A few years ago I had a 3-day experience of seeing and feeling everyone and everything with what I would describe as unconditional, impersonal love. It was something I had never felt before
in my life, and it was much greater than any of my personal experiences of love for my husband or my family.
It was NOT at all a PERSONAL experience of affection, or warmth, or appreciation, or admiration, or comfort, or attachment, or any type of PERSONALLY loving feeling. Instead, it was oddly detached and completely impersonal, while also being
profoundly immense and all-encompassing and incredibly clear and simple and certain.
at the time were, "Oh, this is what the wise throughout time have been pointing to". This is the experience of the formless, the truth of life, our spiritual nature, and what many define as God... the feeling of the inexplicable energy of nothing and everything,
seeing the perfection of everything exactly as it is, without labels, without adjectives, without conditions. All of a sudden, everything in life made complete sense.
In deep contrast, I could then see how all my past (and current) experiences of PERSONAL love had some level of what I would describe as "pain" associated with them... I was attached to them,
there were needs and expectations associated with them, there were personal conditions and fears related to them. I wanted to be loved in return by those I loved, and I would feel loss or hurt if the person or relationship was lost. I had also applied all
sorts of conditions to any love I may have had for myself.
Prior to this experience, I had
no idea of the difference between the understanding/feeling of the personal & conditional (illusory) versus the impersonal & unconditional (truth). I had no idea how ALL my personal feelings of love included this illusory, personal-self, ego-based,
fearful, painful attachment, and that there was something “other” yet to be experienced. I had no idea that I was already the love that I had needed or wanted (and so was everyone else).
And so I now see (for me) that "learning to love yourself first" is simply a metaphor, pointing to realizing this truth of the impersonal nature of life...
discovering what is meant by "looking within". When we get a glimpse of it in any way for ourselves, we then live and love from some level of awareness of it. We begin gaining less attachment to the personal illusion, and we begin leaning with more faith or
interest toward the formless truth (experiencing the feeling of love without conditions and awareness of the incomprehensible intelligence of the formless energy of life).
On a day-to-day basis, I live entirely in the illusory personal, with only rare and brief glimpses (felt awareness) of this truth of the impersonal & unconditional. BUT, I now know the
truth of it, and I know which direction it's in, and I know the difference in feeling of whether I'm closer to it or further away from it. I can now feel the physical constriction and weight of my personal experience (my personal thinking) versus the complete
freedom and weightlessness of the unconditional.
Personally, my preference would be to permanently
hang out in the feeling of the impersonal & unconditional LOL! But then what fun would that be?! Instead, I get to continue to uncover the infinite levels of my personal craziness (the personal suffering that this human form seems to love sending my way),
and see the joyful humour in it all, and take it all a lot less seriously. The infinitely entertaining roller coaster ride of life!