Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not “I love you” for this or that reason, not “I love you if you love me.“ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.  Ram Dass

Sometimes I’m gone all day and sometimes I travel for days at a time, yet when I come home my cat is there. She never scolds me or shuns me. She is always happy to have me brush her, pet her, and sit with her. Our dogs unfailingly meet us at the door with wagging tail and bright eyes. They haven’t counted the hours we were away or resented the time we were busy. Every time they greet us, it’s with an open heart and a readiness to be fully present.

In this way our pets teach us about unconditional love. It doesn’t keep score, assign blame, harbor resentment, or need for someone to be different. Good day or bad, centered or not, our pets are there to be with us, sharing the gift of their presence and love. Now this doesn’t mean that they don’t want things from us—food, walking, brushing, and attention. Nor does it mean that they don’t misbehave, act out, or pick up on our emotional state. What it does mean is that regardless of that they continually come back to being a joyful loving presence.

Spiritual Contemplation: What do you think unconditional love is? Who teaches you about unconditional love the most?

Affirmation: I am a joyful and loving presence. I am openhearted, without blame, resentment, or keeping score.