A Course in Miracles Blog

Learning to love unconditionally

  • By Paul West
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  • 1525 Words
  • 7 minutes 37 seconds
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This is a big lesson for me and everyone: How to love all the time. It's natural, but our divine nature to always love and express love has been blocked by fear, attack thoughts, grievances, hatred etc.

When other people seem to be loving and we're "getting" something out of the relationship, ie specialness, we open up some of the flood gates and allow "exclusive love" to go towards the person.

But when the person fails to love you, is angry or upset with you or treats you poorly, there is great temptation then in the ego to simply use it as a way to prove that someone doesn't deserve your love. Then you form a grievance, hold onto attack thoughts, fail to heal, and stop being loving. In order to deny love to others, you have to block it, which denies it to yourself! You cannot love and hate at the same time!

This turns then into conditional love, which simply means you will only love others when they are doing something that you want or being a certain way. Particularly when they are seeming to be loving toward you or giving you what you think you want or need or lack.

We have to actually wean ourselves off of conditional love in order to reach atonement. That means that we have to recognize that our "loving" or expressing must not be tied to external conditions of any kind, causes of any kind, or people of any kind. That means that we don't love in "reaction" or response to others, but we simply love because it's what we are and how we want to express. It's a decision.

"Teach only love for that is what you are" says it all.

I've started to see glimpses of this. To refuse to be unloving even in a situation which seems it would warrant defenses or reactions. To simply choose... I'm only going to love right now. And to then love, to radiate love, to be love. Not because of the person, not as a defense, not as a reaction, nothing to do with the ego at all.

Then you find out that your willingness to love is not *dependent* on other people or the state they are in. And at first this seems crazy, that you would choose to love in spite of appearances or situations that seem to "call for" some other response. This expressing of love OVERRIDES the ego's laws in the situation, ignores the hierarchy of illusions, forgets/forgives grievances and has unexpected benefits to yourself.

In a situation, I decided I am only going to love. So I stood there and loved. I felt love in my heart area radiating out. I didn't know I was able to radiate this love. As I did this, the other person was not happy at all. My deciding to love was not in response to their ego. And so it seemed to me there wasn't really a "reason" to love, other than that... it sure felt good. Certainly better than entering into false empathy.

The really interesting thing is, if I choose to love, to extend love, the love expresses, like it goes out and radiates and "sends" love. In this sending, something really intriguing happens. I share in the love, I feel the love, and I become more sane. Love is the "natural nature" of a sane mind. It quickly corrects mistaken perception. It's like the sun comes out and the light is shining and everything is put into its proper place.

I also notice when I choose to love, just spontaneously, not as an ego reaction - to will to love - the extending of that love allows me to receive it. *I* feel loved. By giving love, love comes to me and through me. I was waiting a long time for a certain person to be more loving, and it wasn't until I decided to just love them that *I* experienced the love that I thought THEY were supposed to be providing.

This goes back to the very basic lesson (seek and do not find) that when we believe that we are lacking love, we will shift responsibility for love onto someone else and expect them to do the loving for us. Then they either will or will not, and when they will not, we stay in a lack of love. So we have to learn the difficult lesson, that we cannot get other people to love us and we are not SUPPOSED to. You can and will only experience the receiving of love, truly, when YOU LOVE.

When YOU choose to love, you instantly enter into love's extension and expression, you feel the love, you become part of the love. "To have all, give all to all." This is a basic law of God, that in order to have something you have to give it. If you are not having something, it's because you are not giving it.

If you do not have love and others don't seem to be filling the void for you, it's because you are not loving enough. And when you love enough, you don't NEED anyone to love you FOR you, because YOU are joining in unconditional love and extending God's love. Love comes through you, and you experience it.

It boils down to this simple state, which I presume is what it will be like in Atonement, where you simply love all the time. You express love all the time. You radiate it, flow it, extend it. It comes out through you from God and from your soul. And as it goes out, it has miraculous power. And this loving power actually has something to do with healing and miracle working.

Love has this property that, unless it is given or shared, it does not exist. Love isn't a "state" that's static. God isn't static. God is an extender and creator. "Love goes out because of what it is." "Divine abstraction takes joy in application."

Love HAS to be shared. "God did not will to be alone." When it is not being radiated and shared and GIVEN, it does not have any radiance, and does not shine, and has no presence. That means it is dead. Death is the denial of extension of love, which is also life.

So in order to be alive, to be in resurrection, to reach atonement, and to be happy, we have to remove these blocks to love SO THAT we can once again resume our NATURE of always extending, always loving, no matter what, no matter who, no matter what time or the reason. That means that you being loving really has NOTHING to do with anyone else. You just be loving because you ARE love. You can't help it. "Teach only love for that is what you are".

So that means being willing to love and extend love in ALL SITUATIONS regardless of the situation, or who it is, or how upset they are. And the reason you love really has nothing to do with the other person. You simply do it because it's natural, healthy, you are willing to, and it feels great.

I thought I was forgiving someone because I was doing forgiveness processes about them. But... I didn't really get to a point where I was LOVING them. THAT is the healed state that is the goal to reach with forgiveness. If I am not loving the person, literally, the I must still have some kind of grievance or block to love, therefore am not receiving it, because I am not extending it. And feeling "unloving" unfortunately automatically means you will also feel "unloved".

Love comes from within, and it extends outward to others. It radiates naturally when it is not obstructed. It also contains willingness because unwillingness is unnatural and everyone naturally wants to share love to increase their joy. "God, who encompasses all being, nevertheless created separate beings who have everything individually (love) and want to share it to increase their joy."

That means if you want to feel the love, you have to BE the love. You have to give the love. And that doesn't mean special love, or sacrifice, or loss. It doesn't mean subservience or reaction or slavery or being carpeting. It means you love because YOU WANT TO, IN SPITE OF anyone else. And then you naturally bring that love to others simply because it serves BOTH of you. That is the golden rule. What applies to you applies to them.

Love first. Being loved is secondary and automatic. Trying to be loved first blocks being loved.

This means then we have to learn to decouple or disconnect "whether we will love" or "when we will love" from anything that other people are doing. Even if other people are stressing out and upset and angry or whatever. We have to decide, I, by myself, with God, am going to love right now, regardless of anyone else, even if that someone else is someone close to you.

And that means you have to claim the responsibility, freedom, joy and pleasure of LOVING for YOURSELF, which is the same thing as accepting atonement for yourself. It's your right to love and experience love. It's your inheritance.

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