Unconditional love is a great idea in theory, yet seemingly unattainable to achieve in the average relationship; and in the relationships that “should be” easiest, those with parents and children, it is unrealistic too. We place so many expectations on those we love that it’s a wonder we even call it love…let’s face it, the love that we experience in society is better defined as conditional love with multiple strings attached. This conditional love robs us of the freedom within our relationships, making love and freedom opposing forces, as Osho states in “Being in Love” on page 115:
And up to now humanity has lived in such an insane way that you can fulfill only one need: either you can be free, but then you have to drop the idea of love. That’s what monks and nuns of all the religions have been doing: drop the idea of love, you are free; there is nobody to hinder you, there is nobody to interfere with you, nobody to make any demands, nobody to possess you. But then their life becomes cold, almost dead.
…So the majority of humanity has decided for love and dropped the idea of freedom. But then people are living like slaves. Man has reduced the woman into a thing, a commodity, and of course the woman has done the same in her own subtle way: she has made all the husbands henpecked.
This is why single people believe that they need to get into a relationship, and those in a relationship crave to be single; because they feel they have to choose between conditional love and freedom, always making the grass greener on the other side. However, there is a third option, one of unconditional love, where freedom and love can thrive together! The problem is, we have been so thoroughly conditioned from childhood with the conditional form of love, that we are unable to experience anything else.
So how do we achieve this ideal pairing of love and freedom? I will give you a simple exercise to work through which will create in you the ability to love, and to be loved, unconditionally.
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE EXERCISE
- On a piece of paper, write down the qualities and traits that your ideal man or woman “should” possess.
- Next to these qualities, rate how important they are to you on a scale of 1-10.
Take a good look at these traits, these are the expectations that you place on yourself and others, they are the conditions, or strings, of your “conditional love”. We feel powerless and get angry with our partners, family members, friends, etc., when they do not live up to our expectations of them, when they do not live up to the conditions that our childhood family system taught us about love. Another definition of anger is “an expectation that goes unmet”. Anger is just a messenger letting us know that we have an unreasonable expectation that needs to be cleared. These expectations are easily recognizable because they are usually accompanied by the words “should, need, or must”.
- On each quality that you wrote down, release and do EFT on it, in spite of it supposedly being a virtuous trait. You are releasing on your attachment and emotional charge surrounding each quality, not on your ability to experience them. Trace back these beliefs and patterns to a trauma or limiting belief from your childhood that requires healing, and tap them away.
When we release on our expectations of love, we open ourselves up to experiencing the fullness, depth, and breadth of it, rather than our narrow views that were handed down to us from our ancestral and societal beliefs. Hale Dwoskin of the “Sedona Method” often states, “would you rather want something or have something?” Meaning, do you want to be happy and loved, or would you rather be happy and loved? Our expectations and “should’s” keep us stuck in a state of wanting, however, if we release them, we open ourselves up to all of the possibilities and experience a state of being.
Here are some examples of virtuous traits that many people unnecessarily place upon themselves and their loved ones as expectations, conditions, and “should’s”:
- A good listener
WHY RELEASE THE VIRTUOUS TRAITS?
It is reasonable to ask how these supposedly virtuous traits can be harmful to love, and the answer is so simple it may be difficult to grasp. On an energetic level, any of these expectations sets you up to attract the lack of that quality in others, because in some way there is a lack of that quality within you. This lack in you stems from a traumatic childhood event, environment, societal belief, or pattern, and these qualities can be used as a form of manipulation to secure love out of a fear of loss or a feeling of unworthiness.
In the video below, I use “loyalty” as a tapping example for releasing a supposedly virtuous trait. When someone shows you love, you might trade a measure of loyalty as a reward for that behavior. This may seem fair as an energy exchange, however, it is likely an attempt to control them out of feelings of fear or unworthiness. In this case, if the same degree of loyalty is not returned, an expectation is unmet and a feeling of powerlessness and anger ensues.
There are many reasons why a value or expectation could have been created from your childhood. Maybe your mother did not show you or your dad loyalty and you felt that you were “thrown under the bus” during conflicts. Or maybe a parent expected loyalty from you, or otherwise you were not worthy of love. And it could have been something that you subconsciously watched and absorbed between your parents, as a means of one of them securing love from the other. There are an infinite number of ways that a trait could become engrained in you as an expectation, so it is worth exploring and tapping out.
Releasing on these childhood expectations frees you up from wanting the quality, to having the trait as a form of being in your life.
TAPPING AWAY THE CONDITIONS
We’ll continue with our example and tap on the character trait of loyalty as an expectation and condition:
SETUP STATEMENT EXAMPLE
Even though I have this expectation of loyalty as a condition for love, I choose to unconditionally love, accept, and forgive myself. (x3)
NEGATIVE PHASE EXAMPLE
I expect loyalty in my relationships.
I feel angry when my partner (family, friends, etc.) is not loyal to me like I am to them.
I give them loyalty, why do they not value and return it?
I’m angry, it’s not fair, I feel powerless to “make” them act loyal towards me.
They “should” return my loyalty.
I was loyal to my parents, and yet they were not loyal to me, and I swore I would not be like them, and now I attract people who do not return my loyalty, just like my parents.
POSITIVE PHASE EXAMPLE
Maybe I have been using loyalty as a form of manipulation and as a condition for love, and can let that go?
Maybe expecting loyalty from others is preventing me from experiencing loyalty in my relationships?
What if I could allow myself and others to be just as loyal as I/they are?
What if I could allow myself and others to be just as disloyal as I/they are?
What if I could let go of this pattern of loyalty and disloyalty that I learned from my parents, and give people the freedom to be who they are apart from my expectations?
What if I could love my friends, family, and partners unconditionally, apart from expectations and strings?
As you can see, unconditional love, and the freedom associated with it, can be easier to achieve in your relationships than you might have ever believed. When you love yourself and others free from expectations and “should’s”, you are ready to experience all of the possibilities that love has to offer, rather than just your conditional ones. This exercise will help you to create the combination of love and freedom that traditional relationships lack, and will help you to avoid the “grass is greener on the other side” feelings that conditional love breeds.
What is your belief about unconditional vs conditional love? Do you feel that this exercise will assist you in experiencing unconditional love on a regular basis?
Reprinted from FreeWithEFT.com