We’ve heard it said so many times – Love makes the world go ‘round. Well, it’s true! Love does make the world go ‘round… and the Universe too! Love is the energy of Creation – the movement of All That Is – the fuel that brings forth life.

There are many kinds of love. We use the word love to describe what we enjoy; “I love pizza!” And, we use the term when we appreciate something; “I love how you painted the bedroom.” Love can be expressed as an emotion when we say something like; “I love my new kitten!” or to show our feelings for spouses, friends and family; “I love you so much!” But, these expressions of love are ‘personal’, which mean there are conditions attached to them and they are expressions of the separate-self.

What does ‘conditional love’ mean then? Simply put, the ego part of us expresses love in a selfish or self-centered way. Conditional means: relating to conditions, circumstances, or requirements. For example, the love of one’s sexual partner is conditional. Typically, it is based on the sexual attraction of the individuals and the exclusivity of the relationship. However, if one party had sexual relations with another, this circumstance most likely would interrupt the love as the ego self of the partner that didn’t stray would feel bruised, hurt, angry, unloved, or worse.

Another example would be the love of a friend. Friendships are based on shared interests, mutual support, feeling good, easy communication, and various other things that make people our friend. If someone loves a friend because of their personality, sense of humor, the way they make us feel, or any other aspect, then the friendship is based on conditional love. If any circumstances arise which threaten the love, i.e. lifestyle changes, periods of no communication, friendships with others, or they cease to express what we enjoy about them, the love is selfish and conditional.

What is getting in the way of expressing real love – unconditional love – is the egoic separate-self and it’s emotions like, anger, pride, envy, and something we think is okay, possessive love of spouses, sexual partners, friends and family. She’s my wife; that’s my husband; I love my kid, my dad, my sister, or my anything. I’m describing personal, possessive, conditional love that has very little to do with the other person.

Unconditional love is not personal – it doesn’t start or stop – it just is. Conditional love has expectations, rules, agendas to follow, and when not met, causes upsets and reactions. In a way, it is easier to show unconditional love to a stranger than someone close to you.

We all want to feel love. We go to great lengths to achieve it, and feel our lives are incomplete without it. It’s probably safe to say that our need to feel love is as great as our need for food, water, and air. But, the kind of love everyone seeks (and needs) is unconditional love. So, why must we put conditions on it?

We put conditions, circumstances, and requirements on love because we were programmed to do so from early childhood. We saw that when we were good, people loved us. So, if we were quiet, cleaned our room, did our chores, didn’t hit our siblings, and otherwise did the right things, we were loved. But, when we were bad, all the love suddenly vanished. We were taught that love was conditional – that we had to buy love from the people around us with our behavior. How can someone feel loved when love is bought? We can only feel loved when it is given freely, unconditionally.

Few of us have ever received true, unconditional love. We were taught conditional love. As long as we were good boys and girls, our parents and others smiled at us, gave us a hug, spoke nicely to us… and we felt loved. But, what happened when we made a mistake? The people closest to us – the ones we thought loved us - frowned, showed disappointment, and maybe even yelled at us. Although it was unintentional, our parents and others taught us a terrible message.

The moment we do anything at all to win the approval or respect of other people, we are paying for the attention and affection we receive. We seek real love without a price tag. Any other kind of love – conditional, circumstantial, required, possessive – anything other than unconditional isn’t really love at all… it’s an imitation of the real thing. True love is entirely different from the kind of love most of us have known all our lives. It’s hard to believe, but conditional love is based upon fear – fear of not being loved.

Unconditional love is a state of being. It is caring about the happiness of another without any thought for what we receive in return. Unconditional love is the way of the Children of the Law of One (explained in depth in my new book, The Manuscript: Awakening Into Oneness). Unconditional love is expanded awareness, and enlightenment.

We can see the results of people not giving and receiving true love… emptiness. We then try to fill that emptiness with whatever feels good at the moment be it drugs, alcohol, anger, money, sex, violence, power, gambling, buying things, or anything else we use as a substitute for real love. It fills the emptiness for a moment, but it never lasts, and it never brings happiness. Most people spend their lives trying to fill their lives with a substitute for true love, but all they achieve is more frustration and unhappiness.

The single most important requirement for happiness is to feel loved, but most people don’t really understand what love is. We don’t know how to find it and if we do, it’s difficult to hold onto. We talk about it, thousands of books and movies are made about it, yet it is elusive and slips through our fingers. Love and happiness go hand-in-hand, and when I talk about happiness, I’m talking about a feeling of peace and fulfillment that bathes the soul in a knowing that all is well and there is nothing to fear. This feeling doesn’t go away when life becomes difficult – it grows and engulfs us in a light of protection. This is our reason to live – to find unconditional love and share it with others. This is our work on the planet. Nothing else matters.

