I read a very interesting comment by Anita Moorjhani this morning. She said, during a radio interview that conditional love is an oxymoron, if love is conditional, it really isn’t true love, it is something else. How many have us been told we are loved when others have acted towards us in unloving ways, how often are we actually acting in very unloving ways to ourselves and others claiming we love them? My personal answer is lots and lots!
This comment bought to mind my ex partner who once tried to tell me unconditional love was bullshit and not possible to experience in this life. That comment shows a lot about his childhood and the level of his own capacity to empathise. Perhaps too, he was getting confused by the idea that loving unconditionally means anything goes and we should accept any kind of treatment from people who say they love us. Not true.
Unconditionally loving ourselves mean we guard our hearts and our souls and set boundaries against abuse. We don’t necessarily have to forgive our abusers, if we aren’t up to that level of compassion that decision is really up to us. However loving unconditionally even our abusers means recognising that they are wounded due to their own deep limitations and wounds, out of their own inability to love and act unconditionally loving. We don’t have to accept that or hang around to be abused again but we can have compassion.
I have been thinking a lot about unconditional love lately as I am seeing how little at times I do love myself unconditionally. I have become more aware since the planet of thinking and communications, Mercury, pulled out of its retrograde cycle in the sign of the inner critic Virgo (and most particularly as it retraces the last half of this sign in forward motion) of how much the inner critic sits on my shoulder constantly. Mostly this criticism is turned towards the state of my house if things are lying around. I can get narky with my dog Jasper when he muddies the front seat of the car by jumping all over it, which is silly really, he is just a dog he isn’t doing any harm and its not a deliberate attempt to annoy me, so why get in a lather about it? What I have noticed with Jasper over the past four years that we have been together is that I project my own childhood history onto him, at times he becomes the child I was faced with a histrionic or raging parent. Sorry Jasper, its taken me some time to realise the ways in which I have hurt you and not shown love in the past.
I have also been noticing when the inner critic turns into an outer critic at times saying unkind things in my head about people.I am learning just to notice when this happens in an effort to check it.
I don’t think either an inner or outer critic function is totally bad. We need to discriminate boundaries for ourselves, boundaries of health and sanity at all different levels, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, it just seems important to me that these boundaries don’t turn into walls or barricades and important too that I recognise they are my boundaries, not necessarily the boundaries of others. And that brings into play the capacity in unconditional love to make an effort to see things from the other person’s perspective or frame of reference which is very much dictated by their own past, experiences and level of self awareness or consciousness.
Its interesting to me that the Sun is now in early Libra which is the sign of balance and relationship, the sign in which our capacity to see things from another person’s point of view and extend beyond our own world begins to grow or emerge in the cycle of the astrological wheel. Libra relates too to projection and reflection, what we attract in life has messages for us, what irritates us in others or what we act out in relationships, often has a message for us about our shadow self. The love we feel for ourselves (conditional or unconditional) is reflected in the relationships we attract. And while we can see the situation from another’s perspective we need to balance that with our own individual needs (Aries and Mars) to achieve true self love and fulfil our individual destiny.
In Libra we learn to communicate with greater skill to achieve a better balance and reciprocity with others. I have noticed these impulses in me becoming stronger over the past week or so. I am feeling the love for my family growing. I am becoming aware that things done which had a negative impact were not always deliberate, it wasn’t down to meanness or nastiness but reflected a level of disconnection with their own emotions. Mu own particular life lessons with a Moon Saturn aspect have all been around learning to understand the impact of my own emotional neglect (which ties back to deep ancestral wounds and patterns of trauma and disconnection playing out unconsciously) and to learn too about how important it has been for me to gain a better understanding of my own emotions, all of which in being felt in a body and then repressed ended up having a very traumatic impact when repressed or projected.
In short I am really getting the fact that my family couldn’t give me what they didn’t have to give. And it is important for me, in unconditionally loving myself that I look elsewhere to meet those needs and for places to express my deep feelings. Being able to have the anger and grief over it and express it in therapy has helped me to find a level of forgiveness in the past few weeks.
Alongside all of this inner work, I am so grateful that I have become aware of the power of unconditional love from a teacher who died and went to the other side where all that didn’t really matter fell away. In that place Anita Moorjhani learned that we are loved unconditionally. That often does not occur in the human world where others split and divide but knowing that we are loved unconditionally in spirit and that our worth does not depend just on fitting in with some false idea of what it means to be ‘good’ or ‘worthwhile’ is a great comfort. It helps us to see ourselves and others with the soft eyes of love, instead of the harsh eyes of criticism and judgement. There is a beautiful, expansive, whole making quality inherent in unconditional love, which has the capacity to embrace all the profound paradoxes and pains of our dualistic human experience as spirits living out an earthbound journey.