Constant vs. Unconditional Love

For some months now I have been puzzling over the phrase unconditional love, wondering is it really  possible to love someone unconditionally?  Being a writer and someone sensitive to the meaning of words, I have come to the conclusion that the word “unconditional” is a a poor choice of word to convey what we are really meaning when we say “unconditional love.” Finally, I have
settled on a phrase I like better “constant love.”  Here is why.

To  begin with when we really look at it, it is impossible to love someone without conditions.  Even a study of the world’s spiritual teachers and traditions reveal there are conditions everywhere.  Jesus in the Christian tradtion for example, says, “Go and sin no more.”  He doesn’t say, “Go and sin again.”  Now, even if you sin again, the idea is there that you will still be loved.  Therefore, there are no conditions regarding the fact that love will remain constant.  But, and here is where it gets tricky, the point of love is to expand consciousness, to expand the field of love.  And, that can only happen if people wake up and become more conscious, more loving, less hurtful, less selfish.

The  problem for me is that when we use the phrase unconditional love it implies that there are no expectations, no conditions. But, there are expectations and conditions in spiritual traditions, the main ones being that you become a more loving, soulful, conscious, compassionate and caring person.  But, even if you don’t, even if you don’t live up to these expectations, their love is constant, it remains, while they go on encouraging (and in many ways expecting) us to become these things.

In  fact a loving response may very well be to have expectations of people.  Research is increasingly showing that people who have
expectations put upon them do better than those who do not.  The point is how you put those expectations on others.  Do you impose them in an unloving and cruel manner making it impossible for people to reach them?  And, do you pusnish them and throw them away when they do not?  That does not encourage becoming conscious, caring, or loving in anyone!

And, here is the thing — I want to love people enough to expect them to wake up, realize who they are as spiritual beings, and learn to be more compassionate and loving.  But, I don’t want to punish people if they do not, or withdraw my love.  I want to love them, believe in them, encourage them, and help them to be that which at essence they are, loving and spiritual beings.  I also want
that same expectation imposed in a loving way on me.  I want to be loved conditionally in this way!  It helps me grow and to become a better person.  But, I want it imposed on me in a loving, constant, and caring way.

So, I am going to be picky from now on and no longer use the phrase unconditional love.  I respect what people mean by it; I
think they mean what I am saying above.  I just don’t believe anymore the word unconditional conveys the right meaning here.  Your thoughts?

Love and blessings,


Copyright 2011 by Dr. Lisa Love. All rights reserved.

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