Unconditional Love – by Shishir Lakhani

We understand what love means. That glorious feeling of hugs kisses embraces. 

A baby seeks nothing more than that comfort of mother’s love. 

Soon the rest of the family becomes the holders of that domain. 

… that tribal sense of belonging and ready protections. 


Immanuel Kant went as far as to define human obligation as Categorical 

Imperative - an unconditional and constantly binding moral obligation, not 

dependent on a person's self-interest … Perhaps too pure, perhaps too idealistic? 


However, it is not long after that we realize that like everything else in this world, 

we need to survive and look after ‘number one’. 

We learn about reciprocity … Yes, I like him because … he shares with me. 

We encounter that life is full of trade-offs. 

I receive because I give … or vice versa 


Soon unconditional hospitality does not seem possible without reciprocity. 

It becomes a game of trade … Give and take. 


In the process, we begin to accumulate burdens and baggage. Our backpack full of 


A ledger of credits and debits, 

Occasionally our very own promote the largest baggage. 

But in order to fit in and stay in the tribe …We readily or reluctantly conform. 

We thus have acquired so many absentee landlords of our soul. 


When unable to cope, we sometimes become our worst critics. 

Our heart fills with past hurts and wounds, baggage mistreatments, abuse and even 



Such transactional behaviors narrow our thinking to being totally infatuated with 

our own self. 

What we call our identity. 

Indeed, life puts a saddle on us before we are ready to run. 

Unconditional love bought with conditional behavior 


To lighten that heavy backpack, we need to break with the demand to conform. 

Let go of the guilt and shame ... thus adding some helium balloons to your 


‘Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames’. Rumi    


The older I become the more I keep revising this picture. 

Consoling myself that humans are inherently good, and have unconditional 

positive regard – borne of free will. 

So, I have gradually learnt to love myself unconditionally 

No approval needed from others 


Oh wait! 

Does that make me selfish? … I wonder … 

I wonder …