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Who do you love unconditionally?
If asked, you may immediately think of those close to you – perhaps your parents, grandparents, a spouse or partner, your children, or your best friends. These are the people who lend a hand when we need help, comfort us when we fall, and cheer us on in our endeavors. They make up our communities, our families, and our support systems. Indeed, we could not succeed in life without human connection.
The Kabbalah Centre teaches that we must share with others in order to build strong relationships and show unconditional love. Most of us can agree on this. But when we take an honest look at our actions (especially, toward those in our inner circle), how much sharing are we really doing?
It is human nature to desire to receive for our own benefit. This desire can complicate relationships, making us selfish or unkind. It often stems from a feeling of lack in our lives; we mistakenly believe that those we love can fulfill us and make us complete. We will always need love, but we won’t receive it in a way that is fulfilling until we learn to first share.
Instead of a constant flow of mutual giving and receiving, we tend to focus on the receiving, trying to either coax love out of others or withhold love in order to protect ourselves from getting hurt. We become clingy, jealous, demanding, or paranoid. "Most of us inject a large element of selfishness, of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, into our relationships,” says Michael Berg, “even with the people we love most. No matter how pure our love is for another person, if there is selfishness attached to that love, the relationship is fated to end."
One of our primary purposes in this lifetime is to transform that tendency into a Desire to Receive for the Sake of Sharing with others – a task that can take a lifetime!
We must realize no one can make us whole. True fulfillment comes from connecting to the Light through acts of sharing. Until we understand this, our ego continues to grow, preventing us from seeing the Light that radiates from our core being, a Light we are meant to share.
As we begin the process of transforming our desire, we begin to truly love. Unconditional love means taking yourself out of the equation and giving love without any expectations or hopes of receiving in return. It is an unselfish exchange between two people. Real love means each person plays the role of both giver and receiver, regardless of whether the relationship exists between parent and child, husband and wife, or two friends. Without continuous give and take, there is no space for love.
Relationships that are built on ego interacting with ego create separation. When this happens we feel disconnected, devalued, and unloved. We feel insecure and begin to act selfishly as we try to get back to a place of feeling loved. Instead of desperately trying to pull love out of another, try sharing your own Light. “We are here to learn to give our loved ones the energy that allows them to feel that they always are part of us,” says Karen Berg, “even when they are moody, angry, or hurt, or even when they act like children instead of adults. This is the gift of unconditional love, and the only way we can receive such a gift is when we’re capable of giving it. This is the kind of love that the Creator has for us.”
We each deserve to love and to be loved unconditionally. But real love is not about satisfying our own personal needs. It is about recognizing the good in the soul of another and it is helping them to see it, too. When we let go of our need to satisfy our egos, we can share selflessly and experience the wholeness and joy of unconditional love.
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