Paul Yang, MD., Ph.D.
Title: From Limitations to Liberation: Harnessing the Power of Unconditional Love
Ms. X, a 56-year-old mother, has been grappling with serious depression resulting from chronic back pain caused by a work-related injury, which led her to be on long-term disability. The ongoing marital conflicts with her husband and his side of the family further intensified her stress and worsened her depression.
Recently, she returned from a family trip to New York to attend her 32-year-old daughter's graduation ceremony. Her daughter, who recently got married, has been excelling in her career in the banking industry. She was well-liked by her supervisors, and her company funded her graduate school education with the intention of promoting her to a management position. Ms. X anxiously advised her daughter to prioritize reducing stress and starting a family before passing the child-bearing age. Concerned about her daughter's overwhelming work responsibilities, she urged her to consider stepping back from climbing the corporate ladder. Sensing her anxiety, I reminded her that the future is unknown and unpredictable. I encouraged her to step back, allowing her daughter to make her own decisions and follow her heart.
During our conversation, she shared her experience with her mother-in-law, who lives in Canada. Ms. X recently underwent an abdominal ultrasound for her indigestion and unexpectedly discovered a gallstone in her gallbladder. Her mother-in-law, after watching health videos on YouTube, insisted that she undergo cholecystectomy, fearing the gallstone might develop into cancer. However, Ms. X was hesitant about surgery due to concerns about potential worsening of her diabetes after gallbladder removal. Her doctor advised her to continue monitoring the situation without immediate surgery. Feeling overwhelmed by the pressure from her husband, who sided with her mother-in-law, she yearned for space and understanding.
Unconditional love, the most powerful energy in the Universe, is formless and boundless, capable of healing and transforming everything it touches. However, love can be distorted when the ego mind creeps in, manifesting in various forms such as concepts, expectations, principles, values, rules, judgments, and attachments. Our well-intentioned advice can sometimes inadvertently become a shackle, limiting the true power of love, leading to manipulation, and causing suffering. By attending to interpersonal spaces and maintaining healthy boundaries, we can prevent the pitfalls of ego-contaminated love. Hence, it is crucial to cultivate mindfulness and awareness in our relationships, ensuring that love remains pure and untainted by ego-driven influences.
Keywords: unconditional love, mindfulness, interpersonal spaces, healthy boundaries, ego-contaminated love, healing, transformation, well-intentioned advice, suffering, distorted love.