Have you figured out what it really means? Have you realised the extent and power that conditional love has to alter the direction of your emotional development? Have you discovered that it pretty much defines your behavior? And have you known that it has profound spiritual consequences?
Look around. It is not hard to see that we live in the human world of conditional love – a world where rewards and punishments are part of giving and receiving love.
Conditional love always holds out a promise, yet always requires something of us. Consequently we learn to receive love under certain circumstances when particular requirements are met.
Conditional love is pervasive. Its specific patterns are shaped first within the norms of a particular culture and then individualized within the emotional system of a particular family.
Having learned very well how to be loved conditionally, adults unknowingly pass the same set of emotional rules on to the next generation. And generation follows generation within a social structure, engendering and fostering particular aspects of incomplete nurturance.
Love that creates a nurture/wound environment is a compromising paradox disguised in the everyday environment of care giving, love, reward, criticism, punishment, emotional repression, emotional distancing, emotional smothering. It becomes very real to us. Offered in varying degrees, it is sometimes overt, sometimes disguised, but when nurturing is bonded with wounding, it builds a nesting place where fear of rejection and abandonment can develop.
Imagine the effect this everyday reality has on a small child in the process of forming a personality and a belief system. So here we are, adults predisposed to live with an underlying angst rooted in the dread of being worthless and in the fear of rejection and abandonment.
Sometimes this inner reality is glaring, sometimes it is subtle, and often it is denied. But the unsafe feeling is there expressed in how we choose to live. We find ourselves adjusting to the grip of conditional love, and the interior process of spiritual awareness – designed to grow and develop within the everyday world of experience – is distracted and often blocked.
Wonder, then, how conditional love affects not only you – the individual – but society and the world. Look around. Conditional love re-enforces success, failure, power and vulnerability, and we see its presence in many forms of pain and injustice.
And yet the process of spiritual formation continues to advance despite the man-made reality of fear and insecurity. The inner movement of spiritual evolution persists, always moving forward threading its way through our misguided intentions, always working to surface in our awareness, always guiding us to articulate inner Wisdom.
This ever-present inner Wisdom is Unconditional Love. Look for it.
Trusting the emerging process of inner wisdom and its schedule for insight and inspiration was a 25 year project completed now as OUR JOURNEY TO THE SKY — A GUIDE TO THE PROCESS OF SPIRITUAL FORMATION. During this extended period, Mary K DeLurgio led hundreds of personal journal keeping, self exploration workshops and classes. Observing the life process of these participants as well as her own has led to deep insight into the natural process of spiritual formation at work in the ordinary life of any human being. Recently she published the companion workbook KEEPING A SPIRITUAL JOURNAL which is used with her book as a manual tol ead ongoing groups as they develop their spiritual awareness using journal writing techniques. She is a practicing psychotherapist living in Southern California with her husband and she is the mother of four sons. A Spiritual Journey