Ep #27: Unconditional Love
This week, I am talking to you about one of the most incredible feelings that you could ever experience – unconditional love. This is one of the most selfish (in a good way) ways for you to experience feelings, and one where you have complete control over how, when, and who you feel it for. This week, we are exploring how to always experience unconditional love and the reasons why we allow ourselves to get in the way of feeling it, which can be detrimental to our mental health.
Tune in to learn about how you control how much love is in your life. Love can feel unattainable or uncontrollable, but the reality is, that it is your choice how you feel. Too often, we only set our aim for neutral or indifferent feelings, but by shooting for unconditional love for anyone, at any time, we can ensure that feeling is always in our lives. Don’t miss this episode’s practical tips and easy-to-follow advice on how to take control and always experience the incredible feeling of unconditional love! It’ll improve your relationship with your partner and everyone else. This is a skill we all need.
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It's the truest shortcut to self development we have ever created!
Listen to the show
What You will discover
- Why it is YOUR choice to experience love.
- How choosing not to feel love only hurts you.
- Why you should never leave a relationship or a job until you can be happy.
- The importance of owning your feelings.
- The real reason that we experience unconditional love.
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to The Life Coach School podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. And now, your host, Master Coach Instructor Brooke Castillo.
Hey everybody, it's Brooke Castillo. What's up? What's happening? What's going on with you guys? I know what's going on with a lot of you, because you have been commenting and emailing me. I'm loving, loving, loving hearing about all your struggles because then I know I'm not alone.
I know that we're all in this together. Today I am going to be talking to you about unconditional love. I know that some of you saw the title for this and your eyes rolled and you're like, "Oh, whatever. We're going to be talking about some deep spiritual thing that I can't really grasp or hold up."
That's not what I am going to talk about. I'm going to talk about unconditional love in the way that is the most selfish way for you to experience feelings that you really want to feel. I've talked about it before on this podcast but the concept is, you have the option to feel any way you want at any time.
That is always available to you. Sometimes we choose to feel sad and angry and frustrated, and that's awesome. That's our choice. We can choose to feel however we want, but it is always a choice.
It's when we start to believe that how we feel isn't a choice that we get ourselves into some trouble. One of the things that I work with my clients all the time is asking them, how do you want to feel about this situation?
Most people will say, "What do you mean, how do I want to feel about it? I want them to change and then I'll feel different." I'll say, "No, no, no. This situation doesn't change at all."
Right? "Nothing changes about the situation. The only thing that changes is how you feel. How do you want to feel about the situation?" A lot of times, people will say to me, "Well, I guess neutral" or, "I guess just indifferent is how I want to feel."
I always come back with, "Okay, so of all the emotions available to you on the planet, all the emotions that you could choose from, you're going to go with indifferent. That's the one you want?"
Right, "You want to feel neutral? Oh, I can't wait to feel neutral today." I know that, I'm kind of giggly today. I don't know what's going on. Sorry but you just have to deal with it but, here's the thing.
Neutral does feel a lot better than anger or frustration and it's definitely one of the emotions that we can aim for when we are in a really severe, negative space but if you could choose any emotion to feel, most of us want to feel amazing. We want to feel excited. We want to feel peace. We want to feel love. Right?
Love is one of the best feeling emotions that most any of us can claim to have felt, is love. In our relationships, that feeling of love is always available to us. Now, so many of us decide that we don't want to feel it. We don't want to feel love towards someone. On purpose. Now, I want you to just take a minute. That doesn't make any sense.
Why would we choose not to feel love towards someone? Love feels amazing. Do we not want to feel amazing? Why are we denying ourselves that feeling? The reasons we give are lame. Right?
We say, "Well, I don't love him because he doesn't take out the trash" or "I'm not feeling loving because he was in a bad mood" or "I'm not feeling loving because he doesn't help me around the house" or "I'm not feeling loving because of some horrible thing that he did."
But the truth is that you not feeling loving is only hurting you. That lack of love is just you not feeling it. A lot of us think that when we love someone and when we feel love towards someone, that it somehow benefits the other person.