Conditional love can bring us moments of happiness, but we’re still left with emptiness inside. Only unconditional love can fulfill us. When someone is genuinely concerned about our happiness, we feel connected to that person. And, when we love unconditionally, we connect with others and create a powerful lasting bond that brings happiness to all. Only true love without conditions can do this.

Anything other than unconditional love is an imitation of this essential emotion. Praise is a substitute for real love. When we received praise as children and heard words such as, “Good boy,” or “Good girl,” we understood that to mean we were loved. This set us up for a lifetime wanting to please others in pursuit of praise. “Good job,” “Excellent work,” and similar words of praise programmed our body-minds to believe we were not lovable unless we, “Make a good first impression,” or “Put the best foot forward.” We’re taught that seeking praise is a good thing… but it’s a poor substitute for love.

And, what happens when someone sees the other foot – the worst foot? What happens when we make a mistake or reveal some imperfection? The disappointment can be overwhelming. Relationships based on praise are an illusion destined to fail. Neither person loves the other completely – once the complete person is revealed – so is the illusion. Without real love, the foundation of any relationship will be weak and any upsets will eventually cause it to fail. As we try to do our very best, hoping to fill our emptiness with praise, we find it is fleeting and never fills the hole in our heart. The effects of praise are always short-lived leaving us desperate for another ‘fix’.

All forms of imitation love are like addictive drugs. Despite our pursuit to earn it, the beneficial effects become less and less. We have to work harder to get the ‘high’ and eventually we become exhausted, frustrated, or worse. No matter how much we pursue – no matter how successful we are at obtaining it – imitation love never connects us with another… we still feel alone, helpless, and afraid.

Power and control over others provides temporary relief from our feelings of emptiness, weakness, and fear. When we get people to agree with us – to do what we want – we feel we have some measure of control over the love we receive. Power as a substitute for real love includes money, authority, intimidation, anger, violence, and sex. And again, only leads to more addictive behavior.

Some people fill the emptiness in their hearts with physical and emotional pleasures. Food, alcohol, shopping, sex, extreme sports, drugs, gambling, etc. are some of the choices for many of us looking for love. The pleasure we receive is a short-lived distraction from the pain and emptiness we feel inside. These distractions can never produce genuine happiness. The pleasure wears off more quickly each time and eventually, no amount of it can satisfy our need for unconditional love.

We go to great lengths to avoid the pain of not being loved. If we can’t find the love we seek, we can at least do everything we can to avoid experiencing more pain. So, we stop growing. We avoid anything new and unfamiliar. We live in fear, staying in the same unfulfilling jobs day in and day out, diverting our attention with television and mindless drivel, and continuing unrewarding, yet predictable, relationships.

Sixty percent of marriages end in divorce these days, and a vast majority of those that remain married have settled for less then they had hoped for. Ideally, a marriage should be the ultimate relationship in one’s life, joining two Souls in joy and love. So, what happens? Both people believe the other is at fault. They each feel their partner has failed them in some way as they once made them happy and now their spouse makes them miserable. What caused the marriage to fail? The lack of real love almost guarantees a relationship is doomed from the start.

Oh, in the beginning the relationship is happy… each party gives the other enough imitation love to achieve the illusion of joy, happiness, and compatibility. This feeling is better than they’ve ever felt before – this must be the real thing. But, when the illusion fades, they’re left with the realization that their marriage has no more substance than a cloud of smoke. The one thing that would guarantee happiness, unconditional love, was missing from the beginning.

But… everything I pointed out above concerns the egoic separate-self focused on an objective reality. In other words, the separate-self believes everyone and everything is ‘out there’ – even love! Enlightenment, expanding awareness, ascension – whatever we want to call what is available for us in the coming years – means our work is to become connected to the True Self and leave this illusion behind us. Yes, of course this awakening includes unconditional love, but it’s more of a way of being and a service to others that encompasses all people and things. Unconditional love, happiness, joy, the connection with the True Self, and our relationships with others are all happening within us. It is not our spouse’s work, nor anyone else’s responsibility to help us find love and happiness – we must find love and happiness within.

Every relationship we have with every person we ever come in contact with is a reflection of ourselves. Relationships help us look within. What we dislike in another is what we dislike about ourselves. What we like about someone reflects what we like about ourselves. The problem lies in the fact that most people look for validation of their likes and dislikes through relationships with others. Rather than finding our own truth, we care more about what the other person thinks, says, or feels rather than what we think, say, or feel. The relationship defines who and what we are.

We must become our truth. The answers to whom and what we are must come from within. We must identify with the greatest part of ourselves, the True Self – that part of us that is compassion, confidence, wisdom, happiness, sharing, and unconditional love. We must find that place inside that knows no boundaries, sees past the illusion of separateness, and loves and accepts all.

