The concept of unconditional anything kind of blows my socks off. It’s an unrealistic ideology.
Expectations are premeditated resentments.
How often these words have been in the forefront of my mind. Yet I hardly ever sit with expectations I have on life, love, friendship, and more profoundly, self, long enough to realize the pedestalled ideal will invariably lead to disappointment.
Most often we consider those whom we surround ourselves with, those that we are born to and that are born to us, should love us and be loveable by us, unconditionally.
Nothing comes without a string or two, a jiggle here, a correction there, an erroneous judgment passed. It is consistent with the human condition. So why then do we place such honor in altruism if it’s virtually impossible?
Acceptance is key.
I love a good 2×4. Sometimes I need bludgeoning before I can truly accept something is different than I expected it to be, AND, that is okay. Acceptance is the key to everything. Really. Ultimately I and every other being in my reality are responsible for the happiness or the lack of happiness experienced in life.
Developing and moving toward my best self is my personal altruism. When my personal values align with those I surround myself with, I and they are free to develop, experience, and live happily. When my personal values are not in alignment with others I notice the differences and recognize this is where unconditional love does not exist and fear abodes.
Square peg, round hole
I like the yogic concept of Aparigraha as a way for the mind to identify itself. This idea of collection or accumulation as a means of pinning down the self, the “I”, as if the accumulation of self will somehow shield us from impermanence.
Aparigraha is the practice that drives us to dis-identify and let go of those collections or in loves’ case expectations. It is a challenge on the best of days. Life can so easily become this hot mess of wanting. Wanting more or less, living in the future or the past, feeling uneasy, bored, groundless, resentful. It’s like standing in front of the refrige knowing you’re not hungry…but also knowing you’re gonna get something anyway.
It’s the wanting that we have to watch for
Mental accumulation stifles relationships. But unconditional love does not mean unconditional acceptance. At least not to me. I love many unconditionally but do not accept behaviors that do not align with my core and personal values. Usually the aggravation or anger someone raises in me is simply a manifestation of a want or a desire for something to be different than it is. It is up to me to choose to grasp or let go. Both will provide the lesson, but only one the relief.