Day 299 Unconditional friendliness to myself

I got an opportunity to set intentions a couple of times this holiday as there were two separate groups on retreat with me (one the first few days and another the second half of the time). Molly, a member of the first group, spoke her intention to be offer "unconditional friendliness to herself." I mentioned afterwards that that really resonated with me and she said it was a phrase from Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron.

I've been thinking about that off and on ever since. Having unconditional love for myself seems impossible. I'm not even sure what that is as I have never experienced it, except perhaps from my pets, who always seem to love me no matter what. Much as people claim to love each other unconditionally, I think as human beings we have expectations. We may love with few conditions but I think we always love with some: an expectation of basic decency and honesty, for example. If those get violated, we may forgive and love the person again, but I don't think it's unconditional. That's been my own experience anyway, both in giving and in receiving.

But the idea of unconditional friendliness is one I can get behind, one I can imagine living into. I know how to be friendly, to be kind, to be generous. Can I eat from a position of unconditional friendliness to myself? Can I work less as an act of unconditional friendliness to myself? I'll keep you posted.


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