A True Story Of Unconditional Love 72


A true story of unconditional love when my wife of 11 years left me for another man

Split coupleA post I made about unconditional love on the “Life Is A Fork In The Road” Facebook page has raised the question about whether humans are capable of true unconditional love. Here is how the quote that lead me to write this true love story: “Love is unconditional. It is a spiritual state, not an emotion. It’s not a choice you pick at a fork in the road….it exists forever.” Is this just an ideal we strive for but can never attain or is it possible for a human to actually love someone unconditionally, love them even if they do something we hate or they decide to leave us?

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The human condition is affected by all types of pushes and pulls from our emotions, upbringing, personality, temperament, ego and experiences. This makes us who we are and it also makes us imperfect and fallible. Of course, that’s what makes life interesting. Can we rise above all this and actually love someone unconditionally? The post I made was not just something I pulled from the sky because it sounded nice. It was based on my own personal experiences and observations. Now, for the first time since I started collecting stories from others, I am going to share an inner voice experience of my own that first awakened me to what true unconditional love means. This is a true love story on many levels.

I Was Not My Wife’s True Love

The year is 1986. After being happily married for 11 years, my wife suddenly and without warning told me she was divorcing me to go back to a man she had dated before we met. There were no obvious problems in our relationship. No arguments. Nothing was going on to indicate any trouble brewing. Even after she told me this, she never said there was anything wrong with us. She just said that she had come to realize she loved this other guy in a way she didn’t love me and that’s all it was about. Two days after she told me this, she moved into an apartment. The guy left his wife of 25 years that same day and moved in with her. They got married within the year and are still together.

Hearing this completely out of the blue crushed me. It was like I was run over by a steam roller. I have never before nor ever sense felt pain like that. I had imagined we would spend the rest of our life together. I didn’t want anyone else. I loved this woman with all my heart. There is no way to describe the hurt and pain I felt. It was like every cell in my body was being torn apart and run through a food processor.

Unconditional Love Isn’t About What the Other Person Does

Yet, within hours of hearing this something else from deep within me spoke loud and clear. This was my true inner voice of wisdom. I still loved this woman as much as I had before she broke the news. I still wanted her to be happy. I still cared about her. If she would be more happy with someone else rather than me, that was her choice. I realized at that moment that if you truly love someone, you want them to be happy, you want the best for them even if that means not being with you.

This realization did not make the pain and hurt go away. It was so severe and intense that it took me over three years to finally get back to being me. All my friends told me she was no good and would say unkind things about her. They thought that would make me feel better. They simply didn’t understand. The way I saw it, how can someone go from loving someone to not loving them overnight just because they did something you didn’t want. That would negate the previous 11 years as if they never existed.

A Love Song About a True Love Story

A couple months after she left, I did a very strange thing which was the next step in helping me move forward with my life. Once again, my inner voice of wisdom came through loud and clear. Suddenly, I started thinking about this guy she went back to and how he must be feeling. I literally began to look at this through his eyes instead of mine. That inspired me to write the lyrics to a love song written from his point of view.

Ticking

Lyrics by Don Shapiro

Courtesy of Rykristo Music Pubishing

You told me we were through

It was what we had to do

We made our beds before we met

When our love’s fate was set

Our homes blazing oh so bright

With anger and more in plain sight

So we sought solace as one

Embraced away hurt on the run

(chorus)

It wasn’t right

Oh, no

It wasn’t right

To fly away in the night

To believe we could unite

So you hid our love

Deep inside of you

Tucked away from view

Ticking

Just ticking

Ticking for too many years

Ticking through a thousand tears

You locked your love far away

Deep in memory so they say

We became friends for many years

Saying hi without any tears

The years have taken flight

Family chains wrapped so tight

As our seedlings grew up, oh wow

You’ve come back for my love no

(chorus repeats)

(bridge to finale)

You couldn’t keep your love locked away

Just ticking til judgment day

So you threw away that old bed

And came back to me like they said

How was I able to still consider her happiness as being of paramount importance after what she had done? How could I go through the most devastating pain and hurt imaginable without having any ill feelings toward her? How could I possibly write a song lyric that was a love song written from the other guy’s point of view? There is one and only one answer to these questions. I loved this woman unconditionally regardless of what she did. I am living proof that it is possible for a human being to love unconditionally.

It’s one thing to wax philosophically about what we believe is and is not possible concerning the human condition until we are thrown into the fire and discover how we respond in the moment. I wasn’t thinking about the meaning of love or the concept of unconditional love before this happened. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before so I was not prepared for it. Maybe we never are. If you had asked me a year earlier what I would do under such a circumstance, I’m sure my answer would have been different than what I actually did. How I responded to this situation came from deep within my heart and it was as real as it gets. My reaction surprised me and inspired me.

What Unconditional Love Really Means

Since then, I have given a lot of thought to the meaning of love versus how the word is thrown around all too easily. From this experience, I came to learn what true love means. The test of true love, unconditional love is this: would you still love the person even if they did something awful or left you for another? Would you still care about them and want the best for them? If you can answer that question yes, you love unconditionally. If you answer that question no, what you are feeling is not love. It may be a very strong emotion and feeling of attachment but it is not love

The state of true love occurs when the love that is inside of us aligns at a deep energy and frequency level with the love that is inside of someone else. This connection isn’t about desire, attraction, enjoyment, similar interest, common values or emotions. It is something that simply happens outside of human control. Once that internal love alignment occurs, it will last forever. It can never be broken. Our spirit is forever connected to the other person’s spirit regardless of what happens with us on a human level.

True Unconditional Love Is Not a Choice

I honestly don’t know why some people have the capacity to love unconditionally and others do not. It is still a mystery to me why I was able to act and feel this way through such a nightmare. I have my doubts whether anyone could go through this true love story if they wanted to. From my experience, this was not a choice. It simply reflected the state of love that existed inside of me and my natural and normal response due to that state of love. It may be just fine for many people to exist in relationships based on strong emotional ties that they call love even though, in reality, it is not love at all. Unconditional love may sound like something wonderful but it appears we have no control over its occurrence though it would be something that I would hope all people would strive to find.

Relationships Are Conditional. True Love Is Not.

Relationships are conditional. True love is not. We can and will place all kinds of conditions on having a relationship with someone based on a laundry list of human issues. We may decide we don’t want someone in our life anymore, even one of our children if their behavior is too awful for us to handle. Most parents love their children unconditionally, even step children and ones they adopt. If we truly love, love unconditionally, then regardless of what someone does, we will still love them whether we want them in our life or not or whether they want us in their life or not. True love never dies. Love is a spiritual state, not an emotion.

More About Love

The Power of True Love Can Only Be Understood When We Realize It’s Not an Emotion

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72 thoughts on “A True Story Of Unconditional Love

    • Webi

      I understand you more than you can imagine. I have been going nuts trying to know why i am having conditions to some significant persons but none for others like my child who doesnt even know i exist untill recently.
      Love and relationship.you couldnt have used better words.
      Thankyou.

  • Jo Lucas

    Don, I applaud your ability to hear and to follow the wisdom of your inner voice. It has led you to be the person you are today, a fuller, more feeling, more compassionate, and more completely developed human being.

    I have only one small difference of opinion regarding love, and it may only be one of semantics. While I agree with you that unconditional love should not be regarded as an emotion, I feel that to describe it as a ‘state’ or a state of being, minimizes the force which expresses itself in unconditional love.

    I regard love…or ‘true love’…or ‘unconditional love,’ as spiritual, to be sure, but I regard it to be a spiritual POWER. I believe it is, in fact, the true power of God.

    What else can sustain you through the agony you described? What force of will could possibly compel you to write the song you wrote, or resist the temptation to condemn your ex-wife? It must be a power stronger than any state of being.

    While we may sit serenely as this awesome power inhabits us, it is a power that can transorm people and change lives, should we choose to use it.

    It is the power which enables us to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies, and to write the song you wrote of such profound understanding.

    Thank you for sharing your insights and your gifts with us, Don.

  • Candy

    Much gratitude for sharing with us this amazing story. I, as you, am learning love on another level. I now hold much higher standards for myself when it comes to loving someone and myself. I am seeing love can exist in any given situation, if I allow it and get out of my stories that this “shouldn’t” have happened, or someone should live up to “my” expectations. We are love and therefore, it is not about giving or receiving, as much as it is about just Being love. I am seeing how true love is much larger than the stories we tell ourselves.

