A while back a friend sent me a card with a drawing on the front of it of a woman dressed in a business suit addressing several other business people gathered round a meeting table, her pointer aimed emphatically at a downward spiking graph behind her. 

Conditional Love

 The caption read, “The beatings will continue until morale improves!”.  I’ve since seen this same phrase with different sorts of cartoons, illustrating how widespread and familiar this attitude is (a web search brings up dozens of entries).  The underlying assumption is that withholding love is the strategy of choice believing that progress comes through abusive disapproval: “I’ll love you when you meet my expectations.”

I used to drive a Mazda RX4, just to date myself a bit.  It was a speedy little hatchback, a lot of fun and generally a great car but after a while a few superficial things in the cab of the car began to break down.  This did not meet with my approval at the time. Sitting in the driver’s seat after one more thing fell apart I said out loud to the car with great frustration and conviction:  “You have a tacky interior!”, as though it should have been otherwise and should have known better.

The next day the electrical system stopped working.  There wasn’t a doubt in my mind but that I had caused this, the energy of my indignation fueling the belief I had voiced to be true.  The car may not have had the highest quality of workmanship in the interior it’s true, but I was pretty sure I’d also managed to make the situation even worse.  I made an immediate decision that I wouldn’t condemn any of my vehicles again To this day I sincerely thank my car on a regular basis as I pat the dashboard and rarely have had any car trouble in the years since.

 People are not different of course, but what I want to give attention to is that nothing is different. First, land and buildings are also not different, and, second, the principle is that everything responds to love.  I’m proposing to you that whatever issues you may have with your home or office, where it’s located, your cleaning, organization, renovation, or fill-in-the-blank issues, if you’ve got a negative attitude towards the place – or towards yourself in the matter – it is not truly helping you and may be making things worse.  Love and appreciation will help to transform the situation.

Unconditional Love 

Love Where You Are by Holland Franklin

I believe that Love is the most fundamental reality there is in all creation.  We’re all sourced from love and it is who we are.   If love is universal it has to include everything, yes, which also means the refrigerator, the pressboard with wood veneer the kitchen cupboards are made of, the stack of random old mail piling up on the table, the boxes originally packed three moves ago, and so forth.  Love comprises the multitude of atoms whirling in space in the motor of the refrigerator, as well as the space itself in and around it.  We humans have a slight tendency to forget about the scope and power of love.

Love is a verb as well as a noun.  Love is meant to be directed.  Now interestingly you don”t have to like the pressboard and the area under the sink  that hasn’t been cleaned in years, but to have the best experience and the result of transforming those and all aspects of where you lives, oddly enough you do have to love them – give love to them.  

Loving and liking are not the same.  Liking something makes it easier personally because there’s already something there that you enjoy so the resistance is already less.  Love will actually remove some of the resistance and allow access to more helpful resources. Love always provides the right resources in an uncanny way.

Loving yourself in the process of your cleaning, organizing, sorting, etc., as the originator of some of the messes in your environment will make the entire journey that much smoother.  It’s possible that you may have been neglectful, careless or lazy, but heaping judgment on top of that only increases the resistance to doing the task.  Love is fuel for good outcomes and inspiration to stick with the process.

 Once you’ve got your love flowing, add a helping of creative inquiry to the job at hand, such as, “Hmmm, how would I like to feel when I sit at my desk, instead of having my attention drawn in so many scattering directions by the computer, phone, and piles of files?  What would I like my experience to be?”  Love will help tune your environment to your wants and needs and then help to fulfill your imagining. Love makes the right action clearer.

 I am in no way suggesting that you be insincere and say you love something that really bothers you.  But there is always something in a situation to love.  Find those two, three, or more things you genuinely love (“I love that the fake wood shelves in my kitchen hold up so many dishes so reliably each and every day.”)  Every step you take in the direction you want will benefit you even if you can’t get to some kind of perfect result. Better is still better.

Do The Experiment:  Love Yourself and Where You Are

Try the experiment.  See what happens if you genuinely lead with love and appreciation when you want to have a better experience of where you live or work.  First, send love to yourself in a big, kind wave of appreciation.   Then, send love to where you are, and imagine that love filling every nook and cranny of the space, every object, the light and air, and the land surrounding and below.  Try this in a general way and also when you have a special task to do such as organizing or cleaning.  

Practice this and then observe what happens and how you feel.  Repeat it often so you get in the habit, and are also continuously nourish your “Iiving” space as though it is actually alive.

 What do you notice?  You can keep a journal of the changes you experience inside and outside yourself.  Transformational changes are not always obvious when they start to occur, but if you write down your observations about what is happening in all parts of your life it’s easier to reflect backwards and see the effect of doing the experiment.