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Sunny Qureshi

CEO, IQ Training & Consultancy

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Can we get "Unconditional Love" from people not related? (other than siblings, parents or wife)

I was wondering why dont we get unconditional love from people not related. Siblings or parents are in fact spiritually connected while friends and acquaintances will love you for ECONOMICAL or Conditional reasons even in the most advanced nations, why is that?? Or Is it sometimes the opposite?


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    Mar 2 2012: To be in unconditional love, the separateness between two individual has to disappear. It has to be realized that being two entities is an illusion and on a deeper level both are connected. In that experience of oneness instead of the 'twoness', there is no space for conditions
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      Mar 2 2012: What a wonderful insight on unconditional love..............may I add it to my list of quotes?

      A spirit of cooperation is very powerful indeed. Unity is missing from life today, because a spirit of competition exists...............as an old saying goes..........."divide and conquer".

      Thank you Mr. Kumar!!
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        Mar 3 2012: Thank you Mary. You may use it as you wish. love and respects to you.
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      Mar 2 2012: Oh Yes dear CK!
      When we recognize that we are all connected...more the same than different, how can we NOT be unconditionally loving? We are like mirrors to each other reflecting back and forth all the time...exchanging energy. When we realize this, it is as you say...there is no space for conditions:>) Conditions are a blockage to the experience of unconditional love:>)
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        Mar 5 2012: Colleen,

        I just found your comment. I did not know you had replied.

        Yes, of course I agree with you.

        And, yes, the women obviously do not love themselves.....I just can't understand it.......as in... "it doesn't fit inside my head......I cannot wrap my head around it......." Your experience is very touching, I have read it several times throughout my time here on TED. Thank you for sharing it once again.

        Obviously the easiest person to fool is ourselves.

        Thank you for replying.....in life we sometimes build our house of integrity with bricks others throw at us.......and sometimes, after the house is built, someone can come and break it, and we stoop and build it up again with worn-out tools (like R. Kipling mentions in his poem IF).

        Unconditional love requires sacrifice to give......and it can come from anyone.....but the first person we really have to love is ourself....I think we all agree on that.

        Be Well Colleen......Mary
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          Mar 5 2012: Dear Mary,
          There are a lot of stories we simply "just can't understand" because we have not walked in the shoes of the people who have had some experiences. That is why I believe it to be importnat to open our hearts and minds to love unconditionally. We don't know for sure what challenges people face every single day....there is so much we do not know! There are many stories that "do not fit inside" our heads, as you insightfully say.

          I share my experiences because I can. I have walked many paths throughout this life experience, and I believe that by sharing our stories, we connect more and more with each other. Connecting more with each other facilitates unconditional love.....there is a method to my madness!!! LOL:>)

          When we "build our house" with our own integrity/bricks, it is strong...like the mighty oak in the middle of the storm.

          IF is one of my favorites....
          IF you can keep your head when all about you
          Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
          If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
          But make allowance for their doubting too;
          If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
          Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
          Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
          And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
          If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
          If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
          If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
          And treat those two impostors just the same;
          If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
          Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
          Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
          And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

          If you can make one heap of all your winnings
          And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
          And lose, and start again at your beginnings
          And never breathe a word about your loss;
          If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
          To serve your turn long after they are gone,
          And so hold on when there is nothing in you
          Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'...............
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      Mar 4 2012: Quoting you:"To be in unconditional love, the separateness between two individual has to disappear". Unquote
      For separateness to disappear relation comes into play... i wonder the question still remains unanswered that is receiving this unconditional love from un-related people? in a era of egoism , that is not a possiblility, in the subcontinent or far east the cast system still prevails thus stopping uncondtional love, the only way forward is to remove the cast system i guess!!
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        Mar 4 2012: Expecting to receive unconditional love from others itself is a condition. To ‘be’ in love unconditionally with another person is a spiritual state. It is an experience. Kindly try to contemplate on that state and you would realize it is not an easy task. To love number of people unconditionally is to be in compassion as we have seen in Buddha and Christ.