Right? That when we don't feel love towards them, that it somehow doesn't benefit the other person so we get locked into this idea that, "Well, I can't love him or I can't be in this loving place and I can't feel the emotion of love right now because of what they did or didn't do."
The truth is, you get to feel love whenever you want. Nothing that anyone does or doesn't do can ever deny you that feeling. I think that's the best news ever. I think it's amazing that we get to choose how we feel about other people, regardless of how they treat us so if we want to love someone, we love them.
I was at an event with my really lovely friend, Christine Kane, let's give her a holler! Christine Kane is amazing. Check her out, Google her. Love on her. Tell her I sent you. Anyway, Christine Kane had me come speak at one of her events and one of the members of her audience came up and said, "I am devastated because my wife is having an affair."
I said, "Why is that so devastating?" He said, "Because I just want to love her." I said, "You know what? There is nothing she can do about that, right?" It's like Byron Katie, "I love you and there's nothing you can do about it."
"You get to love her no matter what. She can't stop you just because she slept with someone else or had an affair with someone else or wants to go be with someone else. She can't stop you from feeling love towards her and you get to feel that no matter what."
Now, he wanted to feel love. I'm not suggesting that other people in his situation would want to feel love but he was feeling denied. He was feeling like he couldn't feel love towards her because of what she had done and I told him, "Of course you get to feel love towards her, regardless of what she's done."
It had a huge impact on him. He came up to me afterwards and told me, "That's the most mind-blowing thing I've ever heard concerning this, is that I still get to love her and I can continue to love her and I continue to feel love towards her."
A lot of times as coaches, we often feel like we give people permission to do what they want to do but it's not even just permission. It's an option that we all have available to us. That ability to feel love, no matter what.
I recently coached one of my students who was struggling with her husband's ex-wife. Here is what you can just insert there for many people. My ex-husband, my ex-wife, my husband's ex-wife, my wife's ex-husband or my ex-Mother-in-law or my Mother-in-law or my Mother, right?
There are so many of us that have those issues with those people in our life. They seem to trigger us. I asked her. I said, "How do you want to feel towards your husband's ex-wife?" I said more bluntly, "Do you want to love her?"
She said, "What? Do I want to love her? No. I don't want to love her." I said, "Why?" I said, "Why don't you want to feel love when you think of her? Why don't you want to feel that emotion?"
You could tell it hadn't even occurred to her that that was even an option, to feel love towards her husband's ex. There were lots of reasons why she quote-unquote, shouldn't feel love. She was feeling terrible every time she was around her and using the ex-wife's actions as a reason for her to feel terrible.
Really what she was doing is, she was giving all of her emotional power away to the ex-wife and experiencing negative emotion and not even taking responsibility for it, but blaming it on the ex-wife. I said, "You know, you can feel however you want towards her. It's up to you."
I said, "And love is an option." It's one of those things, it's kind of like, "What are you talking about? I don't want to love someone I don't like. I don't even like them. Why would I want to love them?"
It's because you get to feel that emotion. You get to feel love when you love someone. People will say, "Well, I don't want to love her. She doesn't deserve my love." The good news is, in that situation, is she doesn't get it, right?
Just because you love her doesn't mean it jumps into her body and she gets to experience it. You are the only one feeling it, just like you're the only one feeling the hate. She doesn't feel your hate. She feels her own emotion and you get to feel yours.
A lot of people will hate other people and feel like they are punishing them and feel like they are treating them terribly by just hating them and seething, right? No, that person ... I mean, if you act hateful they are going to experience that but when you feel hate, you get to enjoy that all by yourself.
That's all you. You can blame them for the feeling, but you're still feeling it. Not only that, it's like you're saying they are so powerful to create that emotion within you and it's their fault you're feeling it but it's not.
It's your responsibility for what you feel so of all the feelings available to you, how do you want to feel? Now, if love is always an option when it comes to every person in our life, do we want to feel love most of the time?
I want you guys to really think about this idea. Wouldn't it be ridiculously amazing if you loved all the people that you met every day? Think about the person you love the most and you are so in love with them.
