The concept of “unconditional love” and the concept of “romantic love”, should in theory be very similar if not the same yet in our culture we have created a huge gap between them.
In the book “The Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz, the author explains how a romantic relationship should not be any different from the relationship you have with your pet, in the sense that, you should pour all the love you have to the other person without limits.
Like you do with your pets, you should never expect anything in return and should never try to “change” your pet. You love them as they are, you take loving care of them and live a happy, non-dependent experience.
I loved this perspective but I couldn’t help immediately consider all the “rules” and limitations our culture has created against this. I hear and have experienced myself how we try to “play hard to get”, “appear distant” or even “try to make others jealous”, in order to attract or keep a romantic partner.
How far from unconditional love are these behaviours? I’ve heard conversations among women in which, they take pride on how much they can “control” their men. I’ve heard conversations among men in which, they take pride on how “uncontrollable” they can be. It’s all a power struggle, for some.
All I know is every day that passes I resonate more and more with this new version of loving. A version in which we are all complete. I aspire to be in a relationship in which, we are both complete, connected and conscious, spirituality and emotionally. I aspire to be in a relationship in which I feel supported, cherished and honoured. But mostly, I aspire to be in a relationship which allows me to fully step into my power unapologetically, freely and lovingly. Someone who shares my values and perspectives on life and spirituality.
The truth is, we are all whole, we don’t need anyone to make us whole. We don’t need anyone to fill the gaps within us. It is nice however to have a friend, a loving partner which reminds you everyday of how whole you truly are.
In the “Mastery of Love”, Don Miguel Ruiz explains how the problem comes when we are unclear of what we want. At the first chance we have of a funcional (sometimes not even) relationship, we allow it to unfold, winding up with a pet, one we love very much but not one we chose consciously. We wind up with a dog, and we love this dog.
We care for him, we love his company and slowly we create a life, with this dog. After the initial stage we begin to realise, the personality of the dog is not what we would have preferred, we would have preferred a cat. But we love the dog already.
Unconsciously, we try to change the dog into a cat. We try to train him to be something he’s not. We suggest things, forbid behaviours that are his usual nature and wound up frustrated when we realise all we really wanted was a cat. The author explains that the best way to develop this “ideal romantic relationship” based on unconditional love, instead of control is to truly rise into love, instead of falling into it.
Rising into love is choosing consciously, honestly and genuinely what we truly want and not settle for anything less than that. This will prevent pain for both parts. Remember if you choose a dog, instead of what you wanted truly, in this case the cat, the dog will suffer.
The dog will believe you don’t love him, he will believe he will never be enough for you because in a way, he won’t. Not because he’s not absolutely amazing but because he’s a dog instead of a cat and darling, you’ve always wanted a cat.