The Power of Unconditional LoveBy Shelley Riutta MSE, LPC
April 07, 2009
Opening up to unconditionally love others--even when it is challenging-- can bring tremendous healing and safety to your relationships.
"Of all the earthly music, that which reaches farthest into heaven is the beauty of a truly loving heart.”
Henry Ward Beecher
Cindy came into to see me because she was being so critical with her husband Bob, who she loved very much. She said "Some of the things that he does just irritate me and I can't stop being critical of him."
I suggested "Why don't you practice loving the things that irritate you about him -- because they are a part of him and you love him. You will be practicing being unconditionally loving -- which will be healing for you as well as him."
This was a new idea for her and she was skeptical that she could do it she said "You mean I can make this decision to love these things and have them not irritate me?" I said "Yes, just give it a try and see how it feels."
Cindy returned two weeks later and was amazed by the transformation in her, in Bob and in their relationship. She said "Every time I started to feel the irritation I said to myself - 'I am going to love this about him' - and I surprised myself because I really started to love the quirky things about Bob - and now I love him even more."
Cindy went on "It felt so good to be loving and not so critical - I felt closer to Bob and our kids -- and what surprised me the most is that I felt so much better about myself. I felt that I was being more of who I truly am -- which is loving -- not critical." I said "That is right Cindy -- you were being in alignment with your Authentic Self -- which is unconditionally loving and accepting."
She then said "And what really amazed me is the whole atmosphere in our house changed. It felt more safe, warm and accepting -- even the kids started being kinder to each other. It is like everyone relaxed and felt more open and loving." I said "Yes, this shift from being critical to being loving can have a profound impact on the kind of atmosphere that you create in your relationships."
She said "It was like my change created a ripple effect that affected everyone in the home." I said "Yes, it is very often that way -- it only can take one person who has made a clear commitment to loving to help the others in the home shift into this as well."
The above example can be applied to any of your relationships. Once you get this simple but powerful truth that who you are -- your very being is love -- and when you begin to operate from who you are -- your relationships are transformed, healed -- and you become a living example of unconditional love and acceptance -- a beautiful reflection of divine love.
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The path of love is not the easy path - it is the road less traveled. It requires letting go of power and control over others and outcomes. It requires strict adherence to truth, to living and speaking the radical truth. Today, be truthful with yourself about what path you are on - the path of fear, control and avoidance of pain, or the path of courage, truth and love.
By Dr. Margaret Paul