Thursday, May 20, 2010

OPINION: Unconditional Love

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

My angry teen-aged daughters told me to “get a life” about a decade or two ago. I always thought I had one. At that moment however the concept had real appeal, especially if it didn’t include angry, frustrated teens.
As I turn 65 this month, these two women, my daughters are among my best friends and are still as important a part of my life as the day they were born. It hasn’t always been easy, hasn’t always been fun; but knowing them has always been deeply worthwhile.
Unconditional love will get you though almost anything. Most parents, most children know that much of the time they share together is anything but unconditional love. We think, we want, we evaluate, we plan, we hope and we dictate. We think it’s our job. Then when that living wonder you parented reaches puberty or even before, they think it’s their job.
Then you know that what you really taught them was to “evaluate.” So it goes in families, cultures, countries over all the decades that ever were. Humankind is really good at evaluating.
So what if we are often wrong, we’re in there swinging and that’s what counts.
“I could never love someone unconditionally” for I’m a good person and I wouldn’t want to make a mistake. On the other hand, I would just love it if just once someone would love me unconditionally. I know I deserve no less. Have you thought this, have you wanted to think this? That is also human.
Unconditional love does exist. Wise humans through out time and from many of the earth’s nooks and crannies have come to realize what unconditional love is. Maybe they didn’t call it social science, but it was. Like all science it is about observation, testing, and understanding.
Jesus said you are the light, Buddha said we are one, the Toltec and Aborigines speak of the dream state and the true reality, and they are just a few. Currently there is Deepak Chopra, Luis Ruiz, Eckhart Tolle, the Dalai Lama and many others. All aware of the same possibilities. At the end of their observation and theory is the experience of unconditional love.
Who am I? That is the basic question. Am I because I think? Am I what I think? The answer is you are the one listening to your thoughts. You exist without your thoughts.
If you stop thinking, you do not go away. This is an empirical reality. Just as real as gravity is in certain circumstances. It would be hard for us to fall off the earth no matter where on earth we are, so no matter how my husband plays with Somalian Pirates he’ll probably hang on, thanks.
The mind can be a useful tool. The mind accepts the construct of time, works at problem solving, decision making and has that great storage closet, memory.
However, fear can drive our thinking. Will I succeed, do I have value, will that person or object harm me or benefit me? Where do I fit in the order of things. Who should I love, hate and fear?
Other living things, plants and animals, whom we have decided don’t think much (and therefore have less value) actually seem to have an advantage. They don’t have to figure out what they need. Plants and critters have a confidence in their existence; humans often suffer the value and meaning of their existence.
We have our moments. Time stands still and we are completely focused and present. In life, in war, in some sports, when there is immediate danger there is that stillness, that space without time. People who have experienced this often report that in that stillness they knew just what to do, without even “thinking” about it. Whatever the outcome it is a moment of peace, of feeling aliveness.
Later there’s anxiety and fear, we have started to “think” about it, remember. Post Traumatic Stress is “living” a past that no longer exists. Instead of focusing on a new threat in the now, past difficult experiences pile up and are very disabling. Warriors who suffer greatly in this probably had PTS before they were warriors.
Women and children have not been spared PTS either. Most people have some PTS. When a problem or a threat arises and all of a sudden you’re thinking of all the other times you had such a problem. It confuses the current situation and leaves a person at a disadvantage in handling it.
Meditation works to get to this state of stillness and aliveness. Focus on your new born, making love with someone you love, music, art, being in nature and other experiences that are so intense that we stop thinking. It is healing; it is unconditional love.

WriteWshireoldadobe@ Margaret’s views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.

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