a priori/a posteriori

Monday, February 11, 2013

How I Learned To Love Everyone Unconditionally

It's occurred to me that this whole "Loving Everyone Unconditionally" business is important enough to warrant a full blog about. Because people seem to have questions. Understandably. So I'll share what my journey has been thus far.

After smoking weed with Bryson back in September, a calming sense of peace and understanding washed over me. It was a spiritual awakening that changed my life. It filled me with so many thoughts and so much perspective I was overwhelmed in documenting it all.

A month later, I started introspecting about how I had acquired this new sense of peace. I realized that my sense of self worth was not driven by ego, but by an acceptance of my flaws. I saw my flaws as the thing that made my fragile existence beautiful. It's the struggle of trying to live a good life while being flawed that is true beauty. Some think the goal is to be flawless, but if one is flawless, one does not need to struggle. But the human struggle to live well with this heavy load of flaws that we have no choice but to burden...that's beautiful.

I started looking at myself objectively. "Look at me wanting to connect to people without hurting them or myself. Look at me wanting to be honest but being afraid of what people think. Look at me knowing that I have to make mistakes, painful mistakes, in order to grow. But being willing to."
"Look at me with my food addiction and my fear of women and resentment of my father...but trying to overcome. Look at me trying."

That's when I realized that I didn't love myself in spite of my flaws, I loved myself because of my flaws. And I realized that made my love for myself unconditional.

But of course, we're all flawed. So why would my unconditional love stop with one flawed being? Any being that's flawed is in the same boat I am. Why would I judge someone for having different flaws than mine? Why would I not love their flaws as my own? Since after all, we're all one.

Which, by the way, is as cliche as is necessary because people don't understand that until they're ready to. That goes for anything. Anything you don't understand, it just means you're not ready to yet. Which is fine. It's beautiful. Reading/hearing "we're all one" won't mean anything to you until it does. I heard "We're all one", a lot growing up. I understood it 5 months ago.

I'm tempted to get very metaphysical and eastern philosophical here but I won't. What I'll say is I understood that there were no "levels" of flaws. Because I didn't choose to be me. No one chose to be themselves. You don't choose your race, gender, nationality, culture, age, who your parents are or even your own genetic makeup. I realized we all live circumstantial lives. So why would I judge a person born into circumstance? My circumstances are fortunate. I could've been a pedophile, or a murderer, or an ethnic cleanser. I still could be, technically. If I just started doing those things. But my circumstances haven't led me there.

Lucky me, I've got food addiction. You won't get put in a cage for that.

So at this point the unconditional love I had for myself permeated outwards towards everyone I met. I saw their flaws as beautiful. And I loved them because of their flaws. And since I understood that we're all flawed, and we all struggle through this fragile existence that life is, I loved everyone unconditionally.

I don't take anybody's flaws personally. If you hurt me, I'll get it. It was probably unintentional. Most people don't want to hurt others. People in my life don't. If you're surrounded by people that do, you need to ask yourself why that is. Because everything in your life that shows up shows up because of the energy you put out. If you're attracting negativity that's what shows up.

But even an amazing person can lose their way and hurt intentionally. If you hurt me intentionally, I still get it. You're flawed. You're probably hurting, yourself. Or maybe I hurt you in some way. We're fragile creatures interacting, these things happen. I'll still love you. There's nothing to me that's "unforgivable."

Including myself. Whenever I overeat, I step back, forgive myself and try to stay present. That's the other thing I can't stress enough: Loving unconditionally starts with loving yourself unconditionally. It's a hard process. Start with forgiveness and acceptance of self. Treat yourself gently. The golden rule is "treat others the way you want to be treated", but a lot of people are harder on themselves than they are on others. Many people's compassion extends to others more than themselves. You wouldn't call your fiend a piece of shit for being on the internet all day instead of writing (or whatever). But you will get down on yourself, in your own head. This inward negativity permeates out eventually. So if you have to, reverse the golden rule: "Treat yourself as gently as you treat others."

So, that's basically it. I love my flaws. I love everyone's flaws. I love everyone unconditionally. 

My sister taught me this symbol. I like it a lot. Unconditionally.


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