        Yes, the caste and all other systems by which we have divided ourselves will have to go. To have a society that would love each other is perhaps a dream but an ideal dream to motivate each one of us to contribute towards it.
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          Mar 4 2012: CK,
          Everything starts with a dream:>)

          I agree that expecting to receive unconditional love from others is a condition. When we truly love unconditionally, there are no expectations. There may be preferences, likes and dislikes, but no expectations.

          I also agree that we recognize unconditional love of many people (everyone) with respect, compassion, empathy. I believe these to be the underlying qualities and the foundation for unconditional love, which can be shared with everyone. I experience unconditional love as easier, and more natural than the alternative:>)
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      Mar 4 2012: When separateness between two people disappears it becomes a toxic relationship. Unconditional love is when someone loves you enough to realize that and leaves you because of it. Unconditional love is when someone loves you enough that they want the best for you even if it is not the best for them.
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        Mar 4 2012: Are you referring to the identity of two people as separate individuals ? The individuality of each ? That is part of our ego. In the spiritual level, those identities disappear as they are only our illusions
        Someone leaving you so that you may live better is not unconditional love. It is a sacrifice by the other person. It is an end. It has no continuity. Love is ongoing. It is an experience of our being (self) Love can never get toxic as our minds cannot reach and contaminate it. Love comes from our heart.
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          Mar 4 2012: Unconditional love simply means love without conditions. There are no ifs. If you do this I will love you. If this happens I will love you. If is the operative word.

          Loving someone unconditionally means there are no ifs. Most relationships are built around ifs. If you are faithful I will love you. If you make me happy I will love you. It's how it works.

          Love is not in your heart, it's in your brain. Love is just an emotion and as such it is mediated by hormones. And as humans, our default setting is to use emotions to manipulate other people. It is rare that we rise above that. Sacrifice is one way.

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          Mar 4 2012: Linda,
          Is it unconditional love that is "mediated by hormones"? Or is it attraction that is mediated by hormones?

          I agree that emotions are sometimes used to manipulate others. What happens when we are aware of this, and choose another "default setting"? Do you believe we can change the dynamic of relationships by letting go of the "IFs", which are usually expectations and manipulations? I believe we have that choice:>)
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          Mar 4 2012: Of course Colleen. I think it is well worth striving against our defauts:) I think it is worthy and we should work towards it. I have one relationship that I can say is truly unconditional. It is because I have that one, I understand what it is not. Because I have that one, I would like to have more. But the only way to survive unconditional love is to have someone unconditionally love you back and that is even rarer. Because when you unconditionally love, the default of others is to take. You are meeting their need. If they do not give back, you can be destroyed. I think the term in our country is door mat.

          Oh and it was emotions that are hormonally mediated. All emotions are hormonally mediated. Simple biology.

          @C K. Don't you understand that someone leaving you so you can live better is unconditional love? Your condition of them staying outlines the condition for love.
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          Mar 4 2012: I don't agree Linda, that "the only way to survive unconditional love is to have someone unconditionally love you back..."

          We can love unconditionally regardless of what another person chooses. As soon as we believe that the only way we can have unconditional love is to be loved, we are giving it conditions.

          I agree that sometimes when we love inconditionally, people will use our vulnerability to "take". That is why we need to be clear about what we are willing to give to whom. Loving unconditionally does not mean we give of ourselves in the same way to everyone. It mean we know ourselves well enough to be sure about what we will give to whom.

          To me, unconditional love for everyone is a foundation of respect, compassion, and empathy. From that foundation, we make choices in each moment regarding how, why, when, where and with whom we will give more of ourselves...make any sense?

          We need also to love ourselves unconditionally, which means taking care of ourselves. If we don't meet our own needs first, we cannot meet anyone else's need. We cannot give to others, something we don't honestly have in ourselves, for ourselves.

