Overcoming your own inability to love more
Often our idea of love is special love, which means exclusive or conditional love.
That means, it's relatively commonplace and 'normal' to only feel loving toward things that you approve of, while you spend the rest of your time rejecting everything else. But this isn't unconditional love.
Sometimes it takes some difficult lessons in which to learn to be unconditional toward others. But it also works the other way - if you are going to be yourself at all times and not enter into fake persona identities or putting on a facade when around certain people, you're going to need to learn to be unconditionally yourself, no matter what.
So that's going to take a lot of honesty, to be true to the truth about you at all times.
But as you become more yourself, more loving toward yourself in all situations, you will also become more loving toward others in all situations.
Sometimes the people who you do not like, or who are your enemy, or who offend you or even attack you, are the ones who have come to try to prompt you to love unconditionally.
What they do for you is they push your buttons and give you signals that say they do not love you, so that you will come to confront the limitations and conditions that you've placed on your own response. Will you hate them in return?
You will come face to face with your own inability to love them unconditionally, perhaps your patience wore thin and you lost your cool, or you just can't accept people being that way. But why.... the why is, really, that you can only love conditionally, and you can only therefore love yourself conditionally.
You may then find yourself, in the face of such opposition, realizing and exclaiming that you CANNOT love them. There is some reason, so strong, as to why your love stops and you seemingly refuse to love them. Particularly if you feel justified in resentment or anger or hurt. But then this will bring you face to face with your limitations. WHY can't you love them? Why can't you overlook and forgive them? What is it that you think is 'about them' that you can't love, which REALLY is about YOU that you can't love? Why do you have a limitation of conditionality placed on your ability to love?
Because what that will mean is, if you can't love them, you can't love yourself. But here is the marvelous opportunity.
If you can somehow dig even deeper, put aside your resentments and grievances, and find SOME way to above and beyond to love EVEN MORE, even beyond what you thought you could love, you will be breaking through the barriers of your conditionality - your conditioning - both towards others and towards yourself. Your love will GROW.
And then you will find yourself in situations noticing that you feel stronger and more loving towards all people, even strangers. That you feel more open to them, compassionate toward them, and more understanding of them. You will realize that somewhere somehow you put aside some kind of barriers that you had erected around yourself which always kept people at a distance or made it seem difficult for you to be around anyone that wasn't your special chosen ones.
Your sense of trust and certainty will skyrocket, you will find a renewed confidence and fearlessness due to the removal of a sense of separation, and you will genuinely feel in your heart a feeling of love for people that you never knew was possible.
To accomplish this, therefore, we need our own limtiations to be confronted, we need our own conditionality to be pointed out, we need our own 'reasons' for not being able to love someone - with all our justifications as to why - to be brought into question so that we will put them aside and find a way to love that goes beyond specialness and beyond confinement. This is our gift to others but also is our gift to ourselves, because we deserve to be the love that we really are at all times and this light shouldn't be kept under a rock called specialness.
As Jesus said a long time ago, love your enemies. Otherwise the walls you erect to keep them out keep your love in a prison, and being a prisoner makes you feel unloved as well. Unconditionally loving yourself is a much more deeply satisfying place to be.
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