Love is an identical vibration to appreciation. And appreciation is nothing more than positively focusing towards something. This means that unconditional love is the same as unconditional positive focus. A simpler way of putting this is that unconditional love is positive focus (appreciation) that is not conditional upon how another person acts.
Now it is time to get real for a minute. How many of us on this earth are capable of that right now? How many of us are capable of focusing positively towards the person who has a gun aimed at our face? How many of us are capable of focusing positively towards the person who just mutilated and murdered a child that they stole off of a city sidewalk? How many of us are capable of focusing positively towards the elementary school bully that made our school lives hell or towards our father who left us when we were very young? Not many of us. And this should not make you feel bad about yourself because unconditional love and enlightenment are the exact same state. We know how difficult it is to reach enlightenment. It is a lifelong practice if not a multi lifetime practice for most beings. And we also know that enlightenment is not a goal that we reach. Instead, it is a horizon line that continues to move further into the future with every desire that we have and with every new perspective that we are introduced to. It is the same with unconditional love. Unconditional love is a practice, it is not a state we achieve and are then done practicing. There is no retirement from the practice of unconditional love. And the minute you think you’ve reached it, you will find yourself in another situation where you are challenged to find alignment with it. There are beings that have achieved the experience of enlightenment; and who are dedicated to continuing to stay in alignment with that enlightenment. There are people who have felt unconditional love; and who are dedicated to continuing to stay in alignment with that unconditional love. But there is no such thing as a physically incarnated being who is permanently in a state of enlightenment. There is also no such thing as a being that is permanently in a state of unconditional love. If we reached this state, we would no longer be physically incarnated. It would defy the entire point of being physically incarnated because that individual could feel no further contrast. And if no contrast is felt, no new desires are born from them and so no universal expansion occurs through them. Universal expansion is the entire reason for experiencing the physical dimension.
In the spiritual community, unconditional love is a standard that we hold ourselves to. It is a standard that is no different that expecting ourselves to be enlightened. When we are not yet enlightened, asking ourselves to be enlightened is the same as asking ourselves to lie to ourselves in favor of pretending. In favor of acting like we think an enlightened person should act. Asking ourselves (or others) to be unconditionally loving is no different that expecting ourselves to lie to ourselves about how we really feel and instead act like we think an unconditionally loving person should act. We strip the genuine-ness out of ourselves and expect ourselves to pretend so we can maintain the lie that we are the spiritual people we think we should be. And all the while, we send ourselves a damaging message. We send ourselves the message that we are not good enough. You cannot lie to yourself no matter how hard you try. Deep inside you know you don’t actually feel unconditionally loving and good about another person. But you think a truly spiritual person should feel unconditionally loving, and so even if you go through the motions of appearing to be unconditionally loving, inside you feel like a fraud. You are acutely aware of your own shortcomings. We all maintain the lie that we are unconditionally loving and that we need to be unconditionally loving when the truth is none of us are unconditionally loving. If we were, we wouldn’t be physically incarnated here on planet earth. It is a perfectly fine practice to dedicate yourself to, but unconditional love cannot be forced and you cannot talk yourself into being unconditionally loving when you are currently feeling negative emotions towards someone (like fear or guilt or hate). If you feel fear or guilt or hate towards someone and you say to yourself “be unconditionally loving” all you are doing is shaming yourself into good behavior. Behavior that is in no way genuine. And guess what? You are further away from unconditional love if you do that than if you would just let yourself be in a place of fear, guilt or hate relative to that person. So how do we become unconditionally loving? First, we must understand that unconditional love is no different than enlightenment. Enlightenment is the state of being completely in alignment with the perspective of source itself. Source’s perspective is the most objective of all perspectives., because it is the unity of all perspectives. And it just so happens that this unified perspective is an unconditionally loving perspective towards everything in existence. So, anything we do to reach enlightenment, will culture unconditional love within ourselves. There are thousands if not millions of roads to that one destination that we call enlightenment. The same goes for unconditional love. There would be no way whatsoever to give you the way to reach the state of