    The song is amazing, would love to see it on YouTube. You are an exception to the rule, good to know you.
    I love you! <3 :-)

  • Ruth Besser

    Wow! What you did with your pain was a tremendous ‘coup de force’. I would not be capable of it, nor do I know anyone who would be…
    Perhaps love is an expression of ourselves..
    and perhaps ‘true love’ expresses itself in many many forms, even forms that include violence.
    I am not saying this is what we wish, or that it is desirable, but I think love and hate, can go together just as naturally as tears of laughter conjoin tears of sorrow.
    It feels like you had to have developed an almost zen like place within yourself, as place where you practiced the big “I” as opposed to the little “i” and could rise above your personal pain and see this from afar..There is a Hindu verse in the Upansishads (I think) which talks about being both “the bird that eats and the bird that looks on from afar”.

    To really feel the essence of this story I would need to have more context. What was she like, how had you met, what was going on in your life?? How did she receive this gift of ‘unconditional love’? You describe her as just leaving while you were in a state of complete incomprehension that anything like this was possible. Did you have children? Did you know this man, or anything about her past with him?

    Reading it I find myself not liking her or him for doing what they did…but they don’t come alive to me as flesh and blood people. Only as the perpetrators of actions that caused a great deal of undeserved pain…

    On a very deep psychological level I would even have to ask whether a part of you didn’t need to turn this story around, so that instead of being a victim, you appeared as a hero who through some gift or force was able to overcome a very powerful adversary…and that would be more familiar to me of what I know of humans than actually continuing to love her, even identifying with her new (old) lover, and letting her go and making her happiness paramount, putting it way above your own need and pain, and calling it unconditional love.
    Would you have had an equal dose of unconditional love for yourself that if you had acted as she did, you would have been able to forgive and love yourself as much as you loved her??

    I don’t pretend to know..and I believe you. But I also wonder, and would want to know more of the story..

    Yes, Christ tells us to love our enemies. And I am sure there are one or two people who can do that…they are called saints!

    I think when someone hurts another person (deeply hurts another) we look at that person almost the same way as we see a person who has committed a crime. Even if we are not the victim, we want to see some justice..
    we at least want to see some remorse or acknowledgment by the transgressor that they have done a very cruel thing. It satisfies our moral urge.

    Didn’t her actions give you pause and make you wonder why you loved her??
    I might well think that a person who would do such a thing would not be worthy of my ‘unconditional love’.

    This story is deep..but it leaves me with a lot of questions.
    And maybe, and hopefully my kernels of doubt are unwarranted, and it is just what you said. an example of ‘true love’.

  • Pooja Pasricha

    Don i have experienced the same…a couple of days back i almost wrote my story to you and i just had an OMG moment when i read this

    • Zafar

      So interesting! I was about to do the same.. and.. I don’t know.. there is more to being human than Don seems to be writing.. life is not about some issue you have with ONE person only.. People in the eastern world are routinely unconditional.. and this is just beginning to happen in north america. Hello folks.. Wakey! Wakey! Cheers to you.. :-)

  • Don Shapiro Post author

    Hi Ruth,

    As always, you look much deeper into what has been shared and ask great questions. I would expect no less from you especially after having read your marvelous poems.

    The trouble with Blogs is that they are not books. I can’t write a 20 page typewritten piece that includes all the details about a single event. For Blogs, I’ve learned I need to focus on one aspect of an experience that will make a point. I realize this can leave people wanting to know a lot more.

    First, the back story. She was Hungarian and a member of the Freedom Fighters that fought the Soviet Union in the Budapest uprising in 1956. When she didn’t see any opportunities for herself in Hungary following the Soviet response, she decided to come to America. To do that, she walked across a 50 mile stretch of land all by herself leading up to the Austrian border that had been planted with mines by the Soviets. Upon reaching Austria, she was taken in by the U.S. rescue mission and brought here. She did have family in the U.S. that sponsored her.

    She arrived in the U.S. not speaking a word of English and began by peeling apples in a factory then graduated to pulling the excess threads out of shirts for a garment manufacturer. Instead of staying around her Hungarian family and friends all the time, she spent a lot of time around Americans so she could master our language. When she left me in 1986, she had worked her way up to being a Vice President of a publicly held corporation (and she did not have a college degree). By the time I met her, she spoke better English than most Americans.

    Soon after arriving in the U.S., she married a Hungarian and they had a daughter. He turned out to be extremely abusive to both her and her daughter. That marriage lasted 9 years until she finally divorced him which may have coincided with her reaching a level of confidence and work success.

    The last job she held while still married to him was as an inside sales representative for a large company where she won honors as their number one sales person. It was here where she became close with her boss who was also in a marriage that had problems. They began an affair that lasted until shortly after she divorced at which point she realized she couldn’t spend her life seeing a married man who had a wife and kids to raise. So she ended that relationship and started dating.

    Go back and read the song I wrote and you will see the complete story in that song. I guess I figured the song would explain it in short hand form from their side which is why I didn’t devote more space to the back story. The song is a true story. Now you know the full story behind that song as well as more about both of them.

    She dated for many years until we meet in 1974 when she and a girl friend came to dine at a restaurant I was managing and we struck up a conversation. She was 9 years older than me and her daughter was 13 at the time. When we started dating, both of us told each other we didn’t want anything serious. Our falling in love was a complete surprise to both of us.

    From her background, she was wise way beyond her years. I was never really young even when I was chronologically young. We were on the same wavelength. Our relationship was filled with a lot of joy. Everyone thought we were the perfect couple.

    I knew the complete back story I have shared with you because she told me all about it. Part of it I knew early on. The rest she filled me in on when she said she was leaving me. This decision was not made lightly on her part. She is a very responsible person of high integrity. It turned out that for almost a year before giving me the news, she had been seeing a psychologist to help her figure out these feelings she was having. She didn’t want to hurt me. She still loved me. But these feelings were so powerful in her that she didn’t know what to do. It took her a considerable period of time to come to terms with what her inner voice was urging her to do and what it would mean.

    I believe the purpose of her going through therapy was to deal with huge guilt she was feeling. For her to act on her inner voice would destroy two marriages and she knew how it would affect me. This was not an impulse decision.

    Maybe if you put together the entire back story from Hungary forward, you might be able to see how I could step away from my own pain and look at this from other perspectives. She had already lived the equivalent of three lives, faced things many of us will never face, and successfully overcome severe challenge after challenge to create a good life for her and her daughter. At the time of her decision to leave me, her daughter was now married with children of her own.

    This story is also about her following her true inner voice of wisdom. She was a responsible and caring person as you can tell by now. At the same time, she was fearless in a way most of couldn’t even begin to understand. I knew that her decision was not made lightly and she had given incredible thought to it. I also knew that once she made a decision, she would stick with it.

    Something happened between her and this other man when they had their affair that created a soul connection which can’t be broken. Even though she loved me and cared about me, she came to a point in her life after all she had been through where she knew she needed that connection. He had captured a portion of her heart that I couldn’t touch. She buried those feelings out of a sense of responsibility, respect and integrity and then fell in love with me. But you can’t keep soul connections like that buried forever.

    This is why I called this a love story on many levels. It isn’t just about my unconditional love and following my inner voice. It is also about their love story and the many times she followed her inner voice even risking her life when she was in Hungary.

    Which leads back to your questions about me. I can understand your raising these questions. Your questions are really more about you than about me. They are a reflection of your own experiences, observations and knowledge of psychology. Many people would have the same doubts you do because they have not experienced what I have nor witnessed it in others.

    You say that when someone is deeply hurt by another, they will look at it as if a crime was committed and want to see justice or remorse. You say they see this as a cruel thing to have done.

    Maybe those in the healing arts fields encounter so many people like this that they begin to believe all people would respond in the same way. I believe that the therapy fields (psychology, hypnotherapy and the like) can help a lot of people with their emotional and thought based issues. Yet, with 6.8 billion people on this planet, how can you know from your limited experiences and observations that there are not people who are capable of unconditional love just because you haven’t seen it yourself?

    The weakness of the therapy professions lies in their inability for the most part (there are exceptions) to understand the difference between what is a part of the human condition that can be addressed by their expertise and what is a part of our spirit and soul which they cannot help with. Many in these fields think that every thought and feeling which occurs inside of us is something they can help with, something that, at some level, we may have control over.