Right? You are just like, "Oh, love them." If you felt that way towards everyone, how amazing would your life be? Like, "Oh, it's you. Oh my God it's you. There you are. You. I love you and I love you! Everybody here I love."
I remember when I was at my wedding. It was a long time ago. I looked around and I literally was in love with every person there. Everywhere I looked, there was someone I was in love with. I was so in love with my husband and I was so in love with every face I saw.
I was like, "This is why weddings are awesome. It's because everyone you love is there." What if ... I was loving on people I didn't even know, it was like, someone's date. Right? They had just met him the week before, I loved them, right? Just because it's my wedding and I just loved everyone and it was just lovely and, right?
What if your life could be like that? What if you just loved people for your own sake? Just strangers, just anyone? Just loved them. Right? Again, I am not talking about being Mother Teresa, I'm not talking about loving people for their sake. I'm talking about loving them for your sake, because you could just feel love all of the time.
Then think about someone in your life that you find difficult to love. I know you blame them for not loving them but sorry, that's on you. You are choosing not to feel love towards someone and you are the one, the only one suffering the emotional effect of that.
If I look at someone and I hate them, right? Then I am the one that experiences that. If I look at someone and I love them, I'm the one that experiences that. Right?
I was trying to explain this to my kids the other day. I was telling them, "You know, if you love everyone, it doesn't necessarily benefit everyone but it certainly benefits you. You get to always be around people that you love." They were like, "Whatever, Mom. It's all about who likes you."
I said, "No, it's not. Because you can't control that. You can't control who likes you. If people liking you were about you, everyone would feel the same way about you but everyone feels differently about you because everybody has a different way of choosing how they want to feel."
"But what you do have control over is how you decide to feel about everybody else. When someone does something you don't like, how are you going to choose to feel about them?"
Let's bring it home literally, to your spouse and ask yourself do you feel love for them on purpose, all of the time, regardless of what they do? That is unconditional love and it feels amazing all of the time.
You love them no matter what they do. You get to feel amazing, right? I've had so many clients, I can't even tell you how many, that have come to me wanting to divorce their husbands. Now, those of you who know me know that I always recommend that you don't ever divorce your husband until you can be really happy with him.
You never leave a job until you can be super happy at that job. Now, if you are super happy and you want to leave, rock it out. Do it. Leave. If you are happy with your husband and you want to leave, 100%. Make that choice but what I see way too often is people wanting to leave their spouses because they think happiness is away from the spouse.
Happiness is found within you and wherever you go, there you are going to be. Just because your spouse isn't there or is there, doesn't mean you can't be happy. I felt some of you roll your eyes right then. I could feel it happening, especially those of you who haven't studied with me you're like, "What is this lady even talking about?"
It's truly true, right? Your ability to be happy is never dependent on another person and you can blame them for your unhappiness but that doesn't make it true that they are responsible for your unhappiness. You can leave them and then claim that you are happy but all you did was change your mind and decide to be happy when you left them and use that as your reason.
What I am suggesting is that you take responsibility for your own happiness. You take responsibility for how you feel and then make a decision from there. Don't ever make an externally changed decision trying to change an internal emotion. I've done it so many times and it doesn't work. It doesn't work.
You just have to keep changing circumstances to try and change how you feel, right? When you really figure out how to change how you feel, then you don't have to change your circumstances. You can if you want to. You always have the freedom to do that, but you don't have to in order to change how you feel.
So, back to the spouse. People will say to me, "I just don't love my husband anymore." I'll say, "Why not?" They'll say, husband did this, husband is this, husband doesn't do this. Husband, husband, don't like. Husband doing, whatever husband's doing.
I'll say, "Why are you choosing not to love him?" They'll say, "Oh, well because of everything he does." I'll say, "Yeah, but if love is a choice, why wouldn't you choose to love your husband?" I want to add to that, "You can love your husband and still decide you don't want to be married to him but why not love him? Can you give me a reason why you don't want to feel love towards someone? Because it feels amazing."
Right, and you can love someone deeply and not want to live with them. Okay? When people say to me, "Well, I've fallen out of love with my husband. I like him but I'm not in love with him." I'll say, "You act like that is something that happens to you." Right?