unconditional love. There are many roads there; and many left yet to be invented. So all anyone can do is give you suggestions that may serve you to close the gap between where you are and unconditional love. By now you know that if you really want to unconditionally love the world, you can’t start with the world. You must instead start with yourself. So get off your own back. If you really do want to maintain alignment with unconditional love, the first step is to stop expecting yourself to be unconditionally loving when you aren’t. In other words, the first step is to stop expecting yourself to be where you aren’t. If you continue to measure yourself next to a destination you haven’t reached yet, you will continue to highlight your own shortcomings and that is not unconditionally loving to yourself. Instead, it is self-hating. You are giving yourself the message that where you are, is not ok. All too often, unconditional love becomes the excuse for keeping ourselves in painful situations; or not taking the actions we need to take to ensure our own happiness. For example, let’s say someone is emotionally abusive to us and we see that they are hurting. We have the tendency to tell ourselves to be unconditionally loving to them and stay in that situation despite the fact that we are being abused, but this is not unconditionally loving to us or to them. If we allow ourselves to stay in abusive situations, we aren’t unconditionally loving ourselves. And remember that part of caring about someone is about fostering their growth. Making sure they are always emotionally comfortable and preventing them from experiencing pain or the consequences of their own actions is the same as denying them growth. Unconditional love is love without limits. Unconditional love is the byproduct of perspective. If your perspective is limited, your love is limited. We must expand our perspective if we are to reach a state of unconditional love. To do this, we need to prioritize feeling better. Question your thoughts instead of blindly believing them. Deliberately choose to think whatever thoughts feel good and focus on whatever makes you feel relief. But be aware that if you feel fear, relief may be an angry thought and if you feel anger, relief may be a pessimistic thought. Trust your emotions and let yourself think those thoughts without judging whether they are good or bad thoughts to have. You cannot lie to yourself; so make sure to pick thoughts that you actually do believe. If you are the one who controls how you feel by controlling what you focus on, you are not dependent upon another person acting in a way that feels good to observe. This is the most important step when it comes to unconditional love. If you control how you feel, your love will not be conditioned upon other people acting in a way that evokes love from you. You will be able to radiate love no matter what they do or don’t do. Once you start feeling positive emotion, practice looking at the situation through the other person’s perspective by pretending to be them. This process cannot be forced or done prematurely. Trying to understand the other person’s perspective too early or from a negative emotional space is self-invalidation. It is self-abusive. If we are to learn unconditional love, we must practice detachment. Detachment does not mean not caring. It means detaching your happiness from them so they are no longer responsible for how we feel. If we are attached to the outcome of someone, or if we are attached to them behaving in one-way or another, we are now unable to be unconditionally loving. Our positive focus now depends on them. Our love (which is no different than pure appreciative focus) is now conditional upon them. If you are attached to them, it is a parasitic relationship. And yes, most current human relationships are parasitic. If you are attached to them, it becomes important to control the other person and how they act so that you can be happy. If they must change to make you happy, you don’t unconditionally love them. The first step as far as detachment is concerned, is to admit that we are attached. Admit that you feel totally powerless over other people and do in fact feel as if your happiness and therefore positive focus and therefore love is completely dependent upon them, on how they act and what they say. Learning detachment is a lifelong project. And the more you detach, the more you will love. Remember, it is easy to love someone or something that is easy to love. But we are powerless if we can only love someone based on the condition of them behaving in a way that is easy to love. Unconditional love is in fact the state of being completely in alignment with source perspective despite the external conditions. To love conditionally is to say, “When I look at this part of you, I feel bad about you and when I look at this part of you, I feel good about you and so I need the parts of you that feel bad to go away so I can feel good about you all the time”. To love unconditionally is to say, “I am in charge of what I focus upon about you. You are not responsible for how I feel. I trust myself to find a way of looking at you that feels good to me no matter what you are doing and so nothing about you needs to change. Because I not only can love regardless of the condition, I am love, regardless of the condition”. And our lives here are a continual process of re-discovering that we are that love regardless of any condition.