I thought it might be appropriate to share with fellow Long Islanders some thoughtson Loving Unconditionally.
This may not sound romantic, but almost 40 years of my life have been dedicated to the philosophical research regarding the role of love in our life.
It is an integral part of a theory I developed called The Continuum Theory of human development.
Unconditional Love is a grand term. Love on such a grand scale. People I have spoken with over the years almost unanimously told me that it was not possible to love unconditionally.
Only God can.
Being a philosopher, I have learned to ask big questions and not take NO for an answer.
I wanted to know why we couldn't love unconditionally. Or if we could, how?
Well I have good news for you - we can.
We simply need a definition of love that brings a concept so imbued with fairy tales and romance down to earth.
Think what happens when you don't get oxygen, food or water?
You experience pain.
You are deprived of life giving substances, life-giving energy and you experience pain.
What do you feel when you are deprived of love?
Pain. It will not show up on any X-ray or MRI - but boy does it hurt.
We know that deprivation of life-giving energy results in pain.
Therefore, since deprivation of love results in pain, it must be a life-giving energy.
Oxygen, food and water are materials that exist outside of us, and once taken in produce or convert into the life-giving energy we need.
As infants, and into young adulthood we are dependent on adults to supply us with this energy.
Initially, love is also an energy that comes from the outside - but instead of coming from matter, it comes from human beings. An energy produced by human beings that can be taken in, ingested as other energies, and converted to life-giving energy.
Other energies are used and then converted and expelled - a very important part of the healthy life-cycle. Oxygen is inhaled - carbon dioxide is exhaled. Food and water in ingested - wastes are expelled.
Without expelling these wastes, human being experience pain, suffer and can die.
Love, being a life-giving energy is also taken in, used. When we don't generate' and expel love - when we don't have someone or something to love, we experience pain - exactly as we do when we can't expel other energies.
When we are born we become independent of having oxygen supplied - we breath on our own. As we grow up we learn to become independent of others to feed us - eventually making money and being totally self-sufficient in that department.
We also have the potential ability to love ourselves unconditionally - to become independent of others. When we are born we certainly do love ourselves unconditionally - we make sure all our needs are met - and we like ourselves just the way we are.
Conditional training/parenting, the giving and not-giving of love to control behavior, makes us like ourselves less and less, and gives us a sense of being dependent on others for this loving energy. At the same time we learn to control others around us by using conditional love.
All this becomes patterned behavior, making us believe that we are and others are incapable of loving unconditionally.
The first thing we have to come to understand and accept, is that we need to become independent with regard to love-energy, the same way we became independent of others regarding oxygen, food and water.
Although it may be difficult to break old patterns, once someone understands the role of love, has a manageable perspective on it, he/she can begin moving toward independence.
Understanding that we all deserve to breathe, to eat and drink - no matter how imperfect we are, how often we failed, as does everybody else - we can start to see that we deserve to love ourselves and others under any and all circumstances.
Which is not to say we approve of others actions, but that we stay in contact with them, and give them and ourselves life-giving energy during good and bad times,etc.
That we expect, demand, and find it unacceptable to be controlled by conditional behavior - someone shutting off the love supply simply because they don't like something we did.
This excerpt is from a book Mr. Deutsch is working on. Reprinting any part of this article without the express permission of the author in strictly prohibited.