any way.

Work on the principle that everyone is, at heart, good. Assume that although they may do questionable things, the person underneath is fundamentally pure.

If you love someone unconditionally, then you cannot judge or blame them or find them bad.

Unconditional love works well in relationships too. If you do not put conditions on your partner, then you open the doors for a much more fulfilling and trusting relationship.

If universal unconditional love is difficult for you, start with your family and people you know. Or just try it in a single conversation.

Or, if you just find the word 'love' too difficult at the moment, try starting with 'regard'. Unconditional regard is still very good and may be more acceptable for those who focus more on thinking than feeling.

Discussion

Unconditional love means love without condition. It means giving love without expecting anything in return, including any reciprocal love. Unhappiness comes from unfulfilled desire. If you can love without desire, then you can only be happy.

This can be a difficult route to happiness, yet it is one where a great deal of happiness can be found. The more you can stretch your love, the happier you can be.

Unconditional love is nothing to do with romance. It does not want anything from the other person, though it may want everything for them. It is not about desire and possession; it is about appreciation and concern.

Unconditional love is something to do with parenting, yet parents want so much for and from their children that much of their relationship is far from conditional.

One principle, from the field of psychoanalysis is that we have an inner true self that is too vulnerable to expose, so we cover it up with the mask of a false self. Unconditional love is of the true self. Perhaps also it comes from the true self. In this way, it may be considered as the most real and truthful form of affection and bonding.

By showing you care about that inner core, you can get much closer to the person and connect with them in a more truthful and rewarding way.

Some would point to the Dalai Lama as unconditional love in action. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is another example.

In a brain scan study, Michele Beauregard and colleagues identified areas of the brain that are active during unconditional love, indicating that 'unconditional love is mediated by a distinct neural network relative to that mediating other emotions'. This includes some elements that are involved in romantic or maternal love, as well as brain reward systems.

See also

Love, True self, false self

 

Beauregard M, Courtemanche J, Paquette V, St-Pierre EL (2009). The neural basis of unconditional love. Psychiatry Research,172(2):93-8

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