Trapped in Conditional Love

While we would never want to admit it, conditional love is very much the predominant expression of love in the world today. It is something we have accepted as close enough to love and therefore we have begun to accept, and even expect, this type of love time and time again.

So what is conditional love?

Conditional love has many layers and many forms, all of them designed to show the world just enough of our true self (our essence) so we don’t appear soulless, but not enough that other people might freak out, run away or point and say, ”You’re different,” “We don’t like you” etc.

Conditional love is the voice that says, “Don’t shine quite so bright, don’t say what you actually feel, don’t step on toes.” It is also the voice that says, “You’re better to wallow in your woes, because when you wallow, others leave you alone or give you attention and sympathy.”

As a past master wallower, I can say that people are not at all threatened by wallowing; in fact they seem reassured by it, confirmed by it in some way.

As a student returning to living from my essence, I can say without question that we stand in front of each other with an essence inside of us that is delicious. This is the feeling that people crave most. It can be uncomfortable to feel because it reminds us that we are so much more than flesh and bone. However, it is delicious and it is our everything. It is made of love, joy and harmony and, said with respect, it is the answer to any woe, issue, concern or problem we have in life.

However, it is not there automatically, it is there by our choices. The more we fill ourselves with conditional love, the more the essence is hidden underneath. Thus it is our own free will, our choices that determine how much of this love we fill ourselves with and allow others to see.

So this essence sits unexpressed and unaffected by life’s ups and downs, while we continue to calculate how much we need to protect it from the world.

The catch is, it is love, which means it is there for all equally, which means to hide it from others, you are also hiding it from yourself.

This is key…

  • We have this essence that is unaffected by the world but we try to protect it from the world, i.e. we are protecting something that doesn’t need protection.
  • We have this essence that we crave very, very deeply, but because we try to protect something that doesn’t need protection, we cut off our own ability to connect to it.

Sure, we have all had life experiences that tell us the world is not safe and have had people in our lives espouse love but deliver nothing short of evil, so I’m not criticising the desire to protect ourselves. I am simply pointing out that we protect something that doesn’t need protection and, in doing so, prevent ourselves from feeling the very thing we crave more than anything else.

And so we choose to be trapped in a conditional love, which typically means:

  • I will connect more to me, as long as people around me are a certain way
  • I will be honest with you, if you promise not to react or disagree
  • I will be caring towards myself once I get past this project/issue etc.

Basically we are saying, “I will only be happy when the surrounding circumstances equals the conditions I set.” … This is conditional love.

BUT, and here is the true manipulation of conditional love, if and when those conditions are met, we quickly re-write the rules. All of a sudden, the behaviour you ask for from others is no longer enough to express yourself in full, or the week where you’re feeling on top of the world, you start looking for the downside.

We seem to be forever placing the thing we crave most just out of reach.

And so, like a child who has dropped their favourite toy, we either throw a tantrum, insisting someone else pick it up, or stand there crying, waiting for the sympathy that will come.

My name is Joel and I am a recovering wallower, learning to share his toys.

By Joel Levin, Western Australia

Related Reading:
True Love – I Found my Own Way
Opening up to People – Letting True Love Flow
Being Loved to Be Love

1,717 thoughts on “Trapped in Conditional Love

  1. I have had many life experiences that on the surface showed me that life was unsafe so best to step back and just hide in the shadows and not fully participate in it. And so we put up the barriers to protect ourselves against life. I have realised these last few days that this way of living is a reduced way because I got to feel how by withdrawing from life I had withdrawn from myself and this leaves a gap where I felt empty, lonely or that life isn’t worth it. That’s when I looked to others to fill my emptiness. When we look to others we give our power away and this is another entrapment of ill feelings because no one else can fill the connection that is missing except ourselves. I knew none of this until I met Serge Benhayon and attended the workshops of Universal Medicine, up until this point I thought this was life and quite frankly I thought it was rotten, I had drawn the short straw.
    With the support of the Universal Medicine presentations over the years I have come to this understanding. There is a being within me that I have completely ignored since childhood and it is only recently by reading another blog that I gave myself permission to actually feel this other part of me and to connect back to it. The gap has been filled I do not need to look outside myself for love, give my power away to another person I am all powerful just as I am. There is a feeling of great settlement and contentment within me and I am constantly touching this other part of me to feel the beauty and delicateness that is there.

  2. Being myself no matter what is going on around me is one of the biggest challenges, but at the same time I also know it is also one of the greatest ways to empower myself.

  3. Conditional love is about playing games and not being fully honest and transparent – it is not allowing another (nor oneself) to be themselves, as there is an expectation, an unspoken projection of what is wanted from another as a result of hurts one carries and has not yet resolved.

  4. It’s true in my experience that the wallowing reassures and confirms people, and most importantly they leave you alone. I guess part of that is there is no great tension, because when someone lives from their essence it provides a pull for others to do the same and the tension can be quite intense.

  5. What if it’s the other way around? That we protect the world from our love? The world being a created product, it can really sting when love exposes what one has invested in as being a complete lie.

  6. “The catch is, it is love, which means it is there for all equally, which means to hide it from others, you are also hiding it from yourself.” Hiding love from ourselves is like a disease and your awesome blog Joel is a wonderful medicine to heal from it.