    Where this weakness really shows itself is with the term love. Love is the most overused word on the planet earth. Over 90% of people who use this word, use it incorrectly. Anyone that has a strong emotional attachment to another person calls this feeling love. It’s in all our songs, poems, novels, movies and greeting cards. And so the therapy community has come to regard love as an emotion which they can treat. This is reinforced by the fact that most of the time when they hear someone talking about love, it is really only a deep emotional attachment which they are able to help with.

    I can’t change the world’s use of the word love at this point. But let’s be very clear about what is really going on. Love is a spiritual state. It is something that exist inside of us from inception and stays with us after our bodies pass on. It is our connection to the creator, our soul, our spiritual essence. We have absolutely zero control as humans over the state of love. It is not a psychological state.

    For me to honestly address your questions, I needed to make this clear. At a spiritual level, we cannot feel like we are a victim. We do not see hurt or pain inflected on us as a crime that calls out for justice. That is because, in a state of true love, we do not judge other people…ever. If someone has acted in a terrible way toward us, that is about them, not about us. I may disapprove of their behavior and even be angry about their behavior, but I do not judge that person.

    This is the way I am 100% of the time, not just in this one story from a point in my past. Those who are very close to me know me. I never judge other people. Even when people have done me wrong in a big way, I do not feel any ill will toward them. I have never experienced the feelings of revenge and justice…and some people have done some pretty bad things to me during my life.

    If we question why we loved someone after they have done something to us, then we most likely never loved them to begin with. We had a deep emotional attachment to them which we labeled love. If you experience true love where the love inside of you, the spirit that you are, connects with the spirit of another, you would never, ever question that love. You might hate the other’s behavior but would never question the love.

    Let’s bring this discussion back to the real world. Unconditional love is actually quite prevalent on the planet earth. You have witnessed it countless times and experienced it yourself. Most parents love their children unconditionally. Even if a child becomes an axe murderer, physically and emotionally abuses their parents, or turns out to be an embarrassing liar and cheat, their parents will still love them.

    The parent may decide they no longer want that child in their life. They may never want to see that child again. But they will still love their child. Relationships are conditional. Whether we allow someone to be in our life or not can and is based on a long list of conditions that grow out of our emotions, upbringing, personality, values, desires, likes and so on. But most parents, regardless of what their children do, still love their children unconditionally. We can hate the behavior and still love the child.

    This is not just about blood relations. Parents of step children and those they have adopted or fostered can also display unconditional love. Take the recent hit movie with Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side, which is based on a true story. That boy was not a blood relation and even came from an entirely different world than the woman who took him in. Yet, she loved him unconditionally and even risked her life confronting gang members with guns in the projects to help him.

    While I have only shared one experience from my life in this story, this is not the only time where I have felt unconditional love for another and, as a result, acted in a way that would not be considered the norm. Unfortunately, I cannot share some of those experiences out of respect for others who would prefer these be kept private.

    The real question here is not whether a person can unconditionally love another. The question is why is it not as prevalent in adult relationships? If a parent can unconditionally love a child that is not of their blood, why can’t adults act the same toward each other more often?

    My personal experience with unconditional love which absolutely proved its existence seems to create doubt in many people. I understand this doubt. It is about them, not about me. It is about their experiences and observations and the conclusions they have drawn from them. My experience creates extreme discomfort in some people because either they accept what I did and then have to change their beliefs or cast doubt on what I did in order to hold onto their existing beliefs.

    As humans, we are a jumble of human factors that make us imperfect in many ways. For many, our emotions can so overpower us that they block the love which exist inside of us. This is the same reason people can’t hear their inner voice of wisdom. Their desires, wants, likes, dislikes, emotions and ego overpower their inner voice. The source is the same. When we pay attention to the wise guidance of our inner voice which includes the love that has always been inside of us, we can and will respond to life’s experiences in a far different way than some people have and most people think we should.

    Hope this helps,

    Don

    • Ruth Besser

      Dear Don,

      I did not even realize you had answered my comments. This morning I wanted to share a beautiful album with you, through a FB member Sandor ? from another FB member…
      I posted it to my profile, so you can have a look at it if you care to..it actually made me remember that your story of ‘true love’ is NOT so otherwordly, but very deeply embedded in the collective wisdom of our world culture and philosphy.
      Remember the ‘murder of the Amish’ school children? And how they reached out to the perpetrator’s family, and practiced what they believe in ‘unconditional forgiveness’ according to Christ’s teaching.
      That forgiveness NEVER made the headlines as do other stories of equal horror. And I wondered, “Why NOT?” is this something we collectively really don’t want to hear about?? And isn’t this ‘above and beyond the murders’ a really Great Story and example? I have always admired the Amish, and wld love to be a part of their culture..as if one could choose these things..
      You are right, it speaks far more about me than about you..this reaction of “I don’t buy it!” But I kept thinking about what I wrote and felt ‘guilty’. From everything I know of you, I realize the last thing you wld be is “disingenuous” and you are not at all out of touch with your own feelings that you wld mistake “unconditional love” for a twisted love that used your own “nobleness” to inflict a particular kind of hell to the guilty party..Knowing the context and the layers of lives, streaming in and out of consciousness like streams that find underground channels only to reimerge with other streams that gain force and momentum as they flow back to the source, makes the story real and understandable… I didn’t really understand the poem, it took reading your comments to understand what you were talking about…
      Now this story does expand my capacity to imagine bigger loves and lives than I had before..
      And you are right about my reaction saying more about me than about your story.
      Quite literally I was in some sense in the same role as your ex-wife. I was fairly happily married with three children, when I returned to Germany and spent time with a good friend in Berlin (someone I first met as a teenager – he had loved me from the time I was 14)…my daughter was with me on this trip..and we were about to leave for Brussels at midnight, when I found I was on the wrong train..So we went back to his place and in one night became became lovers..and my life changed forever..I had not even considered it a possibility prior to this night. (that was ’79). From that day on I was agonizingly tormented…with guilt, with longing..
      In ’82 in a very conscious act of betrayal (and my first) he and I took 3 weeks to travel together to Scotland..under lies (on my part) to my husband.
      It was probably the happiest 3 weeks of my life..and upon my return to the States, I was in a misery such as I had never experienced before. I simply could not leave my children ( a la Ingrid Bergman) and I cld not live without him.
      We had a few more clandestine meetings..and I finally ended up confessing to my husband Dan. Outwardly he forgave me, and was relieved that I was not leaving..but beneath it all, things were brewing. Perhaps the worst betrayal is not the physical one, but the emotional one. He felt the absence of my love, I was not really ‘there’ for him..and while it dragged on for 7 more years (years in which I turned to alcohol and pills to fight my demons), had major depressions, the marriage ended. I blamed everyone, myself, Heinz, Dan, Fate, the damn trains,…
      Even after the divorce I was not going to uproot my children, and life swept me along…and I ended up having my 4th daughter with a man I fell in love with (or lust)..into what’s turned into a nightmare relationship..
      Always in the back of my mind, I thought maybe Heinz and I would have our time together when Saskia was grown…
      It would have had a kind of symmetry..my going back to the place I was born..Berlin..like two bookends to my life. But fate intervened again and Heinz died on November 1, 2007. He never stopped writing me, sharing with me all the twists and turns of his life..he was a gifted writer, artist and lover of music and poetry..he headed a foundation for the exchange of art between Berlin and many cultures, especially China, Vietnam and revolutionary artists the world over. He was a son of Berlin – that divided city in a divided country, growing up the only child of a war widow (my mother’s close friend, which is how I met him in the first place). If ever there was an ‘unconditional love’ in my life it came from him to me…
      There is no corner or all the rooms of my houses that I have lived in..that doesn’t have a trace of him…showered as I was with gifts, and things of beauty..all completely undeserved gifts from someone who loved me, for no other reason than that he loved me..
      He never married, had no children…and to this day I do not know what to make of this torturous story..I know it caused my marriage to collapse, my children to go through great undeserved pain…
      I have yet to find the meaning…As a way to mourn or exorcize I posted an album and created tribute to him on of all things FB.
      I have not even forgiven myself for the betrayal..made perhaps even more powerful because Dan (my husband) was Jewish…
      So from these murky waters of my own past, perhaps I was lashing out against your betraying wife, as a substitute for myself…I wronged someone who really loved me, and was a wonderful husband and father. In some ways I wronged Heinz too..and my children.
      What makes these loves so agonizing is that they are not just personal choices, they pull so many other lives into their wake.

