What does love look like? Being quite intangible, our concept of love is often unique from one person to the next. Perhaps love to me looks like a good meal, or something I receive when I have done something well. For another person, love looks like a gift or a compliment. For the next, it looks like someone paying attention to them in a positive or negative way. So is there one truth? One clear vision of love that surpasses all the rest? I have been so lucky as to have felt this truth for myself. It seems to be quite rare unfortunately, but perhaps by bringing it up here, we can increase the number of people who see love this way.
So, where is this great lead-up going? I’m sure a few of you have already guessed! It’s unconditional love. Love that is within every particle, inside and outside of us, just waiting to be seen and expressed. It is a love that has no boundaries, no limits and no conditions. You might even refer to it as “animal” love, as our pets are about as unconditional as it gets. They stick it out with us through the good times and the bad, forgiving and accepting us just as we are.
As humans, we tend to pass the habit of conditional love down through the generations. A mother who loves her child only when they are “good” stands a good chance of passing this pattern down to her children, and then their children. I’m sure you have all experienced the moment when someone closes their heart to you due to something you have done or not done. Was it pleasant? Have you done this to others? My bet is that you do it everyday, as I do. So often I meet animals who are struggling with their own patterns only to be met by the harshness of conditional love. The moment they engage in their negative behaviour pattern, the love of their people comes to an abrupt halt, with the insecurity of the animal rising and the behaviour pattern worsening. They hear thoughts and words discussing their potential departure if they continue the behaviour, rather than receiving the space they need to feel secure enough to change their behaviour from the inside out.
When I first bought my mare, Diva, she seemed quite put out about having anything to do with me. In fact, her behaviour brought on a feeling of rejection and induced many thoughts around what a mistake I had made in buying her! It wasn’t until I brought her to my teacher, Dave, that I finally understood the inner turmoil she was dealing with. He related to me that she felt a sense of “unworthiness,” brought on by being owned by four separate people by her 5th birthday. She was quite certain that I would also just sell her, and therefore felt it unnecessary to make any effort to build a relationship with me. On Dave’s advice I took her aside and had a talk with her to make sure she knew that her home was with me, regardless of what happened. After that, not surprisingly, our relationship completely changed!
Speaking firsthand, the self-esteem of a human (or animal) increases exponentially when they are receiving unconditional love from even one person. Believe me, it is a wonderful thing to be exactly who and what you are and be loved for all of it! I would encourage you to bring this into your animal or human relationships and maybe more importantly, into your relationship with yourself. Unconditional love for self is perhaps the most liberating place to reach in our self-development journey. I would encourage you to visit as it is breathtaking!
Alexa Linton, is a Certified Bodytalk Practitioner, a Kinesiologist, Reiki Practitioner and an Equine Sport Therapist.