Today I was deeply hurt by someone I thought loved me unconditionally. It happens to all of us. We become estranged from friends or family members because we discover that an action we took did not meet with the other person's approval: estranged to the point of cutting themselves off completely from us. It is at this time that we question whether that person ever really loved us or not. It could appear by their recent action that they do not. We may become miserable because we seek love from outside of us—looking for it from another. What does it really mean to have unconditional love, and are we EVER without it, despite outward appearances?

First Reactions – Living in the Realm of the Physical
So today, when I was hit unexpectedly by this thunderbolt, adverse conversation; my first physical reaction was to become aggressively defensive. As words were slung at me, I was even tempted to toss back a few hurtful statements myself. We are physical beings and when we are attacked, the initial response is to protect ourselves. That is the purpose of the physical mind, to protect the body at all costs.

Taking the a Different Approach – One in Line with the Spirit of God Within
However, taking a deep breath before speaking can attune us to the other, more powerful, pure love inside of us: the spiritual side. We are all spiritual beings, living in a physical body. The body is temporary, but the perfect spiritual side lives forever. Therefore, I chose not to hurl hurtful statements back to the other person. I could have easily said things that proved the other person had done similar things for which I was being accused. However, I chose not to do so.

It is important to note that we all have choice and our actions are a reflection of that choice. Therefore, notice that I CHOSE to take an alternate path in responding to my assaulter even though I may have been justified by doing so because I was under attack. Why would I choose such a path?

Let's Look at the Definition of Unconditional Love
To understand my choice, let us look at the definition of unconditional love. Love is a feeling of acceptance and attachment. Webster's dictionary describes the word unconditional as 'not subject to conditions,' 'complete' or 'instinctual.' It also describes the word instinct as 'urged from within.' The Bible states, "God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16 – KJV). Another interesting fact: research by Professor Mario Beauregard of Montreal University's centre of research into neurophysiology and cognition showed that seven (7) areas of the brain were activated in people who were asked to call to mind the feelings of unconditional love. Seven is the most spiritual number in the Bible; one associated with God's perfect, unconditional love.

Therefore, from the evidence given, unconditional love is the love exhibited by God that is WITHIN all of us. It is a complete, whole love, without restrictions or conditions. It is a love regardless of anyone's actions and/or behaviors.

On the other hand, conditional love is love that is earned, as opposed to unconditional love being given freely. Conditional love exists when one thinks they are separate from the whole. When you think you are separate from the light of God, you can create feelings of superiority or inferiority, causing you to seek acceptance. You do this by trying to 'earn' your way into the light of God. However, you are not separate from the whole of God, as the spirit of God is everywhere, including within you.

As you can see, conditional love requires some kind of finite trade. For instance, "You give me this, and I will give you my love in exchange." However, unconditional love is measureless and infinite.

Demanding Ultimatums is Not a Spiritual Process
Oftentimes, the other person whom you so-called 'offended' may try to guilt you into reversing your position, as was the case with me today. I was given an ultimatum, "Change your position or else I will never consider you a part of my life." I was effectively being told that the love they had for me had conditions. Since I had not met those conditions, I was now being cut out of their life.

Demanding that someone bow to your own viewpoint is not an act of unconditional love. Indeed, it is an act of arrogance and superiority. It turns one away from the light within and toward darkness. Since we are all part of the whole of God, and not separate, none of us is outside the light of God or superior or inferior to another. Therefore, in order to uphold that light and love within, we must give others respect, whether we agree with them or not. I was not given that respect today. Even though that was the case, I chose to give the other person respect and the right to voice their opinion. I responded with, "I am sorry I have angered you, but that was not my intention. Furthermore, it is your choice to respond however you want."

Test of Character
It is at the point of our worst affliction that our character can truly be tested. How we choose to react to others actions can help shape our character. We can either choose a path of darkness or light. Yes, my first thought was to throw dirt right back at the other person—that was the easiest thing to do. That could have been my dark intention. However, I would have been relegating my actions to the dark side too. I chose to work a path of light instead.

In the end, I know it was beneficial for me to take a deep breath, allowing the spirit of God to calm me, allowing me to consider my actions. Yes, it hurt me deeply that the other person reacted the way they did. I am also saddened by the loss of their physical presence and their choice to act in opposition to unconditional love. I discovered that although I thought this person loved me, their actions were showing me something different. Yet, I do know there is something within them that also exists within me. It is the unconditional love of God, although they were not bringing the attributes of that love forward today.

Anyone who takes a breath has the light of God within. Without the breath of life, there is no life. Therefore, as long as you are taking a breath, you are not outside the light of God. It is my wish that all will one day come to this realization, even the person who called me today, and choose to bring His unconditional love forward.

Unconditional Love – Do We Have It?
So, what does it mean to have unconditional love? It is loving another regardless of their actions. It is taking actions that do not require conditions. The spirit of God loves us no matter what. This is shown by His allowing us the right to choose for ourselves our paths, either one of light or darkness. Had he loved us conditionally, He would have not given us choice.

Moreover, despite the actions of others in our lives, are any of us without unconditional love? Although the person who called me today told me, "You are no longer a part of my life," that state is impossible. None of us is separate from each other, as we are ALL part of the whole of God. Therefore, we are connected to each other by His unconditional love. So the definitive answer to the question above is NO. Unconditional love is always present within each of us: it is the light of God. Other's actions, however hurtful they may be, are not the key to love and joy. Love is everywhere, as God is everywhere. Just look within, you will find it. Do not look outside yourself or to others to find love and joy. It is within and it is perfect.

Copyright Statement
This article was written by Cindy L. Herb and may be reproduced on any related website provided the text is not changed in any form and this copyright statement is displayed unedited in its entirety at the foot of the article and you use the exact same HTML code to ensure a clickable link back to the author's site. Further articles are also available. Contact the author for more information. Copyright 2011 Cindy L. Herb, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Author's Bio: 

Cindy L. Herb, author of Awakening the Spirit: The Open Wide Like a Floozy Chronicles, specializes in emotional healing, helping others overcome adversity and find joy. As The Joyful Survivor, Cindy offers others an alternative approach to healing from any trauma through a simple, proven process, allowing people to view life's tribulations as an opportunity for spiritual growth. To get FREE help, please visit the author's website at