Many of us have heard the phrase “love unconditionally” and perhaps even set a goal of doing that in the world. Then we go through the day, starting out very loving and kind, and as events unfold we may find ourselves getting frustrated with situations, or traffic jams, or with unruly children (ours or others) and then we beat ourselves up for how we are around certain people or how we react in different instances. It’s hard enough getting through just one day sometimes, how on earth can we really love unconditionally?
Yesterday, I experienced a Psych-K session with Angelika Baum. I was intrigued by this modality, but was not very familiar with it. I have to tell you it was life changing and boy oh boy, has it shifted my perspective on things.
I learned about how to appreciate and embrace all aspects of me. I learned about some of my “shadows” as Angelika put it. Learned about why my dilly daddler side pops up so much (I need to play more) and why the self-centred side helps me be more confident for being out in the world to do the work I’m here to do. Sure, those traits are normally thought of as “negative” yet, this process let me see the “positive” aspects of those qualities as well. I wasn’t going to be able to accept those qualities in others until I could fully accept it within myself.
If I want to have the potential to love others unconditionally, I have to be able to love myself unconditionally first. I have to accept all of me, and I can’t do that when I’m judging me. When I’m able to understand those traits, I can see what purpose they serve in my life. I can see why they are being expressed that way and if I can find another way to better express that same emotion or way of being.
For example, I confess, I get distracted by things when I “should” be focusing on work. As I connected with my dilly-daddler side, I came to realize that the reason why it keeps cropping up in my work day is because I’m not making enough time in the rest of my life for play and wonder. If I can play and explore more during other times, then I won’t feel as distracted when something interesting comes up in my mailbox. I can flag it to come back to it later. It’s just like how boys need to be active when they are learning, sitting down at a desk at school all day is challenging for them.
It also helps me to understand the event Awesomeness Fest that I attended more. There was an educational aspect, and there was a huge FUN aspect to it as well. There were parties every night that went into the wee hours of the morning. At moments I had found myself judging all of this partying, I couldn’t keep up, and didn’t even try to because it wasn’t what I wanted. I did go out each night (except the last night I was sick) although I didn’t feel like staying up to 5am each morning, my body simply needed more sleep than that.
There is just so much more to each and every aspect of life…every “light side” has a “dark side” if it is in excess. For example someone who is very giving may find themselves constantly being taken advantage of. And every “dark side” has a “light side”, for example the self-centred side making sure that you always take time to honour ourselves and take care of what we need. It’s like each “good” and “bad” quality are on opposite ends of the spectrum to balance each other out.
When we can make space in our lives to fully express ourselves and give every part of ourselves a chance to be heard, then we are loving ourselves unconditionally. We can begin to use our emotions as a barometer to notice we are out of balance. And more importantly as we begin to recognize what’s going on within ourselves, we can notice what is going on with other people in our lives. and react more compassionately. They say that what we recognize in others is what we need to work on inside. And since we are embracing all of our different qualities, we can begin to embrace those qualities in others too and get present to what it is that we may be able to offer to help them get back into balance. It could be through listening, sharing, acknowledging or even hugging that person.
Loving unconditionally is about acceptance, understanding and compassion. And when we can begin to do this for ourselves, we can extend it out to others.