Conditional Love: The Hallmark of Traditional Religion #spirituality #judgmentalreligion #spiritualadvice
July 11, 2014
Love, as most people and religion define it, reminds me of the definition of human love in A Course of Miracles. The author suggests that most human relationships are based on codependency, not on God’s purpose of oneness and peace.
Conditional Love in Action
A gay man, Cliff, supported his best girlfriend, Marge, when no one else in her life would truly love her. He’d given countless hours of shoulders to cry on and laugh on. He’d shared advice and honest wisdom many times. Marge accepted his love one day then decided it was against God’s will the next. She loved Cliff for who he was as a gay man, one day, then the next, homosexuality was not God’s will.
Conditional love is what Cliff got from Marge, and, yet, he still continued on with the friendship. He should have stopped the friendship the day Marge ran him off of the road with her car after telling him she thought he was going to hell because he was gay. She convinced him, then, that her love was bigger than that and that her friendship could see past her belief.
Cliff realized what real love was when his partner of eight years left him and his tightly nit group of friends, including Marge, slowly chose his partner’s friendship, instead of his. Cliff came to me for advice at that point in his life. I told him: “Let those old friends go. And pray that God would fill this empty space with people who want to love you for exactly who you are in this moment.”
What Cliff got in return was a very enormous outpour of beautiful, loving friends. “They would lay their lives down for me,” he says now of his new, authentic friends. Cliff finally realized his worth and that God’s true love is expressing in authentic friendships and interpersonal relationships. He, now, can see the difference between “special love” wanting and needing reciprocity, and love that just sits near you and brings you peace.
He recently shared this story with me, which exemplifies Unconditional Love
“One of my dearest friend’s father died last week. I went to visit her during the visitation and funeral. When I got there, she was covered up with relatives and family friends. Even though they were all around her, when she saw me, her eyes lit up. She opened her arms and let me in. We both had a good cry. When the family had their last moments with their father, I went into the sanctuary to meditate. As the service began and the family was led in by the attendants, Mary motioned to me to come and sit with the family. Nothing in the world meant more. My friend’s actions were God’s Love expressing.”
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