Our life is full of all sorts of agreements, obligations, contracts. They are usually associated with a list of conditions. If we break the conditions, the terms of the agreement, there may be penalties or other consequences. We know what happens if we don’t keep up house, car or other payments. I work as a gynecologist for a large healthcare institution. My employment is on the condition that I actually show up and do the agreed-upon work. We have to ask: Is there anything in our lives that is:
UNCONDITIONAL? There are no “terms” of the agreement. I actually searched the term “unconditional warranty” and found an umbrella with a lifetime “unconditional” warranty. Of course, that’s a pretty safe guarantee since most of us will leave it somewhere! It doesn’t cover “lost” umbrellas, so I guess it’s not “unconditional.”
There is something we are all called to do that is unconditional: LOVE. It’s the hardest thing for most of us to do. We can find it difficult to love someone who has harmed us or others, especially when they have committed atrocities. We are focused on WHAT they did, not WHY they did it. We have not been educated to center our thinking on trying to understand how their genetics and life circumstances may have led to their actions. We have not walked in their shoes.
I am constantly reminded of Holocaust survivor Alice Herz Sommer’s response when asked why she didn’t hate the Nazis for what they did to her and her family and friends: “I look for the good in everyone.” WOW! That’s powerful. She understood the quality of her life is directly related to the quality of her thoughts. Hateful thoughts led to a less than optimal life, and she wanted nothing to do with that. Enough damage had already been done with that type of thinking. I’m not just talking about emotional health. This includes our physical health which is driven by our thinking, our emotions. That’s why Alice lived to be 110 years old! Our emotional well-being drives all aspects of our life – even our longevity.
Why do we find it impossible to unconditionally love everyone else? We have to first unconditionally love ourselves. We have to dump harmful words from our vocabulary, our mind: shame, guilt, regret. We have all done things in our life (and are doing things right now) that are not good for us or others. But having shame and guilt is only adding fuel to an internal fire. Rather than regret our past harmful thoughts and actions, we can use the experience for good to be more understanding of other people’s harmful actions. We can use the experience to improve our life and that of others.
What if you really unconditionally loved yourself, that true identity inside you that is full of love, peace, joy, and forgiveness? You woke up every morning with your inner spirit saying: “I love me so much.” I’m not talking about an Ego arrogant form of love thinking we are better than anyone else. To the contrary! It’s starting the day off thinking: “ I will be a force for good. Today, I will do that which is good for me and others. I got this.” It’s knowing that deep inside all of us, devoid of the Ego, there is a world of unconditional love that has all the answers. It is unconditional.
Having trouble with this concept? Me too. I obviously didn’t come up with it. It’s been promoted for thousands of years by people we all know of and admire. But our Ego doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. Need help applying it. Stay tuned. The journey continues. It’s all about having the amazing life we all deserve. It’s all about Living WELL Aware. ONWARD!
MANY THANKS: TO TEMPLE COLLEGE for having me begin the Weekly Wednesday Wellness Webinars. I look forward to this Wednesday’s session where we will cover the bottom line on Normal Numbers Now: What You Need to Know! I’ll go over the basics and information just published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Get Ready!
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