Travelling home on the tube yesterday from a yoga session with a small group of teenagers. My thoughts ran over the discussion I had with them which flowed on from listening to ‘Natures Rainbow Mindfulness Meditations for Teens’ track 1 Red – Rose which raised the subject of unconditional love.
Today I thought I would share aspects of the discussions and thoughts which flowed in this blog post.
After listening to the track I discussed with the group what the term unconditional love meant to them and the topic of loving oneself unconditionally. The importance of not comparing or judging, but excepting, being expressing and loving the me unconditionally.
We took a look at toddlers and discussed how toddlers naturally loves themselves unconditionally. They freely make friends and play with others without judgement of themselves or others. A toddler is not concerned with looks appearance, fashion, lifestyle, money. A toddler just is a beacon of unconditional love for themselves and others.
We discussed the importance of loving ourselves unconditionally as a toddler does before external conditioning impacts their mindset.
So how did we get programmed and move from a being of unconditional love for ourselves and others?
As I sat on the tube ride home, my thoughts shifted to my little puppy Leo, who I got this summer. Leo is the essence of unconditional love. He wants to run up and make friends with every human and dog he meets, just like a toddler.
Unfortunately, I have had to pull the reigns in and explain to him not every human or dog wishes to be his friend. A self-realisation he is also making, and in line with this he is slowly adjusting his behaviour to not running up to every human he crosses path with and to gently open and test the playing field first with other dogs he meets and would like to play with.
The observation of my curtailment of Leo’s unconditional expression of love and his own assessments of the differing reactions he receives back from his hello’s are impacting him to not be so abundant in his expressions of love.
From these observations of Leo’s development, I now have a better understanding of how unintentionally our toddler child goes from being a beacon of unconditional love for themselves and others to a teenager who has been shaped and adjusted to the world around them.
Barriers have grown in response to different impacts they experience from their external world which then impacts on their internal world. They are bombarded with advertising and media images of how they should be looking, what they should be wearing, how they should be presenting, speaking, being, feeling etc. All of which are destroying their core-essence, personal identity unconditional love for themselves.
As parents or guardians of a young person, it is not our wish to destroy a child’s unconditional love for themselves, but from the above we can see how the roots of destruction gently sprout.
From the growing statistics on self-harm, depression, anxiety and suicide we can see and hear the growing calls for help.
With this knowledge comes the opportunity to make a change to re-foster unconditional love for one selves and others.
There are many ways this can be done, the ‘Magnificent Me Magnificent You – Loving the Me App’ will be sharing a few.
But as a parent, guardian, teacher, headmaster, general practitioner etc, have a think of ways on how we can foster self-love with our young and please share your thoughts and ideas below for others to benefit from.
Blog Author: Dawattie Basdeo