Thirteen years ago, as I was completing my journey through the Medicine Wheel (an over yearlong transformational process that teaches the tenants of Shamanism in the Q’ero tradition of the Andes), I was also embarking upon the adventure of a new relationship. During the Medicine Wheel training I had learned of the Quechua (pronounced keCHwa) word Munay (pronounced MoonEye), the word Munay translates as “love and will”. This word and its meaning were introduced to me as the concept of Unconditional Love.
At that time, I spent a great deal of time contemplating this concept of loving someone unconditionally and because I was on this adventure of a new relationship I was determined to show up in this way, in Munay, loving without conditions in this new relationship.
Just loving someone for who they are, that seemed like the easiest thing at the time but somehow along the way this ended up looking more like me providing for all of the needs of another and signing up for “making” this person happy. Now, yes, intellectually I understand that it is not possible to make another person feel anything, I am merely describing how it felt for me, this agreement that I had made with myself to love someone unconditionally.
Over time I realized that this relationship felt like it was out of Anyi (aka right/balanced relationship) and yet I kept examining how I was showing up, was I giving enough, was my giving unconditional, was I loving without conditions. I truly felt like I was showing up in this selfless way so why was I unhappy and why did this feel like the relationship was out of balance.
I want you to understand that this is a reflection of me, not my partner, this was about how I was showing up in loving relationship with someone, I am not saying that this was my partners expectation of me but it was how I ended up showing up.
One day I was talking to my spiritual coach, Diane and she asked me a question that blew it all wide open. She asked me if I was unconditionally loving myself first? My immediate thought (and a very unhealthy thought at that) was, “me, what could I possibly need?”
She pointed out that without applying the concept of unconditional love to myself first and then applying it to others, I was creating the perfect recipe for a relationship to be out of Anyi. I was also creating the perfect scenario for my own resentment to build up because I was not taking care of me and I was not managing my own boundaries.
After she asked that question, I began to notice things, at first they were small things, small things that I would agree to out of a desire to not argue about something but over the course of a few days I noticed a pattern of those small things and how I had over time ended up allowing my own needs to just vanish in this quest to love someone else unconditionally. Somewhere in my warped sense of it all I felt like loving someone unconditionally meant giving them everything they wanted because after all that would “make” them happy, right?
The more I processed on this topic, the more I felt ill equipped to be in relationship at all, the more I felt like I needed to return to basics and just try to be in right loving relationship with myself, since everything seemed to be pointing to me as the place to start.
These last few months since Covid started in March, I began to embark on this journey of self-love, self-care, of applying unconditional love to myself first and foremost. In this quest I have had to slow down and begin to build an awareness of myself to even have a chance at answering the questions that were landing all around me.
What did I want? What is important to me? Am I doing the things that are important and essential for me every day? What do I like, not like, want, not want? What brings me joy? What makes me happy? Most people would look at these questions and rattle off the answers without hesitation, I however looked at these questions as venturing into foreign territory, wandering unarmed, behind enemy lines. I was no longer sure of some of these answers, I would out of Anyi in my relationship to me.
The daily practice of meditation and Writing Wisdom has helped immensely, the first allows me to get really present and quiet with myself and examine how I feel. I follow my meditation by practicing Writing Wisdom which allows me to connect to my inner knowing, it is from here that I process my feelings and continue to work on getting clear with what it means to unconditionally love me and what it means to unconditionally love other people.
I am committed to loving unconditionally, starting with me.
Interested in establishing a relationship with your inner knowing? Check out my available Writing Wisdom classes here.