      I think that’s all for this morning…

      How do you open so many wounds?? Perhaps it is because you listen, and are non-judgmental, and really deeply listen. “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” form “The Little Prince” by St. Exupery.
      The culture being the desert, and you being that Well, that is so rare and so needed.
      I truly believe you have opened up many hearts almost like a sacred confessional.
      Ruth Besser

    • Joan

      Don – I agree with your analysis for so many reasons. I try to imagine a world without unconditional love. This is a world that none of us would be very interested in inhabiting, really. Unconditional love carries our hope for a future, our connection with that which is larger than ourselves (whatever we conceive that to be), and begets our current personal inner peace. Without unconditional love as a concept and a practice, the hurts we humans inflict upon one another either blindly and ignorantly or from other place of wounding, would destroy the fabric of humanity. The power inherent in this kind of love is at least a start, if not all we really need to know about how to heal our hearts, our families, our communities, our countries, our planet and beyond. Bless you for this work you are doing!

  • Joan

    Don – There are many of us who have come to an intimate knowledge of unconditional love in much the same way that you did. In my own case, I am now some 28 years down the road from the initial events that were the genesis of my search for some way to make meaning of what to do when one’s heart is broken. My husband and I had children together and it soon became apparent to me that I had to find some way of making peace within my own heart because I could see that we were inextricably bound to one another for life, even though we were no longer married. And, of course, I also began to discover that my anger and pain was only hurting me. This made the search for some way to integrate the experiences and come away with love rather than bitterness feel essential.

    The path to that peace has held many stones (often more like boulders actually), steep and treacherous inclines, wild downhill runaways, poison ivy, and all manner of wild beasts (often masquerading as friendly faces). I wish I could tell you that I was able to face each obstacle with grace, but the truth is that I often chaffed, cried, screamed at the Universe, lamented and felt unbearably sorry for myself. I also opened and found blessings and continued to dive into the river of love.

    As I continued to try to mend my heart, mend my life I sought out numerous teachings, read all of the spiritual things I could find, every self-help book on the planet, talked about it interminably and listened to the stories of others. I admit, not proudly, that I also sought refuge through all manner of external anesthetic, including other willing arms.

    After coming upon the idea of unconditional love, really opening to it, and embracing forgiveness I thought that I should be able to perfect that love in my heart and that it would eliminate anything that was not unconditional love from my heart and my thoughts. So, when I would find myself angry or bitter or in pain, I would pull out the cat o’ nine tails and beat myself senseless. The spiral into depression and self-flagellation nearly took my life more times than I would care to mention.

    Along this journey, I should mention that I had several forays into the belly of love again, each time coming back feeling wounded and wondering why enough love was not able to heal everything. I wish I could tell you that there has been a happy ending and that I found and am now living with the “love of my life”. This has not been the case.

    What I can tell you is that the most precious gift in all of the little forks in the road has been learning to let a wounding of the heart open a deeper space for love. I have learned to soften and open and find so blessed much joy in so many other aspects of my life, and I have come to peace with my solitude and communion with friends. I continue to learn to notice and release all that is not pure love. I continue to learn forgiveness of myself and others as we make our way through whatever is around the next bend.

    I also continue to be curious about how I form my life and it forms me, what it is that attracts or repels me and why, what “stories” about my life that still, it seems, hold me hostage at times. I continue to have more questions than answers, and I am at peace with that.

    I have recently become enamored and resonated with the writing of Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat, Pray, Love” and “Committed”. I recommend both works.

    Bless us all as we walk on… J

  • Joan

    Wild Geese

    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.

    ~ Mary Oliver

  • Don Shapiro Post author

    Joan,

    Thank you for sharing from your heart as well as the poem. Each of our paths through life is unique. You chose to take a journey to discover a path to unconditional love. While this clearly was not an easy journey for you, somehow you persevered and now have opened up to what has been inside of you all along. As you continue this adventure, you will discover more and more about who you really are…that which existed in you at the moment of conception.

    Blessings,

    Don

  • ElizOF

    What a beautiful and heartwarming story. A great reminder that love in its purest form can move mountains and help us overcome great challenges. I have added this story to my FB page.
    Thank you for sharing it so honestly!
    Eliz

  • RED ORCHID

    I do understand what you are talking about Don. It already happened to me. I loved someone who left me and hurt me terribly. We used to call each other’s ‘Soulmate’. I must say that I got really affected by what happened between us. There was a point that I can’t really recognized myself anymore. It felt like, I’m a plant and he is the vital nourishment that I need to survive. But he left me, so I felt something that I thought is worst than anything else. But despite that, i still love him. It’s almost four years since then but i can still feel the love. Whenever I see him, I only feel the love going more stronger. That’s why I would rather not see him. How can I explain it? He is my greatest strenght yet my greatest weakness. The thought of him and the energy of love within me keep me going in life. I’m terribly afraid of the saying “True love never dies” for how can i be happy if the one i love is not on my side. But then, when i searched the answer inside me, i know i’m happy for simply feeling the energy of love inside me. I don’t know how it happened. Very strange indeed. I have to force myself to think that it is like this because I’m still young. And my friends keep telling me that I should move on. Yes, I often tell them that I already moved on. not because I want to, but it is the thing that they want to hear from me. I am supposed to move on. Find another man who can replace him. But I just can’t go on in a day without thinking of him. It’s my source of strenght. It’s something that no other man, even my family and friends, can give. The thing is, I don’t have any communication with him! But the love keeps on burning. And, i agree with you. Love is more of an energy…energy that nourish my soul. It gives meaning to my existence. It is because of love that I struggle to grow and become better each day. Though we can’t be together, I’m often wondering how he is doing and hoping that he is find. And though I’m always saying that someday I will find somebody to replace him, I secretly hope that he will come back to me someday. I know these love will last, for how long I don’t know. But time will prove if it’s really True Love that i have for him.

    • RED ORCHID

      And, I somehow have the feeling that your soul is tune in to my soul. Maybe because we are listening to the same “voice”. Maybe because we have the same experience. I don’t know. But, yes, I’m too young to tell that. It’s too early to make a conclusion. There’s a lot more to learn.

  • Dawn Davis

    Thankyou for sharing, it was an incredible read. I’m glad your inner voice shined thru in your time of need and you listened. Your story has given me much to think about.

    During my childhood my siblings and I suffered thru constant abuse (in all forms) from our mother. This caused me to carry shame, guilt and sadness through to my adult life and even tho I have sought counselling for it – none could get me past the feeling that my mother never loved me. I’ve always looked at her actions and the pain I experienced from them, but maybe she did in fact love me unconditionally. I know I have always loved her.

    As ironic as it is I married a man that was also abusive. We were married for 17 yrs and had 4 children together. I can’t say I ever felt strong feelings for my husband, but I did have a strong feeling that it was where I was meant to be at that stage of my life. People would offer to help me to leave, or ask me why I stay and could never understand when I would try to explain. At the end of our marriage I spent 15 months ensuring he saw our children and developed relationships with them. I can’t say I wish him well, but I don’t wish him a terrible life either.

    18 months ago I met a man and began dating him. He is the father of my 6 month old baby. As soon as I met this man I was connected with him. I don’t mean I felt love for him, it was much deeper than that. It was like a feeling of “coming home” as tho my inner voice knew his and had talked often. It’s hard to describe in words but it was as tho we had been together in another life. Our human time together was short with our relationship ending when I fell pregnant. He soon entered another relationship and is very happy. I suffered alot of pain from his actions but I still care for him deeply and wish him the best life has to offer. It’s very hard for people to understand how I can wish him well and many have told me I have totally lost my mind. I think that whilst we aren’t meant to be together in our lifetime our souls are still connected.

    I have to look much further but my understanding after reading your story is that my mother may have loved me unconditionally, I love my mother unconditionally, I didn’t love my husband but we were supposed to spend those years together and I love my baby’s father unconditionally.

    xxx

    • Don Shapiro Post author

      Dawn,

      Thank you for sharing this. You understand it and have personally experienced it. The connection you had with the father of your recent child is a love connection…a connection at the spiritual level. You are not crazy to feel the way you feel. That is the power of love speaking. Most people have trouble separating human emotional attraction and bonding with love. We may not be compatible with someone on the human level and so a relationship ends. This will create pain and hurt because the emotional connection has been broken. But that has nothing to do with love.