          That being said, if someone doesn't "give back" to us we don't need to feel "destroyed". We simply recognize that s/he cannot or will not give and recieve in the same way...make any sense?

          If we feel like a "door mat", I think/feel it is because we are not taking care of ourselves, as well as we are trying to take care of someone else.
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          Mar 4 2012: I think you do a fabulous job of describing love. But there are a lot of ifs in your description. I mean literally.

          Unconditional love is rare. When you do it you can be destroyed. Been there. And I do not mean feel destroyed. I mean be destroyed. Where you don't even remember who you are. That is why it is not something to be taken lightly.

          The interesting thing is that it does not go away. It is always there. That whole destroyed thing - is the exact same relationship.

          I think its really tough to describe and I think it may be related to the language we are discussing it in. In English we only have one word for love. Because I think we actually agree but are discussing two different phenomena.
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          Mar 4 2012: Dear Linda,
          It feels like you are very close in time to the situation which caused you to feel "destroyed"?
          If so, my heart and unconditional love go out to you. I do not take it lightly at all. To me, to love unconditionally, is a very important part of the life journey, and I take it very seriously.

          You may be right...we may be discussing two different phenomena, and I am glad to discuss whatever phenomena you would like to discuss if you help me understand what phenomena that is.
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          Mar 5 2012: Colleen I like your version of unconditional love. You love yourself first and then love everyone else. It is a balanced way to move in the world. I would not call that unconditional love but I do like it better.

          Interesting about the perception of close in time. It was more than 30 years ago. That's how profound it can be. Live laugh and love.
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          Mar 5 2012: Yes Linda,
          Remember what the foundation of my unconditional love is...respect, compassion, empathy. There was a time when I thought someone would give those gifts to me...I hoped, wished, expected a person to give that to me. I finally realized that I cannot expect anyone to give me something I cannot, or would not give myself.

          Our experiences can be very profound, and impact our entire lives....thanks for sharing that Linda.
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        Mar 5 2012: Linda,
        It looks to me that you focus the idea of love to much on the sexual relationship.
        I've seen good relationship that weren't love at all but a good deal. As both find themselves happy with it it’s good for the time being.
        Love has to do with any relationship and as Colleen mentions it starts with how you may love yourself.
        Love is to see the most precious in all life and living and to appreciate beauty where it shows. They're all of your creation and not visible for individuals that are disconnected from their hearts, those we call depressive.

        What the heart holds is what we meet in life.
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          Mar 5 2012: "Linda,
          It looks to me that you focus the idea of love to much on the sexual relationship."

          Yes Frans....look how she says it herself:

          "I think we actually agree but are discussing two different phenomena."

          But she really does make a good point about romantic love. Her comment is based on her life experience, and so it is noteworthy.

          Alot of sacrifice is involved in unconditional love.......there is no denying it. I have seen it.

          What I think happens is that many times, this so called sacrifice, especially in romantic relationships, comes from those who truly do not understand what love is.

          Women have told me, I love him unconditionally, and then stay in relationships that are abusive. I do not understand this.

          That is why, the answer to the question at hand, is a resounding YES...unconditional love, as most of us here understand, can come from anyone, family or not.

          Your comments are very insightful, as are Colleen's. Thank you once again
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          Mar 5 2012: Mary,
          You write..."Women have told me, I love him unconditionally, and then stay in relationships that are abusive. I do not understand this".

          This happens because the piece that is missing is unconditional love (respect, compassion, empathy) for OURSELVES.

          I speak from my own experience, and based on working with abused women for years. I gave unconditional love to my partner for 24 years...always giving HIM what he needed and wanted and truly believed that he might someday treat me with respect and kindness. I believed that if I loved him enough, he would see the joy and pleasure of unconditional love, and we could have a mutually respectful relationship. As long as I believed that was a possibility, I gave unconditionally to him. I finally realized that I was depleting myself.

