I didn't really realize that I was doing this all the time. I was giving back a response based on what I received from the person, instead of giving a response based on what I received from God!
It is very challenging to be loving all the time, in spite of and regardless of ego appearances. Our ego is easily triggered when other people act unlovingly. It's also easy to buy into the appearance that something has gone wrong with someone's life and that they're guilty of a fault. It may seem true in form that they are doing something, but my reaction doesn't HAVE to mirror that guilt/attack back to them.
Being able to love all the time totally flies in the face of what the ego shows us and completely denies all ego illusions the power to change us. I have been going through this lesson recently, learning that ONLY LOVE works in a dire situation, and ONLY LOVE can make a difference. All of my other reactions and manipulations and misperceptions and emotional reactions did nothing but make the situation worse.
Unconditionality is very much contrary to how the ego operates. It wants difference and change and special conditions placed on all interactions. When someone is happy, you love them. What about when they are depressed, or violent, or insane, or severely upset? Can you overlook that and LOVE THEM?
I found myself coming face to face with my own inner inability to love, as situations pushed and challenged me to love unconditionally. I said to Jesus "I cannot love that"... and I couldn't. Or I believed I couldn't. It wasn't true. It's just that I was being forced to have to love when my ego didn't want to and so I had to move PAST my ego (overlook/forgive) in order to love anyway.
It seems hard to do this at first. I like many are so used to just having the normal automatic ego reactions. And the ego is especially very TEMPTING in trying to pull us into its drama, to get us to believe that something has gone wrong. Holy Spirit's advice to me in the face of ridiculous ego absurdity was LAUGH! It seemed completely inappropriate, and it was actually hard to find a laugh, but I did it.
Gradually I'm growing more capable of loving unconditionally even when faced with ego bullshit, and, the cool thing is, that this means that in order TO love unconditionally, I have to learn to put aside my own ego self-attack, which fails to love myself unconditionally, and as a result, the more I choose unconditional love the more I seem to gain some kind of... invulnerability to the ego's temptations. Situations seem to be bothering me less, or they are not latching onto me as easily. I am having less reactions. Things which would've upset me, I've had to overlook, and that means I'm no longer as deceived by the ego. Yay.
So now it's more a question of, a situation happens, and then REGARDLESS of what the situation looks like, choosing to only come from love, in the heart, rather than all the other 'reasons' for responses of the ego which come from the head. Just plainly ignoring everything, ignoring how it looks, ignoring appearances, ignoring the form of the situation, ignoring what the ego is demonstrating, and then demonstrating unconditional love instead. I WILL STILL LOVE YOU ANYWAY!
The challenge is to keep this up all the time. To come from love, all the time. ALL the time. Not just sometimes. Love love love love love love love love love.