“Dog spelt backward is God and they both show unconditional love.”
It’s very interesting how so many people, including myself, have purchased or adopted pets this year. I believe our separation, isolation and loneliness drove us to animal shelters for rescues or breeders for puppies. As a result, our pets’ unconditional love has saved us on some level or another throughout this pandemic. I’ve reflected on the beauty of my own dogs’, Zuri and Zaq, unconditional love many times these past several months. Also, questioned what exactly is “unconditional love?”
Wikipedia defines unconditional love: “Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. This term is sometimes associated with other terms such as true altruism or complete love. Each area of expertise has a certain way of describing unconditional love, but most will agree that it is that type of love which has no bounds and is unchanging. …Dogs are often considered to be examples of displaying unconditioned love.”
I could list all the cute ways Zuri and Zaq display unconditional love besides greeting me at the front door each day with their tails waging and covering my face with their large wet tongues, but it goes much deeper than that. The love they exude towards me is a feeling that I cannot articulate, and in their love is a level of trust that stirs my heart each time I think of it.
The unconditional love our pets give us is what our family and friends often struggle with when loving us.
Zuri and Zaq, 11 months olds, Photo by Keith Shackelford
The unconditional love our dogs/pets give us is what family and friends often struggle with when loving us. How often do you retract your love from others if your conditions aren’t met? Is it moment by moment, daily, weekly, or for someone’s entire lifetime? How often do you retract your love from yourself if your self-imposed conditions for yourself aren’t met? Is it moment by moment, daily, weekly or your entire lifetime? Are you waiting to be good enough, thin enough, smart enough, educated enough, funny enough, liked enough, rich enough to fully love yourself?
Self-love is the foundation to the most important relation of all – that with yourself!
Self-love is the foundation to the most important relationship of all – that with yourself – (even more so than your pet’s) and it’s the prerequisite to truly loving others. The Golden Rule tells us, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is a direct command to love you yourself! If you do not love yourself, you can’t possibly love others.
God is unconditional love. Unconditional love is God. God resides in me, you, and everything. Surrendering, basking and trusting in His unconditional love daily enables and encourages self-love; therefore, unconditional love for others. Don’t wait until you feel good enough. God’s love has no conditions.
There are no words to articulate the feeling of God’s unconditional love, but once you experience it, you’ll willingly surrender into it and trust that He’s got your back. (The feeling is very much as you feel with your pet or dog!) You’ll fully realize there is no separation – you are truly a child of God, you are One. In this, you’ll naturally gravitate in loving service to others. Not out of a sense of obligation but because you want to serve.
I believe our greatest task is to love ourselves – no matter what – and to embody self-worth so that we can be love in action. That is true service to God and to others. Also, true service to yourself.
Denna J. Shelton, Copyright, 2020
Soul’s Journey to Self Love” eBook, chock full of meditations and I AM affirmations, is now available for download. It will journey you to more peace, joy, harmony and most importantly – to love – love of yourself and others. Check it out!