The Truth About Affinity: Unconditional Love VS. Self-Love
In the world of spirit, sages, mystics and new age thought, the concept of affinity, or unconditional love, has been used to describe the vibrational essence of the 4th chakra or heart center. According to Yogic tradition, the 4th chakra is an energy center that lies in the center of our chest and is responsible for our ability to experience love, peace and harmony. In many circles, this energy is described as our ability to love ourselves and other unconditionally.
My Challenges Of Experiencing Unconditional Love
For years, I struggled with this concept. Based upon my understanding I was led to believe it was my duty, my responsibility to give of myself, my time, money and energy with no expectation of a return—ever. This was, in my world, the definition of unconditional love. I was also led to believe that when I was finally able to act accordingly; my 4th chakra would fully open, because I was now in affinity with the world around me.
I remember evaluating my life and could see I had a long road ahead of me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to have my 4th chakra be open, or didn’t want to experience unconditional love, but in the same breath, I just wasn’t interested in giving it all away. Over the years I found this concept really bothered me, because it was something I felt I would never achieve.
Woman’s Challenges For Experiencing Self Love
If you think about society and in particular the role of women, from an early age, we are trained to give of ourselves to help and support others. We are expected to raise our children, take care of our homes and be an unwavering support for the people around us. Without words we are very clearly told to put our wants and needs to the side, because the wants and needs of others are much more important than our own.
As years pass, we begin to forget who we are, what we want and begin to construct our lives based upon other people’s expectations of us. What we don’t realize, is without even realizing it, we begin to build anger, frustration and resentment to those we truly love…all in the name of affinity and unconditional love.
A New View
It wasn’t until I wrote, Avoiding The Cosmic 2×4, that I really got a chance to look at the energy of the 4th chakra and what I believe the true meaning of affinity and unconditional love is all about. I found the answer, not in the texts and precepts of the New Age self-help type books that talk about the chakras in a vague kind of way, but in the depths of Jewish mysticism and the Kabbalah.
The Dynamics Of Unconditional Love – Part One
There are two dynamics that need to be in place in order for us to experience affinity. Firstly, there should be an equal exchange of energy between all things. This means there should be a give and take between those involved. For example, when you go to the store, you can’t just walk out with a chicken. There is an expectation the provider gets paid. The same holds true with our personal relationships. If I give to you, at some point in time, the energy should be reciprocated.
I think this is where most people get hung up. There is a belief we should give and never expect anything to be returned. To me, this is really is a lie. As human beings, we expect. For many of us, we are happy to give of ourselves over and over again, but in all of our lives, there will be times when we will need something back. It’s at these times we are able to see or should I say, experience the imbalance in our relationships and if something isn’t said or done about it, resentment occurs.
OK, so that is part one—the ebb and flow of energy that needs to occur between us. If we are open to giving and RECEIVING, (which is something we are not taught), then the first part of the equation of affinity is in place.
The Dynamics Of Unconditional Love – Part Two
Part two is congruence. In geometry for example, two triangles are said to be congruent when their size and shape are the same. For us, congruence refers to the state in which all our parts are in agreement with a thought, idea or concept. So for example, a friend asks to borrow $50. The last time you loaned someone money, however, they never repaid you and there may be a part of you that feels a bit uncomfortable with the proposition. This part of you is not congruent with the rest of you. It is telling you there is something out of balance and needs to be paid attention to or addressed.
Now, if you feel the tug of incongruence but allow feelings such as guilt or fear to rule, thus giving the person the money regardless of how you feel, the reality is, you are NOT giving it out of unconditional love, but instead by the negative feelings and emotions you are allowing to prevail. If you, on the other hand, acknowledge the warning you are getting and resolve the misgivings you are experiencing, then all of you is in balance with that choice, that decision, even if the decision is to not loan the money.
Unconditional Love From A Kabalistic Perspective
From a Kabbalistic perspective, when we are in affinity, experience self-love first. We love ourselves completely and take our wants, needs and desires into consideration. We then can make conscious choices about how and were we spend our time, energy or money. This choice provides us with the opportunity to give of ourselves unconditionally. The part most often overlooked, is the importance of making a conscious choice regarding our actions. It is all about knowing who we are, what we are all about, and having clear boundaries around it and loving ourselves. Another word for this would be integrity.
For many, we don’t know who we are and what we want, and a great way to get clarity about ourselves is to write down all our good qualities. If you love gardening, write that down. If you love going for walks write that down. For some, it may also be important to write down things we don’t want, because many times we accept responsibilities or bad behavior on the part of others all in the name of unconditional love and becoming clear on what is acceptable or unacceptable is all part of this process.
I have worked with a number of clients who at first glance seemed filled with unconditional love. They came off as being very loving and accepting individuals, however, their bodies told me another story. What I saw was an energy field filled with bitterness and resentment and when this was communicated, they honestly didn’t believe me until they had the opportunity to meditate on the idea. Once they could see how their choices were not in integrity with their entire being, they were able to make drastic changes both emotionally and physically. It was a wonder to watch.
Living In Affinity & Self-Love
So if in the near or distant future someone tries to play the unconditional love card on you, using it as a tool to make you feel guilty or manipulate you into doing something you don’t want, remember my words here today. We can only give of ourselves unconditionally when experience self-love. This means all our parts are in agreement. For when we are truly giving from the heart, we not only don’t expect any kind of repayment or return, but it also opens us up to the flow of life force energy through our being. It raises our vibration and helps us to feel closer to God and one with the universe. So before you go and try to love others unconditionally and with affinity, first learn to love yourself.
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