What is unconditional love? A fun definition, yet rigorous...
Unconditional love is loving the other person as she or he is. It is loving the other without conditions, like a child.
Unconditional love is not the desire, the attraction, or the attachment, even though all these can exist at the same time.
Unconditional love, that curious phenomenon, reveals unexpected surprises: if you love unconditionally, your love does not depend on the loved one because it does not depend on anything. It simply is.
So your love for him no longer depends on him! Your love for her no longer depends on her!
But even worse, your love, if it is unconditional, necessarily becomes directed towards everyone, without conditions. Including yourself.
To love the other unconditionally is also to love everyone, and it is also to love yourself, truly.
I was so excited about this love that I wanted to write you a letter, to explain my thoughts in more detail. And to share with you a definition of unconditional love in my words.
It’s a declaration of unconditional love. And it’s for you.
In short, I wanted to tell you that I love you.
I love you, but I really love you. That is, I love you without wanting you to be a little more like this, or like that. To accept you, as you are now, is to really love you, isn’t it?
I found this rather convenient, by the way. Because, since I don’t have to try to improve anything in you, I must say that I save a lot of time! I have much more time to do nothing, and also to truly love you.
One day, I discovered a really chic concept, the concept of unconditional love. I was seduced by this love because it seemed obvious to me.
To really love is to love without conditions, isn’t it? And I want to love you truly, like a child.
When I thought about it, I realized that if I wanted to love you unconditionally, I would have to love you even when you were far away, even on the day we were separated, even on the day you loved someone else, even on the day I died.
Logically, no spatial or temporal condition should be able to prevent my unconditional love for you. Otherwise, love becomes conditional.
The good surprise is that, by observing myself, I have come to see that I don’t have to do anything special to love you in this way. I discovered that sometimes there is in me what I now call love, which is unconditional and eternal, and sometimes there is in me what I used to call love, but now call desire, attraction, attachment.
When the desire, frantic, takes control of my body, I watch it have fun, and I laugh. I know it’s just passing through, and I know my love for you is much more than that.
When I focus on my chest, I sometimes feel a sense of peace and wholeness, a sense of obviousness and eternity. I feel merged with you as if we were the same thing, and then I know that this is love. I don’t have to do anything, that’s how it is.
This is a nice feature of unconditional love: whereas desire, attraction, attachment, come with a sense of separation, distance, absence; unconditional love comes with a sense of obviousness that we are never separated. And that’s really cool.
But I must also tell you something else.
As you may have guessed, if I love you unconditionally, without any conditions, then my love for you no longer depends on you. And if my love for you no longer depends on you, then I love, at the same time, any other person, as deeply.
If I choose to be driven by conditional love, desire, attachment, then I love only you, but my love is fragile because it depends on a whole bunch of conditions that could change.
If I choose, instead, to be driven by unconditional love, my love for you will have no end, I will give everything for you, but this love will also be directed towards all others.
The choice of unconditional love is a radical one, with no half measures.
In fact, since I made this choice, as you may have noticed, everything has gone mad!
It’s strange, isn’t it? I can’t love you like I used to.
I have come to realize recently that the more I love you, the less I want to see you. The more I love you, the more I feel you inside me, the more I know I can’t lose you. I don’t miss you, I don’t need you. When you are in front of me, we are together, and when you are away from me, we are together.
It could even be that, precisely because my love for you is so strong, you become the person I see least, the person I care for least.
For you are in me, in such a sure and concrete fashion.
But the worst thing, you know, is when I realized that if I really want to love you unconditionally, I must not only love everyone else but also love myself, as I am.
If I want to love you without conditions, my love for you no longer depends on you and extends to everyone. If it extends to everyone, it is also directed towards me!
To love you so strongly, so unconditionally, would therefore be completely self-centered.
After all this thinking, I was about to write a love letter to myself, logically, when I finally thought of you again.
I thought it would be much more fun to declare my love to this version of me that is you, to tell me that I love you.
PS: By the way, speaking of love, you might be interested in this other article where I explain in a visual way how I understand the difference between love and attachment ;-)
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First published in French: 24th August 2016. Translated in English: 12th May 2021.