Offering straight talk on the nature of relationships, Sadhguru explains that there is no such thing as conditional love or unconditional love. There is either love or no love, he says and discusses how to conduct relationships in a graceful manner, without keeping count of who has given what.
How to give unconditional love? I always have issues with that when I am dealing with people, particularly with my wife.
Sadhguru: If it becomes unconditional, she will not be your wife. It is a condition of marriage that she should always be your wife. Within this condition, how can it be unconditional? Right now, your very life is a condition. Only if you fulfil certain conditions will life happen. When it comes to an emotion like love, there is no such thing as conditional love or unconditional love. There is either love or no love. Either you know love in your life or you know a mutual benefit scheme. “I will give you this - you will give me that. If you do not give me this, I will not give you that.” If it is a mutual benefit scheme, run it gracefully.
Benefit schemes are needed. With business partners, neighbours, husband, wife, children, father, mother, there have to be some transactions. If you think this is all one overflowing love affair, you are still living in la-la land. Your wife should bring you down to earth. Romance is fine, but when it comes to relationships, there is a transaction. If you do not want to admit that, you will suffer. If you admit it, you will learn to conduct it gracefully and well. If you say, “I gave you so much - what are you giving me,” it becomes ugly. There is a way of running it in a graceful manner so that what you give is not noticed by anyone.
A Pool of Gratitude
If you do not count what you give but always remember what you get, you will naturally be a pool of gratitude. Drop this nonsense of ‘How much I have done!’ If you do not expect anything from anyone, you will live easy. If you expect something from someone, or you ask yourself whether they love you or not, then all these problems arise. When you do not expect anything from anyone, if they do it, it is wonderful for them. If they do not, what is the problem?
A relationship is a transaction; it takes a certain skill to run it well. Otherwise, it can turn ugly. You may have seen how wonderful it can be with someone on one day, and how ugly it can be with the same person on another day. Unfortunately, most people do not want to acknowledge that a relationship is a transaction. There are certain ground rules and conditions for it. Only if you stay within these rules and conditions, will you run the relationship successfully. If you have la-la ideas like ‘our love is unconditional’, any day, it will break down.
Do not get lost in ideas of unconditional love. Love itself is a condition. Why should you love? If your emotions are sweet, you will look at anything you see lovingly - whether it is the sky, a lake, a man, or a woman - simply because you are loving in nature. There is no condition on it. It is your quality, not someone else’s.
(Ranked amongst the fifty most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author. Sadhguru has been conferred the ‘Padma Vibhushan’ by the Government of India in 2017. http://isha.sadhguru.org/)