It’s easy to look at a flower and feel love toward it.
It’s easy to see an inspiring painting, connect, and feel deeply for it. We’ve been conditioned to love the beauty in this world. And we’ve been conditioned to love the beauty in ourselves. But, we have been conditioned to love with conditions.
We love the easy parts and disown the pieces we don’t deem worthy. We say we love unconditionally—we promise to love a partner unconditionally, and we promise to love our children unconditionally—and yet, we have never learned how.
The moment we don’t like behaviors in our children, we put them in a time-out, and give them spankings, and speak to them harshly. We work to condition them early because “That’s how I was raised.”
We condition them and teach them that they are only worthy of connection and love when they are behaving. Feeling triggered? Welcome to motherhood.
So how do we love unconditionally?
We work to accept all the disowned pieces that we put in the closet when we were getting the spankings, time-outs, and harsh language. We accept it in ourselves, we gain awareness, and then we bring love into that closet full of disowned pieces.
We work daily to see the ugly so that we can love it. See it in ourselves, and love it. See it in our partner, and love it. And keep expanding outward. See it in a stranger and love it. See it in the ugliest face of humanity, and love it.
The fact that we can see ugliness in another is a reminder that we have it within. If we keep disowning and hating it in others, we will never accept those broken pieces buried deep within ourselves. Every piece of our being is worthy of love. Every single piece.
And I would say it is the responsibility of each of us to bring love into these spaces to raise a more conscious, more aware, and loving humanity.
If it were easy, the world would be a different place. So, I encourage each of us to be the hero in the most remarkable love story—the one with ourselves. It’s only then that we can show up authentically.