A Pagan In The Midst
Column for December, 1997
The Season of Love
By: Jennifer Rogers
This is the time we get to reflect about all those that we have come in contact at one time or another. Our relations from the past, play a part in how we treat the ones in our present and what ties we want to have with these people in the future. This reflection should take place everyday of our lives. How we treat others should not be a Holiday occurrence. Gifts should be given from the heart at any time of the year without the forethought of what we might get in return. Helping others should be carried throughout the year. We should not feel obligated to donate food or money because we are asked to do so. If we can spare something, clothing, food or even money, it should be given freely to help others that might be in need.
This all comes down to what is known as unconditional love. Unconditional love is when you go about your life, caring and loving and doing things for others because the simple act of doing it gives you pleasure. You do not expect any adoration or a pat on the back. You see something that reminds you of a friend or loved one and if you can afford it, you buy it and give it to them for no special reason. Your return is when that person receives the gift and you get to experience the warmth of their smile.
Of course love does not have to be expressed with gifts. It can be shared by being a good listener to a friend in need. It can be displayed by staying up with some one who's ill. Most of all, it is an everyday feeling in your heart that you respect others for who they are without judgment.
In relations, especially the standard romantic kind, it is easy to give in the beginning, whether or not we have a particular goal. We want to put our best foot forward and show how giving and caring we can be. As time goes on, we digress into trying to change the other person. How they act, what they wear, whether they should gain or loose weight, what time they should be home or who they can and cannot associate with. All of the sudden, the individual love of our life has become a possession we want to keep in the closet, only to be taken out on special occasions. If you get two people playing the same game, things have a tendency to get ugly pretty quickly. Sooner or later, the manipulation ends up in the dissolution of the relationship.
Unconditional love, on the other hand, is when you listen to your partner's needs, you converse and (without jumping to conclusions) try to understand their perception about a person or a situation. What may seemed totally wrong to you, may seem perfectly innocent to your partner.
Understanding is the key word. Taking people for who they are, not who you might want them to be. Everybody has good and bad qualities. If these are not qualities that we admire or can live with, than instead of trying to change them or making them a mirror image of ourselves, it is better to set them free. For there will be someone that will admire those same qualities of that person that sends you over the edge.
Over the course of a lifetime, we are confronted with many choices. If we've chosen to set our companion free then we must do so. The trick is to send them on their paths without malice or hate and above all with Unconditional Love. After all, you did fall in love with them at one time. Hopefully, we learned from them and they learned from us. There is no need to turn love into hate, even though they are such equally powerful emotions. If you hold hatred for an individual, the energy of that person remains locked in your heart. It then makes it very difficult for someone new to come into your life and unite with you. In order to attract your unconditional lover, your heart must be open and willing to receive the "gift".
This "gift", comes in many shapes and forms. It could be that sleepy smile that your child gives you in the morning. Or it could be the feeling of your partner's hand reaching for you at night, even though they are asleep. It could be that card that arrives in the mail for no reason at all from a friend that you haven't heard from in awhile. Unconditional love is one of purest connections we can make with the souls of others. It goes beyond race, language, creed, or religion. It is Universal.
And so, for this Holiday Season and throughout the coming year, may you and yours experience the Unconditional Love of many.
I would like to give a special Thanks to my editor on this article.