Can You Go Unconditional?
There gets to be a time in everyone’s life when one is presented with the choice between being right and being happy. This moment represents a growth point in consciousness.
If you choose to be right, you can bet that this is going to create an impact on the people around you. You might even end up being alone for a while. This happens so you have time to think about it, because usually the same question comes around again.
For some reason, it doesn’t go away.
I see this choice as an invitation to move to the next level in the relationships game. But just being invited doesn’t mean it will happen. There’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed. You’ll need awareness, and tools.
The key to success with this choice is to go unconditional. This doesn’t mean to accept whatever is given to you and become a doormat. You aren’t supposed to abdicate your needs.
When this choice is presented, you’re being invited to release your attachment to being right so you can stay connected, instead. To communicate your needs and perspectives with clarity and empathy. To hear the rightness in what they perceive as their needs.
The appearance of being in opposition is always an illusion.
On the bigger level, the person you would call your “opponent” is actually helping you. All of us have suffered pain in life, and if that pain hasn’t been resolved we may get touchy, reactive, belligerent, or demanding when a situation reminds us of the original pain point. If that happens, notice it as an emotion you are carrying from the past. Refrain from blaming the person who is standing in front of you.
The absence of blame, shame, and judgment represents a monumental change in how you relate to others. It opens a new chapter of life in which you experience the world and everything in it as perfect, whole, and complete ~ including yourself.
So the real question is if you are willing to go unconditional in moments of conflict. If so, mindfulness practice is essential. It will give you the discipline and strength to stop projecting your inner pain on others, as well as the ability to shift your communication patterns towards clarity, listening, and empathy.
Unconditional love is particularly relevant in leadership. Great leadership isn’t really about being in charge. It’s about guiding and empowering others to achieve at higher levels. It is deeply relational in the context of a bigger picture. If you’re stuck in being right, great leadership is impossible.
As a master coach, I never tell clients what they “should” do (as if I am right). I ask them what they need (to be happy) and then help them strategize how to get it. Leaders need to do the same.
Many of us were not raised with unconditional love, and also don’t experience unconditional love in the business world. We are lacking mental models of what this looks like.
It’s normal to feel insecure about your ability to meet the world unconditionally, and it’s also normal to mess it up sometimes. After all, it is a practice ~ yoga off the mat, if you will ~ and like all things you practice, you will get better at it over time.
Whether you’re guided by faith or stubborn determination, hold the vision that unconditional love is possible despite any evidence to the contrary.
In these moments when you are presented with the opportunity to choose between being right or being happy, remember the larger purpose of the situation that’s occurring. And if conflict splinters into aloneness or unhappiness because you were not willing or able to “go unconditional”, pick yourself up and try again. For ultimately there is only one path, and love is the only lesson.
To your success,