Now, what you are really saying is, "I don't want to put any effort into loving my husband. I liked it when it took no effort. I liked it when I could just glide along. I'd have it be easy. Now it's going to require me to make an effort to love him."
Now you can tell the truth and say, "I don't want to make an effort to love him because I don't want to feel love. Because that just feels amazing." Right? "I would rather feel some really negative emotion and spew with him and yell at him and leave, because I like feeling awful." Or you can just decide, "I am going to feel amazing and I am going to feel love. I am going to unconditionally love this person in my life."
Any resistance you have to doing that is based on false assumptions that they will somehow benefit from your emotion. You don't want them to benefit, you want them to pay, right? Especially when it comes to exes. So many people, "I don't want to love them. I want them to pay."
You can still make them pay, even when you love them. It's just more, it just feels better, right? It feels better to love someone than it does to hate someone. It feels better to be happy with someone than to be disgusted by them and that is a choice.
Do not act like it is some knee-jerk thing that happens, that you either love or fall out of love or something happens to you, "Oh, I just know this, that I don't love this person anymore." No, you make a choice if you want to love someone or not. Right?
When you love someone, it does not mean, please hear this. It does not mean that you have to stay married to them if you don't want to, but you still get to feel love towards them. That's still a choice.
What's interesting is, as humans, what I've noticed with about 100% of the people that I've coached, is when I ask them, "Do you love this person? Do you love them?" They can find all the reasons they do, and I am talking about ex-wives.
I'm talking about ex-Mother-in-laws, I'm talking about Mothers. We can find love within us. We can find reasons to love people, ways that we really do love them and want to love them, and want to love other human beings, right, and want to make that choice.
Now, one of the things that I hear sometimes is that people don't want to love because they are afraid that then they will get hurt. Okay, so what they are really saying is, "I don't want to feel a positive emotion because then I may end up feeling a negative one."
What the what? You are just going to start with the negative one? Right? No. You can love someone deeply and they can do something, and you can still love them deeply and it doesn't mean that you won't decide to feel hurt and sad and upset but not loving will not save you from being hurt.
You can't pre-hurt yourself so you won't be hurt, right? Loving and the vulnerability that comes with that, the truth that comes with that, will if anything, prevent you from causing yourself to do something that you don't want to do.
It can't control how anyone else feels, but your emotions never can. Okay? Pay attention to how you want to feel and when you aren't feeling loving, own it. Don't blame it on falling out of something. That's a choice you made.
Don't beat yourself up if you don't feel love. Ask yourself, why are you choosing not to? Why don't you want to feel love? If you are making it about the other person, remind yourself that love is just an emotion that you get to feel and you can feel it privately.
You don't have to tell anyone you are feeling love towards them. You certainly don't have to call up your husband's ex and say, "Hey, I love you." Although that would be awesome. They'd be like, "What?" Right? You don't have to do that. It's an emotion that you get to feel privately. You get to choose to feel towards someone and you don't have to act it out and you don't have to act kindly if you don't want to.
You don't have to be polite if you don't want to, you don't have to do anything that you don't want to do but you get to feel that emotion inside of you and you get to own it. That is what unconditional love is. It's the ultimate gift you give to yourself.
And yes, when you are feeling loving, you probably will act kinder to yourself and to other people, but that's just an awesome side effect. It's not the reason that we do it. We do it because it's the closest emotion we have to our truest source, right? To what that is that gives us freedom and grace.
What I would love you to do is think about someone who is challenging for you to love and write down the reasons you find them hard to love. All that thinking, right? Put down the conditions that you put on loving them. The reasons you are denying yourself that feeling, right?
Then ask yourself, "What would it feel like to love them, no matter what, all of the time? Once you get good at doing that with somebody else, then I want to give you the ultimate challenge. I want you to try and do that with yourself. Have an awesome week, everybody. I'll talk to you next week. Bye.
Thank you for listening to the Life Coach School Podcast. It would be incredibly awesome if you would take a moment to write a quick review on iTunes. For any questions, comments, or coaching issues you would like to hear on the show, please visit us at www.thelifecoachschool.com.