"Love is the ability and willingness to allow those
that you care for to be what they choose for themselves
without any insistence that they satisfy you."
-- Wayne Dyer
I've seen a great many definitions of love, and none come close to this one by Wayne Dyer. Since I first saw it many years ago, I immediately adopted it as my own view, or at the very least my desired view, and I've now had many opportunities to see this at work and to experience how it feels to be in line with this philosophy and alternatively, to be out of alignment with it.
I expect that all of us have had people in our lives that we love that refuse to see what they are doing to themselves, and resist any efforts of ours to change their course. Often that ends in just going in different directions partly because it seems painful to continue to watch and experience that disharmony. It happens in all kinds of relationships--personal and business (as if there is truly a difference. . .).
I've even stepped away from this for a time, but I keep coming back because there is more depth in this quote, more golden nuggets to find, such as the first line. "Love is the ability. . ." That one is fairly easy in comparison with the next part, ". . .and willingness. . ." This is the hardest part of this whole concept: Being willing. Ability is a given, there's nothing to argue about there, but willingness, well, that's a much taller order.
Then, he goes on, ". . . to allow. . ." Two tough one's back to back! A willingness and allowing. In both cases, I have to let go of any control, and release myself purposefully. It is truly only in the releasing that unconditional love sprouts its wings. If people always did what pleased us, or what we want them to do, or what we think is good for them, or what we think is in their best interests, we would just be puppeteers for our own pleasure and whim.
Next, we are to allow them, ". . .to be what they choose for themselves. . .". Another tough one to accept the fact that others can and ought to choose for themselves. Of course, we've always known that we can choose, but allowing others to choose is risky and unpredictable. What if they choose something that I don't believe in? What if they choose something that I hate? What if they choose something without me? What if _________? Yet, on the loving side of this argument, it is the fact and recognition of the fact that each of us has the AUTHORITY to choose for themselves that is important and empowering and releasing and loving. Acknowledgement is a powerful thing.
And, the last part of this wonderful quote, ". . . without any insistence that they satisfy you." Well, that just goes against all we were brought up to know about love: that we come together in happiness, to be in happiness, to provide happiness and so on. Of course, I've come to know that happiness is impossible to give to another, it is only something they can give to themselves.
Still, we have this tendency to insist that others comply with our wishes, or at the very least to negotiate with us for an acceptable compromise. But, in this quote, we are encouraged to release all authority to the other and to allow. That is the unconditional part of unconditional love. Everything else is conditional because there is some condition or requirement or desire that the other act or be a certain way.
So, bringing it all full circle:
"Love is the ability
TO ALLOW those you care for
To be what THEY CHOOSE
without any insistence
that they satisfy you."
Thank You, Wayne, For The Loving Inspiration!
Spread Some Joy Today--Love others unconditionally. It is a joyous challenge.