This knowing – this state of being – is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and others. It is not difficult to love ourselves when we find the truth of our being. Quite often people seek out relationships to determine if they are worthy of love when the answer really lies within. The True Self is unconditional love!

When we know our infinite potential and love who we truly are unconditionally, then we have no reason to seek relationships to determine if we are worthy of love. Once we understand our greatness, our perfection, our completeness then we can begin to use relationships to share our greatness with each other instead of seeking out a relationship to complete us. We are already complete and whole (and love). Everything we see in another will always be what we see within ourselves. Consequently, we start to treat all people as the magnificent part of Oneness that they are.

How one interacts with others in relationships is based upon one’s viewpoint of relationships. In other words, if we have had negative experiences in our relationships, there is the danger of creating the same scenario again and again if we decide to react based on the interaction itself. However, by adopting the perspective that relationships are mirrors of qualities within ourselves, we will discover the exact source of every problem a relationship may encounter.

So, what are these hidden parts of us that reflect in our relationships? These are the parts of us that we deem unacceptable; the parts of ourselves that we try to hide, deny, or suppress. Anger, laziness, criticism, selfishness, weakness, etc. are the negative qualities we don’t want to reveal to the world… or to ourselves. Most of us hope that by suppressing these aspects of ourselves, we will find the peace and happiness we desire. We’ve been taught early on that we’re flawed and inadequate, so we think locking our bad qualities away, no one will discover our secrets and we would be worthy of love.

But, suppressing our negative sides stunts our spiritual growth. We cannot live our lives to the fullest expressing our completeness; or worse, we live in shame and dissolution. Until we acknowledge our dark side, we will continue the battle inside us and our relationships will be a reflection of the war we are having within. When we can love every aspect of ourselves and forgive our humanness, we will be able to experience love from all who cross our paths. Until that point, we will continue to attract people and events that reflect the negativity we feel about ourselves. If we’re not receiving the love and appreciation we desire from others, most likely we’re not loving and appreciating ourselves. Read that again.

How do we shift gears from suppressing to embracing our negative side? Rather than deeming our weaknesses, rage, and insecurities as enemies, we must find the wisdom hidden within them. Every quality, every emotion, every experience, hold great lessons that help us transform our thoughts and beliefs and can help us remember our infinite potential. Anything that once held us back – any quality of ourselves that we suppressed – can become the fire which ignites the True Self and will begin the process of great spiritual transformation. Embracing our dark side allows us to reclaim our power.

Accepting the totality of ourselves is a process of loving ourselves completely – unconditionally. Our emotional scars are transformed into our greatest gifts, and what we once believed were our adversaries, become our greatest allies. There is no greater love than self-acceptance. Loving the darkness within ourselves allows us to love the darkness in others. Then there are no conditions attached to our love for another – no judgment – it is unconditional, whole, and complete. We come to a new place of understanding where we can shine our light on all of humanity.

Integrating our different aspects allow us to uncover how our hidden side is really our greatest gift. We find that are weaknesses are the hidden strengths that lead us to expansion. We must make a conscious choice to change our belief that life happens to us and open up to the reality that we create our experiences for Soul growth and we must find the lessons therein. We must look at our lives and understand that each and every event, experience, and person in our life are there in order for our growth, insight and wisdom. This requires examining every aspect of ourselves and our lives and asking, “How does this serve my growth?”

The darkness we hide inside is our greatest teacher. It is what guides us to uncovering the True Self – if we only allow it. It requires nothing more than a shift in our perception whereby we choose to look at our lives in a way that empowers us and allows us to realize all change comes from within and to love unconditionally.

When we allow unconditional love (and acceptance) to become our state of being, we unleash the capacity to enhance all of life as well as ourselves. We expand our awareness – we remember we are unconditional love. We really don’t have to experience anything because we already possess the knowledge of everything within; we need to awaken, we need to remember. We always have the option of staying asleep, and that’s okay – people, events, and circumstances will come our way to help us awaken. It’s up to us if we leave the driving up to our unconscious, or grab the wheel and consciously take control of our journey and the direction we want to go.

From my new book,
“The Manuscript: Awakening Into Oneness” © 2008 Thomas Michael Murasso
Available at: http://borntomanifest.com/manuscriptbk.html


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Author's Bio: 

Tom Murasso is a certified hypnotherapist and self-development author/trainer. He has studied religion, metaphysics, spirituality and the teachings of the ancient mystery schools for well over four decades. The author of several books on self-empowerment, he believes we’re riding the crest of an accelerated cosmic energy wave that is raising the consciousness of humanity. His current activities include personal consultation, tele-classes, and developing techniques to remove negative blocks to conscious creation.