      There are some people who simply do not understand this and flat out disagree with me. They will say that they loved someone but after what this person did to them, they can’t love them anymore or wish them well. So they say I’m wrong about love. The truth is that they do not understand the difference between love and human emotional attachment.

      That’s because when we are emotionally attached to someone, we say we love them. The word love is the most overused word in the English language. There are many relationships that involve deep emotional attachments where no actual love exist. Saying it does not make it so.

      There is one and only one test of true love…of the existence of an actual love connection between two people. We must accept the other person unconditionally no matter what they do nor how much pain and hurt they may cause us. If we still love them in spite of that though we may not want them in our life, then we loved them. If our love is conditional based on what the other person does or does not do, then this was never love to begin with…only a deep emotional attachment. For it to be love, it must be unconditional.

  • Ginette

    I felt the hurt within your words, I myself was your ex-wife. I held on to my one and only for 13 years after a back break up. I could not move on or allow myself to love anyone unconditionally because he held the key to my heart. I decided to search for him a year and a half ago to realise he had never let me go as well. We are now engaged and getting married this year. The power of LOVE, especially being the one you gave you heart & soul to is unbreakable know matter where life leads you. I always found myself thinking of him and wondering how he was. I had told many of my friends that I still loved him and could not let him go. No one understood but I did and new that what we had was spiritual and we could feel each other throughout the years even being apart. I was blessed and I am extremelly thankful for a second chance at true love and being with the man that has ever captured my HEART. You will cross path with that connection if you have not already, and you will understand in time what true love is. No one can break that electrifying bound between two people, as they say if its meant to be it will be back but remain “FOREVER”.

    • Jill

      Ginette,

      Your story gave me comfort . I have lost someone I loved deeply, he moved on to someone else. I was not confident enough to pursue as was needed.

      I was happy to read that u had a second chance, I hope with all my heart that I may have a second chance as you did- jill

  • Sam

    Thanks alot buddy, trully you have put me into another world of thinking what true love is. Uncondtional love is the genesis of all betterments in life.
    People should understsnd that, true love can bring faith, wealth, happiness and joy never viseversa

  • kelly

    I never thought I would read a blogpost as heartwarming as this.. I came to this site out of luck and I guess it was really meant.. I was meant to read this post to help me clear up the clouds that hinder me to see the things I must realize…

    I’m only 22, and I can say I do loved unconditionally..
    Like you, Don, I experienced an emotional separation but I know I will never let go of this “True Love”…no. never. I know it will stay forever…

    He left me with lame excuses, but I just found myself forgiving and understanding him… I just wished him his happiness and is still praying for him to make and live his life to the fullest… I hold no bitterness, I’m more willing to see him happy—even without me, for I know and I swear it will make me happy,too…

    I just want him to be happy, even if I’m no longer part of his life now.. I know I will always be in love with him. and even though he’s with someone elsenow, I pray that he find the sweetest things in life…

    It doesn’t matter to me if I will be inlove or be loved by someone else. The person doesn’t matter to me, but it’s the “soulful connection thru love”, something that completes me spiritually, that matters..

    So if I’ll be inlove with someone else again, I know, I will do it unconditionally again…

    I’m not afraid to get hurt. That’s one thing I can say that can prove my unconditional love…

    All I know is that, “it doesn’t matter if you get fooled, or be hurt…what matters is that you loved at all and you never judged the person by his faults or by any chance thru earthly measures.. Love is Divine. It is pure. It is not to be mistaken with infatuation or emotional interdependency. Love is a connection of soul…that even separated or fell apart, it still grows..it never fades, it never dies…Love is immeasureable… It’s beyond any words can imagine or define…”

    —thank you for this post.
    I know some may find it crazy for me to still love him despite of what he did, but to me it’s really nothing…it’s fine…it’s not the sense of “martyr-type”, maybe it’s the feeling that I am fulfilled within me, knowing that he’s happy and making another person happy ,too..

  • Bhaskar Vivek

    I understand every bit of what you have written.

    I am 30 years old and Single.

    I am in love with my best friend. She knows that well, because I told her without any expectations. We spent good time, still she doesn’t feel same way for me (she told me but I feel care, love when we are together) and going to marry some guy of her parents choice soon (we can’t be together because of different caste). She loves her parents much and I feel, she is compromising a lot for their happiness. So, I am not forcing her for anything. I am little sad inside because of letting her go, but still respect her decision and happy for her. She knows I am sad and tries her best so that I can overcome.

    We see each other everyday as we work at same place. So, it’s hard for me to forget her and I don’t want to. Its really hard but I am waiting until she get married. She is nice to me and I can’t ignore her. All I need is time.

    I have accepted reality that, she won’t be with me forever and going to marry someone else, though she knows I love her from bottom of my heart. I can’t stop loving her and wants to see her happy.

  • Grace

    this is really inspiring, I am on my early 20′s and to a young lady like me, this seems ridiculous at first but as I go along with the whole story I admire you for being strong and brave to truly face the music of your life in spite of the fact that you have been left behind by someone you love.

    Thanks for sharing. This such an eye opening for a young like me.

  • Myrna Tamayo

    I understand that not all people have nor had this kind of love…but it is God’s given love. Just like me…i love my fiance so much even if he always hurt me physically and emotionally. I understand that every situation in our life there is a solution. And with God’s grace and mercy. Unconditional love never ever end. Even if it hurts, at the end there’s light beyond darkness…rather there is joy after pain.

  • Nikhil

    Indeed, Very nicely put friend
    i just got the words to the emotion i was feeling deep inside. Now i can say that i am proud to have the ability to love unconditionally (and not one sidedly)
    hope there is a spiritual connect with her or she just got to know someday that she have been loved by the guy (whose proposal she rejected) like thereis no tomorrow

  • steven

    I am very happy to see this blog, I myself have been a student of unconditional love for 12 years also triggered by a deep sense of my heart breaking from my wife leaving me for another man. I have peeled back the layers of fear to find what was left of me , this is where I discovered un conditional love . I discovered my essence is unconditional love and this is where I can connect with what we call LIFE. I find my life is a journey where I crossed a bridge from one reality which would be duality to another reality to which everything flows from a singular source which is me , unconditional love. I also see the magic when one experiences life with the love flowing from with in then it returns back in wave form and the trick is to allow this love to flow back into me……… no matter what it is……….. everything is love, this is the most amazing journey , I am at a loss for words as I drift into this beauty……..so I will leave with a smile and thank you for writing your experiences again

  • Jack Shanks

    I had through quite similar situation as you. my girlfriend cheated on me just few days after we are in relationship. at first, I let her go, trying to apply “if you love her, you thinking for her best, even if it’s not with you”. but then I realize that it wasn’t the best thing for her, even though she likes it.

    point one, she admit she still love me and just flirting around that guy (although she only flirt that guy, which is makes me think that he was special).
    point two, if she goes like this, she will never know the value of love and she might get worse one day.
    point three, I still love her and I don’t deserve this
    point four, that guy is not a good guy and actually a whimper.
    point five, me and my girlfriend haven’t know each others well we might lost what we could be.
    point six, our friends encourage us to reunited

    so, when she began to fall in love with the other guy, I ask her to return. it was hard, she kept rejecting me. but somehow I believe that she still love me, despite the words come out of her mouth. I kept approaching her, and finally she agree to spend a whole day together. at first, it was a day to separate, we won’t talk, no calls, no text and facebook blocking after that day.

    but as the sun goes down, we realize that we are meant to be together. she kept saying “what’s our resolution after this?”. sign for me that this is the right choice. I get her back, and she tried to forget that guy. and each day we gets better.

    she cheated on me because I didn’t attract her physically, that’s why she get attracted to the other guy physically, there’s only lust between them. after we decided to reunited, she begin to accept me as I am. I’m not going against you, but this is what I believe as unconditional love; accepting your partner as they are.

  • Morphy

    I know this is an old topic, but it definitely was (and is) a very powerful story/background that I do admire. I have gone through similar experiences, but never to the degree that you have outlined.

    So that the purpose of my comment can be understood a bit more – I wanted to start out by stating that my opinion of “Unconditional Love” is something that I truly would like to exist – either spiritually or logically. I believe it is an admirable feat and something that can better yourself as a person.

    My main purpose of this comment is different – unconditional love, in itself, means that there are no conditions put on your love. It is defined as that – and even if the definition needs to be changed, it’s that meaning in our language that must be conveyed or corrected.

