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There are many people who will leave an imprint on our lives. Though, the ones whom we look back fondly on are often those who love us unconditionally. They share love without agenda: lend a hand when we are in need, comfort us when we fall, and support us as we strive to achieve our goals. They make up our communities, our families, and our support systems. And we couldn’t thrive without them.
When it comes down to it, there are really only two kinds of love: selfish love and unconditional love. We’ve all experienced both. Those who are driven by the Desire to Receive something from a relationship, love selfishly—even if that something is love. On the flip side, unconditional love is never about personal gain; it’s about loving someone for exactly who they are—good or bad.
Think about your most important relationships. Are you sharing love unconditionally?
The Kabbalah Centre teaches that we must share with others and love unconditionally in order to grow spiritually. This seems obvious to most of us. Yet, when we take an honest look at our actions, can we really attest to sharing unconditional love?
“What we need to learn,” says Karen Berg, “is that when we love someone—a partner, a friend, or a family member—and they exhibit unpleasant mood swings or push our buttons, we still need to extend them love without agenda, just as we would have them extend love to us with all of our frailties and shortcomings.”
As humans, we are fallible, as are those we love. Our goal in sharing with others is always to give love without imposing standards that must be met. And we hope they will offer the same open-ended love in return. This, however, does not mean that we must tolerate abuse or inappropriate behavior. Healthy boundaries are necessary in all relationships. But, as Karen Berg points out, “We need to allow those close to us to feel that they are a part of us—even when they are ‘off their game’ so to speak or when they act like a child rather than an adult.”
When we Desire to Receive something from another for our own gain, we complicate relationships. We become unkind and can withhold love unwittingly when we don’t get what we want. This behavior often stems from the feeling of lack in our lives—a misconception that those we love can fulfill us in some way.
Our spiritual work in this lifetime is to expand our capacity of love for others. The Kabbalah Centre teaches that it is our job to open our hearts and share love with the world unconditionally. How do we know if we have reached that level of love? When we care for others so thoroughly that we Desire to Share with them without expecting anything in return. The fulfillment we find in life is directly related to how deeply we are growing our unconditional love towards others.
True, love is a basic human need. Though, we won’t receive it in a way that is truly fulfilling until we learn to give it unconditionally. “This is the gift of unconditional love,” says Karen Berg, “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.” When we are ready to give it, love will return back to us in the most remarkable ways.