Are you searching for a soulmate or unconditional love? Your quest can set you on an impossible journey to find an ideal partner. The problem is often twofold: No human being, nor any relationship, can ever achieve perfection, and often unconditional and conditional love are confused.
Usually, we yearn for unconditional love because we didn’t receive it in childhood and fail to give it to ourselves. Of all relationships, parental love, particularly maternal love, is the most enduring form of unconditional love. (In prior generations, paternal love was thought of as conditional.) But in fact, most parents withdraw their love when over-stressed or when their children misbehave. To a child, even time-outs can feel emotionally abandoning. Right or wrong, most parents at times only love their children conditionally.
Is Unconditional Love Possible?
Unlike romantic love, unconditional love does not seek pleasure or gratification. Unconditional love is more a state of receptivity and allowing, which arise from our own “basic goodness,” says Trungpa Rimpoche. It’s the total acceptance of someone – a powerful energy emanating from the heart.
Love that is unconditional transcends time, place, behavior, and worldly concerns. We don’t decide whom we love, and sometimes don’t know why. The motives and reasons of the heart are unfathomable, writes Carson McCullers:
The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. . . The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else – but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. The Ballad of the Sad Café (2005) p. 26.