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How The Myth Of Unconditional Love Is RUINING Your Chance At Happiness

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How the Myth of Unconditional Love Can Ruin Your Chance at Happiness
Love, Self

Love and happiness are a mental game.

We all want it: to be loved, understood, and greatly appreciated — even when we’re riding the broomstick of our nastiest tantrum. Even then, we want to be accepted unconditionally.

And when we are not (beginning with our ignorant parents, who should have known better how to deliver this to us, right?) we flip out, blaming anyone in sight.

But then, at times, we feel it. We glimpse that highly charged, the mythical emotion of unconditional love by inhaling the intoxicating, heavenly scent of a newborn, gazing into the delicate petals of a blossoming rose, engulfing our senses in the soft purring of a kitten, or gliding freely on a surfboard over the ocean.

And yet, we cannot sustain this fleeting feeling… and maybe we’re not supposed to. But still, that’s the goal. The paradox is torturous and confusing, so here’s my take on it.

Love is like the nucleic acid that makes up a DNA strand and its energetic imprint is the building block of life. Love is an uncontainable emotion, an energetic force. And since energy is neutral, it’s unconditional. And it’s something that each of us possesses.

So far, so good. However, where we get into trouble is when we start relying on other people to provide us with what we are meant to unleash from within. For how can our parents, siblings, teachers, partners, children, or friends share something with us that they don’t feel about themselves on a consistent basis?

Trust me, if they knew how, they would. But no one can — that’s just part of human nature.

And therein lies the myth of unconditional love.

Even though the love itself is real, the idea that it can be shined upon us by somebody else is an illusion. And it’s kind of unfair to make others responsible for taking care of our emotional needs when we can’t be loving at all times.

And when we put ourselves in the position of dependence on others to receive this love, we give them a chunk of our power, becoming a puppet on a string of dependency tied to their mood, all of which causes us great disappointment and suffering.

So, since we cannot control how others think and feel about us and life, then the solution (as I see it) is to become self-reliant and self-giving, to become independent in generating our own, steady and lasting happiness.

So what does it mean to love ourselves unconditionally?

From my personal experience (and it’s still a work in progress), it’s important to realize that love and happiness are a mental game.

According to PNI (psychoneuroimmunology), which studies the connection between our psychological processes and nervous and immune systems, the thoughts we think generate the way we feel, and our emotions push us toward certain actions that lead to corresponding outcomes.

So if we want to master the art of unconditional happiness, we need to teach ourselves to be nice to ourselves, unconditionally. We need to tell ourselves stories that will generate happy chemicals in our brain and make us feel cozy and warm inside.

Something like this:

  • "I can do no wrong." (Meaning that you are a perfectly imperfect human who is learning from your mistakes and life experiences with the purpose of evolving).
  • "I am capable and strong enough to face and overcome anything that life throws my way because I can feel that there is a power within me greater than any predicament."
  • "I can never fail because life gives me feedback and an opportunity to self-correct. And I am realizing now that I can only move forward when I stop judging, criticizing, hating and undermining myself. Self-bullying must cease in order for me to heal my broken heart with the light of unconditional love."
  • "I have nothing to prove. I am already worthy of unconditional self-love." (What did you have to do to deserve your unique fingerprint or your DNA strands?)
  • "I am constantly learning and becoming a better version of myself and I am doing the best I can. It is possible for me to be happy, and since it’s a mental game, I am in control."

The game becomes fun, once our minds take hold of this attitude. And so, yes, I think it’s fair to say that unconditional love is real but it’s locked in the chambers of our mind — and we hold the key.

That means that at any given moment, we can be either self-condemning or loving, but we can never be both at once because our brains can process only one thought at a time, and only we get to choose the one it will be.

So that’s the way I see it… Chasing this fleeting phenomenon of unconditional love and teaching ourselves to grasp it for just a bit longer each time we feel it. That’s the true pursuit of happiness.

Katherine Agranovich, Ph.D., is a Medical Hypnotherapist and Holistic Consultant. She is the author of Tales of My Large, Loud, Spiritual Family. Call her for an office or phone consultation to attain mental-emotional alignment and close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Visit Achieve Health Center