    So – from what I read of your post (and the subsequent comments) – the love that you expressed should not be classified as “unconditional love” as there was a condition that you had defined:

    “I still wanted her to be happy. I still cared about her. If she would be more happy with someone else rather than me, that was her choice. I realized at that moment that if you truly love someone, you want them to be happy, you want the best for them even if that means not being with you.”

    Your condition was “happiness” – you transferred your love from something that wasn’t even consciously considered during your relationship – it became an absolute (we all do this – even if we say “I love you”, there becomes an expectation that it is forever and whatever you do will be accepted) – but the moment that you had to think about it, it became something that did have conditions with it – thought itself turns something from an unknown/unconditional state to something that is then examined and put into a definition. Your definition was happiness for your partner.

    I do not know if I am right and/or if there is technically a right/wrong – my belief differs from logic, but I felt that someone should at least point out the fact that it seems that there are conditions on the love you conveyed.

    Food for thought…

    • Don Shapiro Post author

      Hi Morphy,

      I’m sorry I did not respond to this much earlier. There has been so much going on in my life. You raise some very interesting points and have clearly displayed talent in the use of logic and analysis. I do appreciate this.

      My wanting someone to be happy is not a condition I place on them. It is to say that whatever they want and wherever they go, I will still love them regardless of anything they do or say. So even if they choose to be unhappy, I would still love them. What actually occurs with them in no way affects my love so there are no conditions under which I would grant or withhold this love.

      This is the key to understanding what is meant by unconditional. We place no conditions on our feelings of love for another. If they want to be an axe murderer, we still love them. If they want to lie and cheat, we still love them. If they want to become an alcoholic, we still love them. If they find happiness with another, we still love them. It is the absence of any conditions under which we would no longer feel love for them.

      Conditions mean that we will only love someone under certain circumstances. They must love us. They must do what we want. They must be happy. They must not make us unhappy. They must not love another. They must take out the trash every week. When we impose any conditions on our love, then we do not love that person. We may feel strong emotionally attachment or ego attachment or something but it is not love.

      Is happiness a condition in life. Yes, if we are using the word to describe how someone may be or what we may want for ourselves. This is not the same as the concept of unconditional. We have to be careful here not to over analyze unconditional love. It is not something that can really be analyzed at all in spite of all I have written about it. I am merely trying to help people understand what the state of pure love means and hope they will want to evolve spiritually to attain this state.

      From my experience, very few people actually understand unconditional love because it is not something that can be intellectually understood…ever. It defies all analysis, reason and logic. It defies everything we know from our life experiences except for how most of us our concerning our children.

      We seem to have great difficulty taking our feelings about our children and realizing that we can feel the same way about another adult who is not a blood relative. I am not sure why this is the case but it appears to be so.

      Unconditional love is not an emotion. It is not about the human side of us through our brain and nervous system. At the core, we are spirit, we are a soul, we are pure love. Our soul simply loves. Nothing else exist. Nothing. Just pure love. This is what unconditional love is. When we are able to align with our soul and allow our soul to guide us instead of our human ego, we can enter a state of unconditional love.

      I have been continually tested throughout my life with situations where someone I dearly loved made a decision to do something that I didn’t want or like. In some cases, that decision was to not remain in a relationship with me. Each of these tested me to the extreme. They are never easy, never simple and never without a lot of pain, suffering and sadness. What I personally learned from all these experiences that the Creator kept throwing at me is that I do exist in a state of unconditional pure love all the time. No matter what anyone does to me or says to me, I will still love them and want the best for them even if I don’t like their choices. That is the one and only test of unconditional love. It can’t be analyzed. It simply exist.

  • Skye

    It’s amazng how reading just a single page on a website can change your outlook on life. I just as Pankaj said, it made me feel a bit better. Thank you for the wonder article.

  • Erica

    It is my modest believe that the soul of all of us is seeking to remember itself. In that rememory, that is often hard to hear because of the noise of the world, we are whole, healthy, and completely perfect. In that rememory we love unconditionally because we understand that we are at the core spiritual beings having a human experience, trying to reveal our spiritual selves. Sounds confusing, no doubt, however, it makes life more lively and creates a depth of connection that is indisputable…when we allow it. When we allow unconditional love we tap into to the God that is our spirit. This site meant a lot to me tonight. Thank you.

    • Don Shapiro Post author

      Erica,

      This is very well said and not confusing at all. We are born with love and it is inside of us throughout our life and beyond because love is a spiritual state, not an emotion. It is always there, always a part of us. When we experience true unconditional love with another, the love that is within us connects with the love that is within someone else. That is a spiritual connection which has nothing to do with whether we get along on a human level. Yes, it is remembering and connecting with the spiritual being that we are which allows us to experience the true power and meaning of love.

  • Aisha

    Hello.
    I read your story about unconditional love. I want to share some thoughts with you. People often find unconditional love when they are betrayed or suffer. Then they raise themselves to the level they don’t feel pain, they feel love. I was thinking about the love when someone is doing something what is good for the other. Don, there is a question – if your wife would have asked you to let her go, would you let her marry another man? Or if you knew your wife loves another man and she is not divorcing you only because she cares for you, would your unconditional love make you do something about it? Unconditional love is fine, but I think the sacrifying love is also good.

    • Don Shapiro Post author

      Hi Alisha,

      Thank you for sharing these insights. The sacrificing you talk about is unconditional love. They are one in the same. If you love someone, you want them to be happy whether they decide to be with you or not. If they would rather be with another, you let them go. The love remains. If they are not doing what is in their heart to not hurt you, you let them go, push them out the door and wish them well. To do anything else would not be unconditional. Unconditional means no strings attached. So unconditional love means letting go and sacrificing because you love another.

      Let’s revisit what love is. Love is a spiritual state, not an emotion. We are born with love, it remains inside of us all our life and will be there after we pass on. As humans, we can lose our connection to this love and let our emotions, ego, desires and more cause us to do things that are contrary to the love that is within us. When we allow our life to be always guided by this love, our human elements cannot push it aside or deny its power.

      When the love that is within you connects with the love that is another person, what results is true unconditional love. This has nothing to do with what happens on the human plain. Whether we want to spend time with someone or not, whether we want to be married to them or not, whether we can even stand being around them or not, all have nothing to do with this love. The love remains while, as humans, we may discover that we shouldn’t be together. It doesn’t matter whether one person makes that choice or both of them make the choice. That choice is still a human choice based on human issues and has nothing to do with this love.

      If we truly love, we will always love that person regardless of what they do or what they want.

      • Aisha

        Hello again.
        Thank you for your answer. I asked what you would do about your wife, but I actually was thinking about my son. I love him the love that makes me always think about what is better for him. Not only that. It makes me do many things, get up early in the morning, prepare good food, think of the better ways how to teach him to read and so on. I think I would call it sacrifying love. I think it’s not enough to want good for the one whom you love. When you love someone, it makes you DO big and good things for the sake of the one whom you love. That’s what I wanted to say. I was thinking about my husband too, how love makes me to try to know him better so I could be a better friend and do something good for him. So these are my thoughts about love. :)

  • Lyndal

    Wow! Congratulations to you and the state of your heart!. Your story gave me hope that there are others out there who love unconditionally!
    Wouldnt the world be a better place if we all strove to love unconditionally. It is that conditioning that seperates us. I was sitting here this morning asking the same question. I loved a man deeply some long years ago, I still love him… he left to marry another, but to this day, I love him, iv never hated him… love and hate can not live together, we can not have both in our hearts. I am so grateful that my heart is filled with love, true love…. it seems that we have to go through a painful experience for us to identify it in ourselves.
    Just this morning, I presented this exact case to my sister in law, my brother left her for another woman, all she wants is for him to be unhappy, that would make her happy! Just today, he has been diagnosed with lung cancer…. she said he deserves it! How can say you have loved someone for 30 years and then because they didnt do what pleased you… hate them and wish them harm!.
    Anyway, I want to say, I love you because you Love. May God bless your life abundantly.

    Kind Regards Lyndal

    • donshapiro Post author

      Thank you so much for sharing this Lyndal. You have experienced true unconditional love. You are right that it is not possible to both love and hate. Your sister is angry about what happened and has forgotten about the love they had. You can’t turn love off simply because someone does something you don’t like no matter how much it hurts you. To wish someone else ill can bring ill to ourselves. The energy we send out into the world is the energy the world sends back to us.

