A love that doesn’t wait

Photo by Julia Raasch

It starts when we’re kids with our parents. Then it carries over to our friends in school… Our intimate relationships... Our spouse(s)... Our friends and colleagues as grown-ups... Complete strangers… Society at large… And soon, we offer it to our kids where the cycle continues.

We humans learn to love with a love that waits.

Once you’re ‘good’, THEN I’ll love you.

Conditional love. 
Checkmate.

This kind of love makes ‘sense’ to the lizard brain. Especially in the heat of the moment when we’ve been wronged, abused, shamed, or betrayed.

But there’s one main problem with this so-called logical love… It hardly ever leads to fruition.

A love that waits will typically only keep on waiting.

Because here’s the thing…

People don’t flourish under a love that’s withheld. By withholding love from someone, we withhold the one thing that creates the mental/spiritual atmosphere under which acts of grace happen. And only under grace can true transformation and healing take place.

This is the higher logic of unconditional love. It makes sense — not so much in the moment under the pressure of emotion and past defense mechanisms — but in retrospect, amidst a calm mind.

This is the God-level love that sits at the seat of our being.

God does not love us if we change; God loves us so that we can change. Only love — not duress, guilt, any form of shunning, or social pressure — effects true inner transformation.
-Richard Rohr

Meditation

In this divine moment, I know it’s safe to be honest with myself. And if I’m honest with myself, I feel something locked up inside of me. Inside this lock box sits a storehouse of love that I’ve been withholding from the world until they change. I’ve kept this love from friends, children, and colleagues — even strangers on the street. But most importantly, I’ve kept this love from myself.

God’s love is unconditional. It surrounds me now and always has. I’ve felt fleeting moments of this when I get distracted enough to step out of my head and into my heart.

The lock box is an artifice of my imagination, built from the faux insecurity of my ego. As this comes into focus, I see that I don’t even need the key. Because it isn’t real. I see it vanishing under the light of my awareness.

I am aware of how conditional my human love is. I see how the intention of this conditional love is to protect me. But as with most devices of the ego, I now see how it only perpetuates the illusory darkness from myself and those in my world. I see a billion of us on this planet now who are withholding the light that can transform the world into a loving place in an instant.

By living with a love that waits, I’ve kept my whole world waiting as well.

I will give this love a chance. Maybe not a sweeping chance. Maybe just a small chance at first. But a chance, indeed.

I feel the warmth of this love enlivening me right now. This love is present. This love does not rely on the fickleness of the human condition. This love is what makes me — and everyone — a divine being.

I rest in this love knowing it is infinite and bountiful. The more I give of it, the more I set the world free. And the more I set myself free.

And so it is…


Jonas Ellison is a writer, transformative coach, spiritual counselor, and minister-in-training who lives in Chicago where he drinks too much coffee and tries to save the world from his home office.