          As I expressed to a councelor toward the end of our relationship..."I feel like we are both trying to build our houses, and he keeps stealing my bricks...not only that, but I am giving him my bricks as well!" The metaphor of course, is that I was not paying attention to the fact that I was giving all my resourses to him in an effort to create a kind, respectful, loving relationship. That is where loving oneself comes into the picture. We cannot successfully give to someone else, something we do not have in ourselves.

          The other thing about abusive relationships is that we often repeat the same patterns as our parents for various reasons. My mother, for example, was in an abusive relationship for 65 years. When/if we know ourselves, respect, and have compassion (unconditional love) for ourselves, the likelhood of repeating the same behaviors is less. This could be a whole new discussion, and I'll try to stay on topic with unconditional love:>)
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          Mar 6 2012: Frans I love your insight. Unfortunately the one relationship I speak of never crossed to the physical domain. Interesting projection there. There is truth to what Mary points out as sacrifice. It may be the hallmark of what I was talking about.

          I think it is the Greeks who have at least three words for love. If I remember gradeschool they were eros, pathos, and agape. That's why I could agree with Colleen yet still be talking about something else. I truly like her description that you cannot unconditionally love others (agape) without loving yourself.

          I don't think an abusive relationship is the endpoint of what I was privileged to experience. And I do consider it a privilege. Destruction and all. A gift.

          So much more is involved in an abusive relationship that cannot be blamed on misapplied love. Even a well balanced person can go into a relationship and have it turn abusive and I don't have the expertise to comment.

          What I can say to tie together all of the above is that sometimes we have to go through an experience to get the lesson. I would never trade that experience. But I think the way to walk in the world is how Colleen has it framed.

          P.S. My sincere apologies to all Greek Tedsters if I got it wrong. The meaning came from the heart.
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      Mar 4 2012: I remember once as I discovered this truth how this changed my world.
      I worked for many years together with a colleague that wasn't really a harmonious relation. We didn't like each other much and that resulted from his part to a lot of jealousy and fanaticism.
      From the day I realized he was just another version of me his attitude changed completely.
      Without saying anything about it but just by this realization everything became different.
      We didn't become close friends but the cooperation was much more satisfactory and even joyful at times.
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        Mar 4 2012: Good story Frans,
        I agree that when we let go of our expectations, accept and love unconditionally, it encourages others around us to do the same. Letting go of our expectations, which often create a lot of "mind chatter", opens the channel for flowing unconditional love...the bases of which is respect, compassion and empathy....in my humble perception:>)

        I like how you discovered that "he was just another version of me". We are like mirrors reflecting back and forth all the time. Sometimes, those we don't particularly like are showing us something about ourselves, so in my perception, it's important to pay attention to the gift they may be giving me. We are more the same than different, and when we recognize this, we can experience unconditional love:>)
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        Mar 5 2012: I agree with Colleen. Sometimes what we find difficult to deal with in others is how accurately they project the personality traits that we don't like in ourselves. Reminds me of all the times my wife and I are driving bakc home from parties and I'm on about how some person just kept chatting away and hijacking the entire conversation and she will say "I just kept thinking how much they reminded me of you!"

        Colleen has hit on a very good point about opening ourselves to love by letting go of the expectation that they will reciprocate. Very poignant, indeed!
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        Mar 5 2012: @ Frans

        I so much agree with you on the incredible paradigm shift that occurs when we realize that what we dislike in others may help us learn alot about ourselves.

        Finding this truth is liberating, because it helps you to interact with others liberally.....without judgment....and a spirit of cooperation then exists......You are able to project kindness and expect nothing from the other individual.........When others see this in you what happens is they let down their guard and do not see you as a threat..............and then relationships can grow and flourish....and also it makes for better work environment at the place of employment. (Which by the way is a big problem today.....the "lack" of peace at the workplace...due to workplace bullying and mobbing)

        It doesn't mean that you will become friends with everybody...........but you will somehow get along with everybody and anybody, regardless of how they feel about you.

        Thank you Frans for sharing your experience.

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