Kalinda's Plum Blossoms

How John Powell Defines Real Love

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

Is It Conditional or Unconditional Love?

The only love worthy of a name is unconditional.
John Powell
How John Powell defines real love. Is love conditional or unconditional?
John Powell Unconditional Love

Real Love

John Powell claims that: "The only love worthy of a  name is unconditional." This is the lead quotation in Chapter 13 of Your True Self-Identity. The title of the chapter is: "Church Teaching and Your Identity." Here are some reasons why Powell's statement is true:

By Sandra Brossman in The Power of Oneness: What is the Difference Between Conditional Love and Unconditional Love?

What is Conditional Love?
Conditional love is a polarized emotion, meaning that it has an opposite emotion. The opposite extreme of love is hatred. Conditional love comes from ego and generally focuses on someone (like a romantic partner, child, parent, friend) or some thing (like a house, a car, or a job). When we love someone conditionally, we tend to want them to look, act, and think in ways that fit our own paradigms and expectations. We hold others accountable to our expectations in order to qualify for our affection. If they act the way we want them to, we express our approval; if they act contrary to our wishes, we withhold our expression of acceptance of them, usually in some form of anger. 
Conditional love polarizes our internal thought process to believe, “I am right, and you are wrong, so I think you should see things my way.”
What is Unconditional Love?
Unconditional love is neutral and has no opposite polarity. The source of unconditional love is Spirit; therefore it is available to everyone without discernment, and there is absolutely nothing we need to do to qualify for it. Unconditional love comes through to us at a soul level, beginning at the level of self-acceptance and self-forgiveness, and radiates divine light to everyone and everything.

By Sheryl Paul in  The Huffington Post: If It’s Conditional, It’s Not Love

We have a redundant phrase in our lexicon: unconditional love. To say “unconditional” love indicates that real love can be anything other than unconditional. It’s like what I learned in high school English that it’s redundant to say “close proximity” because the very definition of proximity is to be close. But the truth is that if it’s conditional, it’s not love, and, sadly, much of what we call “love” isn’t love at all, but approval.

By Greg Baer, M.D. "Waiting On This World To Change"... The Destructive Legacy of Conditional Love

Excerpted from "Real Love: The Truth About Finding Unconditional Love and Fulfilling Relationships"
Real Love is "I care how you feel." Conditional love is "I like how you make me feel." Conditional love is what people give to us when we do what they want, and it's the only kind of love that most of us have ever known. People have liked us more when we made them feel good, or at least when we did nothing to inconvenience them. In other words, we have to buy conditional love from the people around us.
It's critical that we be able to distinguish between Real Love and conditional love. When we can't do that, we tend to settle for giving and receiving conditional love, which leaves us empty, unhappy, and frustrated. Fortunately, there are two reliable signs that love is not genuine: disappointment and anger. Every time we frown, sigh with disappointment, speak harshly, or in any way express our anger at other people, we're communicating that we're not getting what we want. At least in that moment, we are not caring for our partner's happiness, but only for our own. Our partner then senses our selfishness and feels disconnected from us and alone, no matter what we say or do.

The quotation by John Powell is the focus of his book, Unconditional Love. Although this book is out of print,  it  is related to other books by John Powell.

John Powell, of the Society of Jesus, had a run-away success with his books Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? and  Why Am I Afraid to Love? in America in the late sixties. First published in the UK in 1975, they have remained popular ever since.
This book by the author of Why Am I Afraid to Love? contains insights on self-awareness, personal growth and communication with others. Why do people continually hide their real selves from the people around them? Why are so many so insecure and afraid to open up? The answer, explains John Powell, is that maturity is reached by communicating and interacting with others. This book considers the consequences our real self faces if no one else ever finds out what we are like. In this enduring classic, the companion to Why Am I Afraid to Love?, John Powell explains how to be more emotionally open, and shows how people adopt roles and play psychological games to protect their inner selves. The courage to be our real selves can be developed, and then we can begin to grow. Now newly designed for a fresh audience, Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? is as relevant as it has been for twenty years. With a proven track record, it continues to speak to the needs and aspirations of people today. It is best included in self help sections of general bookshops, but also has a religious appeal.

[Original Post August 8, 2014]

What are your thoughts about love? Please leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Two examples of what I love are the photos I took of flowering plum blossoms on a beautiful spring day in Walnut Creek, California.

Does the Bible Really Say That? Series focuses on the impact of Bible translations on what people believe “the Bible says” on any topic.

Your True Self Identity: How Familiar Translations of Bible Verses in the Gospel of Matthew Hide Your True Identity from You considers the idea of your true self-identity. Do you know your true self-identity? Are you happy being who you are? If you are not happy, what if the real cause of your unhappiness is what you don’t really know your true identity? One powerful reason is the effect of misleading translations of the Christian Bible.

One glaring example of the effect of Bible translations on identity is Chapter 18 of the Gospel of Matthew. Careful analysis of familiar translation choices in English language bibles demonstrates how sin doctrine creates false identities by turning the innocent into sinners.

Available on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback versions. Click Buy Now From Amazon to get your copy right away!

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