      Blessings,

      Don

  • Blue

    Acceptance was difficult for me to realize that’s it’s all over. Thru the years after the breakup. I’ve searched, consulted, confided, cried, laughed with family, friends, priest’s, spiritualists, books to find real meaning on love or to get her back. I had this brief relationship I had with this lady. Which changed My life. To my realization, you can not rationalize love, put it on the side, force it, convince someone . I felt all the emotional suffering, insecurity, self-centeredness which almost drove me crazy.
    But I held on, to myself only to realize you are the only one who can help yourself. Which brought about clarity in small steps. This clarity was that I was in love with her unconditionally. She’s close to me yet far to be reached. No matter how it hurts not to the point of begging and not loosing my dignity, I still love her dearly . For the past several months of communicating with her slowly. It seems like a plateau.
    One liner conversations & texts is all what I get. But again I still love her, I felt before all the connection with us. I’ve tried several times to cut this off for good to move on. But I can’t, just to make her happy,
    Or smile on a bad day is good enough for me without getting anything back. Martyrdom or chivalry orJust Being stupidly blind. And I ask myself “ why just now” im 45 yrs old. But above all this craziness and emotional pain, she brought out the best in me which didn’t happen overnight. Slowly I’m a calmer and a more understanding person. I guess this is what I call real love. No pain no gain.. And im still hoping and praying everyday, that maybe someday or the next lifetime will be together again.

    Thank you all , for being human and imperfect.

    • Don Shapiro Post author

      Hi Blue,

      I’m sorry for not responding to your honest and inspiring post sooner. Yes, I’ve been going through some more forks myself. I may write about all this but it doesn’t make me immune from living life like everyone else.

      I have been through a similar type of experience in other relationships. Once we shift our perspective and direction, we open ourselves up to learning things that can make us a better person and move closer to who we really are.

      I believe that nothing happens by chance. There are no coincidences in life. The relationship you describe was not a loss or a waste of time. It was supposed to happen. You were supposed to go through what you did. And now you are beginning to realize the gifts this has brought you. This may be the real reason for the connection. No, this does not remove the feelings you have. It does free you in many ways.

      It may be that this relationship and the love you feel concerning her has been placed in your life journey to prepare you for the one you are supposed to be with. Right now, you may not realize this and hope for a reconnection either on earth or later. We simply do not know what is supposed to happen. So remaining in a state of unconditional love and being open for whatever is meant to happen can make a huge difference.

      You are a better man then you were. You have grown immensely and continue to grow. There may be a woman out there who is looking for the “new” you. You may be surprised to discover that there could actually be a love waiting for you that is even grander and more powerful than what you have felt.

      Unconditional love is based on a state of pure love which is who we really are at our core. When we finally find this core, it changes everything for us. It means that you will unconditionally love everyone you feel love for whether it is a platonic friend, family member or lover. You are not limited to having this feeling with one person because it is not about your connection to one person. It is about who you really are. Once you love unconditionally, it applies to everyone you love.

  • Ebrahim Rangwala

    Hi,

    Very truly sad…I Love someone just the same way….and I pray for her health and happiness everyday…

    I would just add one thing to you..if you agree..

    When you love someone truly you want the time to stop at the time when they leave you…so that when they return back to your life someday…you begin your life from that moment as if nothing happened in life…as if you never grew old and the years have never passed..

    if you moved on in life then you never loved truly…

    Ebrahim

    • Don Shapiro Post author

      I appreciate your sharing your feelings about true love. Yes, you can truly, deeply love someone and move on with your life to another that you may also truly, deeply love. To say that if you moved on with your life, you didn’t truly love is not the way love works. What you are describing is an excessive, dependent need for someone that is so extreme you can’t love another. This is dependency, not true love.

      Unconditional love means exactly what it says. You love someone without any conditions whatsoever. That is the only true form of love. It doesn’t matter what the other person does. It does matter if they stay with you or go with another. It doesn’t matter if they ever come back or not. Nothing, but nothing, changes this love. At the same time, unconditional also means you give the one you love the freedom to pursue that which makes them happy even if it is with someone else. You don’t sit there and wait for them to return while remaining unhappy and forcing yourself not to fall in love with another. That is not unconditional love…it is childish dependency.

      If someone you deeply loved does not want to be with you anymore and prefers another, you have to move past the pain and hurt of this initial moment and rejoice that they have found happiness. If you are not happy that the one you loved is happy elsewhere, then you didn’t really love them, you just had an emotional need for them. True love means being happy for the one you loved through all of time regardless of what they do and who they do it with. If you don’t feel that happiness, then you didn’t really love them. If your form of love requires the condition that they must return to you someday, you really didn’t love them.

      Love is a spiritual state, not an emotion. At the spiritual level, we are capable of loving many, not just one. There is no such thing as only loving one soul throughout eternity. You may have true, unconditional love for hundreds of souls during the passages of millenniums and more. Unconditional love is freedom, not a prison. The Creator did not place any limitations whatsoever on our capacity to love. We are Love. We are born in love and love is the essence of who we are. That love is not dependent on a single person or soul. It is within us all the time. It is who we are and will always be.

  • Cindy

    Hi
    Three years ago my husband had a massive brake down and as im particially blind in both eyes due to retinitis pigmentosia.

    My husband left our marriage for another woman but continued to live with me for another three more years.

    Although i still loved that man from the bottom of my heart it was and is a challenging and stressful place to be in at times.

    This situation has taught me so much about my inner self its shown me my strength that i have in myself plus iv learnt so much at a deeper level.
    To live with your partner while there telling someone else in front of you that they love them thats hard

    The purpose i stayed there was its taught me

    • Don Shapiro Post author

      Hi Cindy,

      Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m sorry I didn’t respond sooner but I’ve been going through my own forks lately!

      When we come from pure love, we love regardless. Your situation has been an extreme test for you and has shown you your capacity to love unconditionally, That, of course, does not wipe away the hurt and pain. It does wipe away feelings of anger and revenge and such which are conditional and do not come from love.

      You are very wise to understand that this situation has been placed in your life so you can learn things. You are a better person because of the experiences you have been through.

      Unconditional love is not limited to one person. It is about who we really are at the core. We are pure love. That is the love from our soul. Once you have arrived at a state where you can love unconditionally, then everyone you feel love for will be unconditional. That means you could fall in love with another while still feeling unconditional love for the man you are currently with. Unconditional love frees you to love and frees you to become all you were meant to be.

    • Don Shapiro Post author

      I’m glad that this has been helpful to you. Remember, you are love and have always been love. Love is at the core of your being. When you accept yourself, you are accepting the love that is who you are and how you were created. When we love unconditionally, we are simply acting as the Creator intended by being an extension of the Creator here on earth. When someone places conditions on their love for others, they have lost their connection to their soul and the Creator. Blessings.

  • Thanga

    Dear Don,
    It was heart warming to read your post and also life affirming.

    I fell deeply in love with a girl from my class. We were very close buddies , we still are.
    But she did not feel the same way about me. I couldn’t accept it and it was very difficult to be around her and we had to keep meeting since we where lab partners.
    I struggled for months to get over this. I tried everything reading books, to alcohol. But nothing helped. I did not bother her but I was still emotionally attached to her. I felt I had to receive something for what I did for her and it pissed me off that you can love someone so much, while the other cannot even recognise it.

    But I dont know how. Suddenly it dawned on me ,I was clearly facing the wrong direction. If one expects something in return for everything , it is not love anymore but business.
    I realized I suffered because of my ignorance and my imperfect love, not because of her. I expressed evry single emotion I had for her. It was difficult to be so emotionally naked before her. It was scary. But I had to do it, so that my ego, my desires and attachment could be buried. Only then did I start truly loving her.
    Now I had no agenda, I did not exepect anything and for the first time I truly loved someone. I deeply care for her to this day and pray for her happiness and that she find someone amazing, who will keep her like a queen.
    Now, also I able to love everyone and be more compassionate to everyones struggles
    and suffering. I have become tender and very loving to all. I truly fell one with all of creation and I can proudly say I love all and everyone loves me.
    It took some time to realize that there was never a time when I was not loved and never be a time, when I will not be loved. The whole universe is one singular field of love and we are part of this field. But our tiny ego, desires and attachement, delude us into thinking we are limited, imperfect. In reality, we are limitless, free souls worthy of the greatest joy and peace.
    While I am not perfect today, I can say that my love is pure and fulfilling and need nothing more to be happy.

    May my friend , my beloved who transformed me so much, be happy wherever she is , whatever she does. The transformation was not easy, i failed so many time and I keep learning but I am glad where I am today.

