By Chantel Aries
It’s very common as humans to give with an expectation that we should receive something in return, whether that be something physical or emotional. We are taught at a young age that our actions have reactions and that sometimes if we do the right thing, we will be rewarded. It can be a battle training ourselves to believe we can give without receiving something in return. The reward comes in the feeling alone that we receive when we give to others. Giving unconditionally is not easy, just like anything else of meaning, it takes much effort. That being said the steps to giving unconditionally are few of great meaning:
1. They’re able to disassociate fear from love.
This may seem fairly straightforward, however, often our issues lie in the simplest of places. Loving unconditionally first entails that you must let go of the fear in giving your love to others. We are often afraid of giving our love because we do not want to be hurt, or let down. Here’s a secret I’ve learned through trial and error – once we are willing to give our love without any expectations in return, we let go of the fear of being let down.
2. They do not rely on an outcome to save them, but their choices and actions.
I believe this step is most important and I often find myself coming back to it when I feel expectations creeping in. How can letting go of fear lead to letting go of expectations and further, giving unconditionally? Our fear of being let down is often the root cause of why some of us choose to withhold our love. We have all been let down at some point in our lives. We can either choose to let that experience form a negative reality for us to live in, or, we can choose to live positively. Sure, people will still let you down, the difference is you are choosing to live without expectations. The letdown then has less of an impact on you and your happiness.
3. They act for the sake of doing it, not for what it may give them.
We are taught at a young age that good behavior = rewards. The trick to loving without conditions is realizing that not all of your actions will have reactions. Everything comes down to why you do the things you do and why you choose to give? Is it because you love to see someone’s face light up or, is it because you take happiness from doing something for someone else? In a society where we share likes 24-hours a day, there isn’t a moment where we have to go without a reward. We are not used to doing something that the whole world doesn’t have to see. Getting down to the real reason we do things is important for maintaining happiness and letting go of instant gratification. Which often leads to temporary or part time happiness.
So can giving unconditionally really be this easy? The answer is yes – by taking these small steps you begin to train your brain into believing not all actions have reactions. The secret is deciphering why you give, and letting go of expectations that you must receive something in return.