We all know that unconditional love is one of the great goals of the transformational path.
And yet, too often, our attempts to find an overflowing source of love that is not dependent on outer circumstances prove fruitless.
Spiritual teachers may call this kind of love your “divine birthright” and even say platitudes such as “love is all there is,” while psychologists talk about it as the hallmark of healthy adulthood. But the truth is that it is often quite hard to feel it.
Instead, we are aware of the swirl of self-judging thoughts, muddied emotions, and the drama that manifests in our relationships – which can often feel anything but loving.
Finding a steady stream of unconditional love can thus seem like an impossible goal. Even if you are a dedicated seeker, you can find yourself struggling with a sense of incompleteness – of not having found the wholeness you are seeking.
That’s because there is an aspect of your growth that is rarely – if ever – addressed by the methods available, and that is the ability for us to truly love different parts of yourself and to create a secure internal bond between them.
The lack of this secure bonding is at the core of a remarkable number of challenges you face, ranging from relationship struggles to addiction, anxiety and depression. Underneath, there is almost always a place where you are rejecting yourself without even realizing it.
If we judge ourselves for this self-abandonment, we tend to compound the problem and exaggerate the lack of self-love. That’s why so many purely cognitive approaches don’t work.
It’s time for a new approach, one that blends spiritual practices like mindfulness with psychological science.
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