    Let all beings be happy , blissfula and peaceful.

    • Don Shapiro Post author

      Dear Thanga,

      Thank you for sharing this story of love and personal growth. I couldn’t have written this any better myself. You have captured the essence of what unconditional love and how it blesses our life.

      Pure love is who we really are at our core. So much that occurs through our emotions, ego and more can blind us to this core and twist it all around. Once we discover our capacity to love without expecting anything in return, everyone we love be it a platonic friend, family member or lover will be loved unconditionally.

      Unconditional love is not limited to one person. It isn’t about the other person. It’s about us. We can love more than one person during our life. We can love each of them unconditionally. How long those relationships last depend on a very complex configuration of human characteristics and imperfections that need to align in a certain way.

      Each relationship that is based on unconditional love offers us a an opportunity to grow and become more than we were. There are no coincidences in life. Each relationship exist to teach us something so we become a better person. That can only happen when we love unconditionally. Otherwise, our ego and emotions cause us to reject the lessons and put the blame elsewhere. As we learn and grow, we become a better person and are now attractive to someone else’s love that would not have been attracted to us before.

  • Yvonne

    Thank you for confirming my belief that it is possible to experience true love and not be with the object of your affection. Unconditional love is such a dynamic part of our lives.I shared your story because I believe it’s very important that others like myself understand we are not alone in our thinking. God has granted us the ability to love unconditionally and I cherish that gift. A few days ago I was discussing this very subject with a few friends and happened to find your story tonight. Thank you for sharing and be blessed.

    • Don Shapiro Post author

      Thank you Yvonne. We are love, pure love, and that is all that we are. When we discover how God has blessed us, it changes everything about how we live our lives. Relationships may not work out for a 1000 different reasons big and small. For two separate, unique individuals to get on the same wave length and get their two lives in sync with each other is no easy feat. So relationships can come to end for a lot of humanly reasons. If we remain in the state of unconditional love that is at the core of who we really are instead of being overwhelmed by our emotions and ego, we can go through the uncoupling in a friendly and loving way. That doesn’t always mean it will be smooth but there is really no reason for severe anger, resentment, vindictiveness and other feelings that so often crop up at the end of a relationship. Unconditional love is the answer and that answer is already inside of all of us if we will just find it.

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  • J Paul

    There is no such thing as what most people, particularly female, would call love. It is a concept developed to legitimize lust and true selfishness, and is a form of intense infatuation only.

    • Don Shapiro Post author

      Thank you for sharing your perspective. I respect your right to express this opinion and have always been gracious to allow different points of views.

      The reality is far different. The problem with the word love is not what love really is but rather how our culture has overused the word and allowed it be interpreted in ways different than it is truly is. The mere fact that people may not use the word correctly, understand what it is or even, in their own human frailty, use it to justify something of a selfish or lustful nature in no way is an indictment of the concept of love itself.

      This is more about most humans simply not understanding what love is and not being in touch with who they really are. Your comment speaks more to what you have observed in people, maybe many people, than it speaks to the true meaning of love. The only way to truly know love is to experience love in its true splendor and majesty. Remember, I’m a man speaking here, not a woman, and I discovered the difference between love, emotional attachment, attraction and lust many decades ago. I am aware that not everyone understands this or uses the word correctly based on what it really is.

      Love is not an emotion. Love is not emotional attachment. Love is not lust. Love is not a about human frailty and weakness. It is exactly the opposite. True unconditional love, which is the only love that is actually love, is who we are at the core of our existence. It is our soul, our spirit, our essence, our connection to the Creator. We are for all intensive purposes simply love and nothing else but love. We are pure love.

      That is who I am and how I live my life. It is how I deal with every human being I met, not just women I am romantically involved with. It is all that I am. Those who know me in person will attest to the truth of this though some of them think I’m an alien because I never judge people and accept everyone unconditionally.

      And so, how can we know if someone is coming from love and not lust, selfishness or something else? Simply, is there love unconditional in all ways? If there is anything conditional about what they are expressing, it is not love. What you have observed that has led to your conclusions about love was not the expression of love at all. It was people misusing the term love who don’t even understand what it really is or who they really are.

      When we grow spiritually, we are stripping away all that we are not so we can become more of what we truly are. Very few people can strip away enough of what they are not to discover that they are pure love at their core. This is what we all should be striving for.

  • Farrokh Daruani

    Hello Don,
    I have gone through your true story and all the comments who responded to you so far, I would like to make my last comment first and then go on, you may find it interesting.
    ” Love is our soul, our spirit, our essence, our connection to the creator ” this is an extract from one of your comments, and how beautifully and clearly you put these words together, I totally agree that love is within all of us and sometimes it needs a little tapping for it to flourish, this tapping can be anything, it just happens in every day life and we suddenly realize of its existence and its power to enable us to cope with situations that we never thought we could handle, in a way it is a testing from our creator. I agree with you totally about this issue. I believe there are two kinds of love, one is the one you have described, an spiritual feeling that God has put within us, and the other is what most people can feel about one another, like the relationship between a man and a woman, be it a partnership, marriage or just a casual relationship, we have to differentiate between the two, I suppose in your mind you would call it ” casual love ” and according to you most people do not understand the true meaning of love, the spiritual love, but the meaning of the word LOVE is what most people understand which is different from what you understand. I am going to continue about the love that most people understand and not the one you describe, and go on about marriage and choosing a partner or wife. I have to add that I spent 20 years of my adult life in the middle East and 30 years in Europe so I do have a good insight of how people interpret love and marriage in the East and the West.
    In the East when a man wants to choose a wife he takes a lot of things into consideration, the question of compatibility plays a major role in choosing a partner, such matters as age, education, family background, financial standing and physical appearance are considered. It is not normal for a man to marry a woman older than him or financially in a different level, he opens his eyes and uses his INNER WISDOM to consider every aspect rather than referring only to his lust for the woman in question, the woman also considers the same issues before she says yes, and after they are married they both shut their eyes and get on with life without allowing themselves to think of another man or woman. The love that most people talk about in their eyes does not happen immediately, it takes time to develop and because they are compatible with each other they don’t encounter any problems that they can not compromise on. It is very rare for an Eastern woman to leave his man for another man, to her it would be so degrading that she would rather die. An Eastern man who has not married before would not consider a previously married woman for his wife, and similarly it would be the same with the woman, it is all about the compatibility and choosing wisely as separation is considered as a taboo. Having an affair in a married life is not the done thing and is very rare but it does happen and the result is divorce, having an affair with a married man or a married woman is an unforgivable sin that puts the sinner in isolation within the society, the sinner would better leave and disappear, there is no question about that. The couple just don’t think of another man or woman entering their lives.
    In the west the situation is different, compatibility does not play a major role in couples choosing each other, a man meets a woman, at work, at the pub or club, anywhere really, they date for a while, normally have sexual relationship in the process and decide to get married or live together and be partners. You yourself married a woman 9 years older than you, she was married before, had a kid and had affairs while married, did that not matter to you? did you not take into consideration her track record? could she not do the same thing to you? did you not think that she was not compatible with you? please excuse me if I am referring to your experiences as an example. In the west couples do not shut their eyes to other men or women after they get married, they are not really sure if they have made the right choice, lust plays a major role in choosing a partner, having an affair with someone else”s wife or husband does not carry a public outcry and not so unusual, but something like that destroys the person who has been cheated on, no matter how liberal the person may be.

    You say you never judge people and accept everyone unconditionally, well in a perfect world your belief would work wonders but not in this world that we live in, how can you not judge the terrorist that cuts the chest of another human being and pulls out his heart and eats it? how can you not judge the sub animal humanoids that behead children and play football with them? how can you not judge the man who pushes a button and downs a passenger plane carrying innocent people? I am afraid I don’t have that kind of love in me, to not judge people like that, God gave me a brain and put in it wisdom to use for a happy and healthy life, to get on and love others, to protect myself and others from evil. In a perfect world I would follow you but not in this world.

  • Carol

    I see you remembered me telling you about how people are like flowers…as you used that reference in flower petals….

    Remember me Don? That sin city organization? It still affects me today. I still suffer from what they did to me. All those psychological games they play….you know….you know.

    Why should I suffer? Why can’t I trust? Why can’t I move forward, while they continue to succeed, I suffer still….

    Maybe now you can feel my pain. I see your pain in your writings. You should see mine….

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