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What Is Love and What Is Not

What Is Love and What Is Not

Yes! Unconditional love really exists and it’s not just a myth. But, it’s only understood when we first make attempt to understand what conditional love is.

Today, everyone speaks of love like it is a dice. Hardly do we make attempt to know the content of the word “LOVE” beyond just the written 4 LETTERS. A few of us who claim to know the meaning of this word only speak of its emotional connection with our being and or its chemical drive when we’re with the opposite sex.

Don’t get it confused… there’s “Conditional and Unconditional Love” and below we’ll examine the differences and help us identify unconditional love.

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Conditional Love: You Expect a Recompense for Every Action in Proportion to Your Emotional or Material Input

Have you been in a relationship where you expect a recompense for every action in proportion to your emotional or material input?

For example, you can find numerous online dating platforms today where individuals profile their personality and go for a hunt for suitable partners sharing similar traits or simply possessing desired traits they call the “Perfect Match”. This is especially evident in Sugar daddy/Sugar babies dating in numerous platforms where Rich men or women (single or married) seek emotional dependence, companionship and or sexual satisfaction from the younger men or ladies and in turn either pay their bills or just guarantee their material satisfaction and vise versa. This is a give and take process and of course, as long as each partner gets satisfaction, the relationship continues and each feels a great sense of fulfillment.

This means there’s an opposite emotion for this love, which is ‘Hatred’. Once one of the lovers’ defaults in giving or taking according to their proportion, the love may die or even turn to hatred. Here, you know your limit, what you stand to give and take and at what proportion. Each individual feels like a superman and controls the other when it’s their turn to either give or take, and there’s nothing more than mutual satisfaction. You aren’t looking for someone with whom to share your whole-self with but just someone to complete you. This is a conditional love.

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I discover my dad shows me more love and affection anytime I do exactly as he bids me even when they are against my own will and happiness. This simply means there’s a withdrawal of affection whenever he follows his own will or just considers his happiness and the force behind his action. Of course, this is a conditional love.

On the contrary,

Unconditional Love: You Accept the Whole Person

Unconditional love is often misinterpreted by many people. They simply use this as a wrong reason to continue in an unfavorable relationship or simply persuade someone into managing them. Even when they aren’t sure what it is, they misuse it for some ideal they seek after like you hear they say; “I believe in loving people before they can come to love themselves”. Some even go as far to say “they’ll love unconditionally because they have a special belief”. This is a total mistake.

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Now let’s look at this… not “I love you even if you treat me bad” but “I love you whatever life gives”. If you critically examine these phrases, you’ll understand the second phrase means “in any condition of life I’ll love you”. This is unconditional love. What keeps couples together is not the places they visited or the things they do in common but their responses when there’s a challenge to overcome. That you love someone unconditionally doesn’t mean you don’t feel disappointed at their actions sometimes and being disappointed at them doesn’t mean your affection is reduced or withdrawn. You simply just fulfill the fact that you’re a human.

Unconditional love is simply defined by experts as affection without conditions or limitations (eternal love). In other terms, it is called complete love. But, people commonly refer to this love as ‘deep love’ or the affection you feel for someone that you can go any length to make them happy.

Generally, all lovers refer to this love but what they actually have is conditional love. A clear understanding of unconditional love will reveal you the ultimate power of self-acceptance because this is its foundation for a healthy and long-term relationship success. Its source is the spirit and it springs out from everyone without expecting anything in return to qualify for it.

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You don’t have to do anything to please anyone to accept you or show you affection nor do you expect anything from anyone. But, does this mean we simply accept and agree with everyone on everything even when it offends us? No. It means we respect, show kindness, cooperation and display affection to everyone and everything around us including our pets. This love is part of us and it’s us.

Real love is about self-acceptance

Unconditional love is spiritual, self-acceptance [1], self-forgiving, mental wellness, harmony and beauty and emotional balance. If you lack any of these, you may battle with conditional love for the rest of your life.

What about forgiving others when you can’t forgive yourself? Can you cooperate with others either if you can’t accept them first? Just the same way you can’t show true affection for someone you expect to behave just exactly as you want them to because they need something from you. Only with these characteristics you can feel the beauty of unconditional love. This doesn’t mean both individuals doesn’t give or take anything or doesn’t benefit anything at all, but it’s simply out of self-will and its blessing flows from within on anything it comes in contact with.

When you know the real meaning of love, a lot of relationship problems wouldn’t appear in the first place

It’s very important that you understand what unconditional love is and this will help you to overcoming many relationship challenges. When you fail to understand the concept of this love, you’ll often feel betrayed out of your expectations. Also, people who mistake this love for the opposite “conditional love” often seem to appear as perfectionists and find it very difficult to accept everybody they come in contact with except for selected the few with whom they expect mutual satisfaction. Because they are rewarded for doing things right by whom it was demanded, they grow up with the mindset that everyone must be like them, or they are inferior or fake and end up being treated as they treat others. This brings hatred and unnatural affection.

Truly, understanding this concept brings healing, divine beauty, harmony and pure kindness to everything we come in contact with.

Reference

[1] Psychcentral: 12 ways to accept yourself first

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MICHAEL LILY

Writer/entrepreneural development specialist

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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