Some Thoughts On Unconditional Love and Expectation

Sunrise on my farm in Brunswick County, Virginia. Every day is a chance to start over with ourselves. We have the power to grant the clean slate with each new dawn…with each breath.

Sunrise on my farm in Brunswick County, Virginia. Every day is a chance to start over with ourselves. We have the power to grant the clean slate with each new dawn…with each breath.

Unconditional love covers all of the bases: boundaries, expectations, pretense, vulnerability, insecurity, trust, forgiveness, honesty, openness. Given a long enough time line the experience of unconditional love will bump you up against anything that you can and probably have freaked out over. One of the most beautiful parts of my journey has been my experience both giving and receiving love that was conditional (wait…is that even love?) and the lessons that those experiences taught me. Through all of the rocks and hard places that my understanding and experience of love has brought me, I have learned that there was nothing that needed to be added TO me. There really is an unlimited supply of love vibrating from every cell of my being and beyond. I know it sounds so pretty and would look great on a coffee mug or a tee shirt but what happens when let’s say…the following simple interaction takes place: What about that day you’re feeling so miserable and your bff texts you “how’s it going” and every part of you wants to cry out “fucking miserable and I don’t know why and I feel guilty for feeling this way and can we just talk about nothing for five minutes” but instead you say “just a little tired today, lol.” Then before you know it, you resent your friend for not being there for you, even though you know your anger maybe even isn’t really anger. Maybe you’re frustrated that you didn’t speak up for yourself. That by not allowing your feelings a voice, you shamed them. And in doing so, you let yourself down on this cosmically micro level that has MEGA cosmically MACRO impact. That frustration and self doubt manifests as anger or terseness towards the friend that now you’re telling yourself a story “wasn’t there for you” when you’re really just desperate to have the kind of honest relationship with yourself where you are WILLING and CAPABLE and SHAME FREE able to tell a friend how you feel when they ask. That takes trust. What if they don’t really care how you’re doing and they rush you off the phone? What if they start to make it about them? What if they go off on a tangent and get uncomfortable with my feelings and can’t sit with them or me. SO WHAT! Oh my love, so whaaaaatttt!!! The point now, is that you were honest about how you felt. You gave that feeling, that emotion, an energetic outlet. You took that emotion, manifested as thought, and brought it into the relative field of reality through vibration of your vocal chords and sound that is perceived in wave to a friend, a divine connected being, who received that vibration and processed it and converted it into information that they can intuit and use to generate the energy of empathy…or not. Doesn’t matter. You were honest with yourself and the universe honors that. This is only the beginning of cracking the code to unconditional love. We must go deeper. We must be even more honest. More raw. We have a lot of expectations that we project on the world around us. Sometimes it’s pretty obvious, like I expect my uber driver to show up sober. Doesn’t always happen…true story. Then there are the expectations that are a little more subtle. They’re almost too soft and delicate and almost, it’s like I can’t quite grab them. It’s the feeling you get when you text someone…and you get the dots…and then you get nothing. Or you send an important heartfelt message and maybe a day goes by without a reply. That can be crushing. What is it? What is that feeling that is being buzzed energetically that sets off the chemicals in my body that make me feel longing and desperate and alone over something so…fucking…simple. First of all I like to remind myself that the FEELING that comes up is totally valid and there is nothing at all wrong with the experience of the feeling. This is all a part of the robust and vibrant spectrum of human existence. We allow ourselves to feel the rush of joy at the peak of the roller coaster but so often we feel alone and ashamed when we feel the twinge of self doubt or rejection over, well, maybe a text conversation. Why is one feeling “better” or worth celebrating and the other one that we feel we must run and hide from? The truth is, there is no difference. The difference lies only in the story we tell ourselves ABOUT the feeling and our historical, habituated, ingrained, and often mindless energetic and behavioral response. For me, this is where the practice kicks in. As a Sattva Yogi I know I have countless practices through breath, movement, mudra, mantra, any number of ways, to SHIFT the energy of the body, which, for me, starts to associate new energetic signatures and responses to feelings…it’s like reprogramming myself and it’s totally rad. And also I still FEEL the utter decay of emotional architecture over those damned fucking text message dots. So, here’s the deal though, what’s triggering that response, for me, ALMOST always, is an expectation. It’s a subtle expectation not only that the other person is going to text back, but that they are going to text back in a certain way in a certain time frame and I drive myself batshit over it. And the SHIT part of all of this is…I DO THIS! I also leave sincere and heartfelt voice messages and texts from people that love me and that I love un-replied to. Sometimes it is laziness and sometimes its fear of engaging intimately. So why don’t I just say…”hey I’m afraid of engaging intimately here for some reason…can we talk about that also?” Don’t get me wrong, I’m learning and I DO say that and invite that discourse into my life A LOT these days. In these areas where expectations are exchanged without words it’s also ok to tell someone that you expected them to write back sooner. And sometimes the simplicity of saying it out loud, of giving that emotion permission to exist by lending it vibration and voice, sometimes that makes all the difference. Being your own hero can really be that easy. But, real talk, you have to be ok with making mistakes along the way too. Getting it right, that sweet spot of communication and boundaries and personal worth and divine exchange and love…the essential bliss of that is realized in this body in part because we fuck it up along the way and no what it feels like to hide…and resent…and keep quiet. And one day our hearts just aren’t willing to do that any more so they try something different and whadda ya know, as promised, love is waiting for your open heart.

What I think I want to say from all of this is; give your heart away. Do it. Relish it. Savor it. All of the nooks and crannies of it. Give as little thought to the response to your love as possible. Love for its own sake. Smile at how big your heart starts to grow when you share love for no other reason than it is your essential nature. Experience all the parts of love, even being turned down or not loved back in the same way. Experience it and know that feeling does not dictate your value. It is a guide to deeper and deeper love for you. And when you do find a tribe, a family, a friend, a partner, who accept and return that unconditional love exactly for what it is and who you are, when you aren’t even expecting it, it opens your heart to immense gratitude that you didn’t know was possible. Keep loving. Keep hurting. Keep growing. Un-bow your heads, queens and kings. For your love and your life are sacred.

Robert PlagmannComment