Like all things, love begins within ourselves. In order to love someone or be loved by someone, we must first deeply love ourselves.
If not, how do we really know what love is? And also, if we do not truly love ourselves wouldn’t we be acting from a space of emptiness or lack? Yes, and we would be acting with the ulterior motive of trying to receive feelings of love and acceptance. But as we have learned in Healing from Within, feelings of love and acceptance cannot be generated from external circumstances or relationships. So to actually love another we must first fill up, loving ourself and then we can overflow with love and begin to love others.
Most of the time, what we think is love is actually a love based on conditions. For example, “I love you when you treat me like this” or “I can only love you if you behave in this way” are simple examples of conditional love. Oftentimes it is more complex and the conditions may not be outwardly spoken, but the undertones and conditions still remain prevalent in our relationships.
Alternately, unconditional love is loving completely, without any conditions at all. This is the kind of love that we, as humans, are seeking. And this is the kind of love that we begin developing for self as we start to heal our deep pain.
Unconditional love is love in its purest form and it is hard to put into words because it is something that one must experience. Just imagine loving someone no matter what. Imagine loving yourself no matter what.