  7. We have completely bastardised the word love if we were to truly reconnect back to the true meaning of the word we would hold it and ourselves so precious because love is what we are truly made of we have become so dense in our bodies that we cannot feel who we truly are any more.

  8. I remember being constantly told me to “get down off my high horse’ when I was running around just feeling the joy of running or just being me. It was like a continual drip of negativity that had its desired effect. I was left bewildered and then hid my normal bubbly self because no one wanted to be around me or appreciated the love that was being shown. This is how life is on the bigger scale of things, society doesn’t seem to want to the reflection of love as it bring up their lack of it which I feel is why people love to cut each other down so that we are all remain less.

  9. Joel, this is a great article, thank you for sharing this; ‘I will connect more to me, as long as people around me are a certain way, I will be honest with you, if you promise not to react or disagree, I will be caring towards myself once I get past this project/issue etc.’ I can really relate to this. Being ourselves no matter what is going on around us feels like our true way of being, rather than changing ourselves depending on where we are and who we are with.

  10. We also bash ourselves up for walking away from something that was so deep, so beautiful and self- sustaining that we feel we now don’t deserve it and our minds back up this false reality and as you say Joel keep us away from the very thing we crave the most.

  11. ‘“I will only be happy when the surrounding circumstances equals the conditions I set.” … This is conditional love.’ Letting go of our ‘conditions’ is to open our heart.

  12. Those last three bullet points I have read a number of times. However the first and third this time I knew but couldn’t relate to. However the second one I feel still plays out and I am curious to learn where.

  13. Conditional love undermines the power of love being lived by us all as is our responsibility and our natural way of being. The fact it, conditional love, still remains a ‘normal’ in our society is our willingness to choose to avoid living the responsibility that our deep and divine love calls us to.

  14. There are very few people in the world that reflect true love and so when it is in front of us, transparent open and unconditional we don’t know what to do with it and try to reduce it into something much less and more familiar than what is being offered and so the cycle of conditional love continues.

  15. That is a great point. Being deliberately less loving than we are sets of a cascade of consequences and expectations that makes changes later on appear harder and harder, holding us to our previous choices – or at least it appears that way.

  16. I always appreciate the support reading this offers, it’s also presented very simply and clearly and resonates as true. I’ve recently been looking at how much power I give to hurts or the potential to be hurt, which seems quite silly considering the power love is inside me and that it remains untouched by the world, but this is the human condition currently. We have bastardised the word ‘love’ to such a degree that we live disconnected to its truth and hold it back believing it can be crushed or hurt if we dare let it out, or that it has to come from others before we can live the fullness of ourselves.

    1. We miss this point don’t we Eduardo, that as soon as we withdraw love because something hurt or because we might be hurt we actually withdraw love from ourselves. And even when something truly did hurt continuing to live the love we are is exactly what we need.

  17. In letting go of pure unconditional love, we have created a version of love that we can create rules around and have some form of control over. We want to own love rather than allow ourselves to be it.

  18. Wow. I can really feel the indulgence in this whole thing and how we seek comfort in having others drenched in the same mud of ‘conditional love’ which is nowhere near love and we just kid ourselves, and it somehow has some kind of entertainment value, offering stimulation or reassuring reflection to others that they are also ok to indulge in the mud.

  19. Conditional love is just a merry-go-round of needs/expectations/unsettlement whereas love just allows another to be themselves.

  20. “The more we fill ourselves with conditional love, the more the essence is hidden underneath”, I have actually started to become aware of this in myself, seeing how protection prevents me from enjoying who I am, and because my essence is unaffected by what’s happening around me the protection seems like quite the set up as it is utterly useless in application.

  21. “BUT, and here is the true manipulation of conditional love, if and when those conditions are met, we quickly re-write the rules.” This points out it always comes back to ourselves, how willing we are to let love in and out and it isn’t about the other person at all even though we may work very hard to make it seem so. As you say we throw our own toy on the ground and then wallow and blame others for not doing anything about it. Or If we are really dishonest we will say we dropped the toy because of them! Relationships only truly work if we look at ourselves first and if we are willing to be loving with ourselves.

  22. As long as we seek identification we will not love unconditionally. Only without a need for recognition and therefore a sense of equality and oneness love can be and blossom.

  23. The more I am able to ‘untrap’ myself from conditional love the more I get to see the insidious and harmful nature of what often appears to be of the highest good mankind aspires to in form of sympathy, empathy, benevolence, romantic love, family, doing everything for one´s children, social engagement etc. With every exposure of false love, true love can be regained.

  24. We are trapped in a so called love that is needy, full of expectations and conditions, a love that can and does withdraw if its requirements are not met, where as true love just loves, is complete in its self without needs, recognition or requirements.

  25. I always felt already as a child how we are connected to each other and are brothers. This made it very clear to me that it had no use to do bad to each other.

  26. The moment I do something and expect a certain reply I know there is a great part in it who has done it for myself. Pure love, does not need any recognition.

  27. Putting conditions on another means you are putting conditions on you. How can a divine being ever limit itself like this? It is an insult to the greatness one is and selling yourself short, which is the greatest pain you can ever do to yourself.

  28. There’s even an element of competition that comes in as to who suffers the most, who is the greatest wallower. I am a recovering wallower too and as I move away from this occasional way of interacting I see how heavy and debilitating it really is. It totally holds us in a grip that keeps us low and self-effacing. Our self worth goes out the window.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.